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WPP says 2013 net profits rise 14%

British advertising giant WPP said Thursday that net profits jumped 14 percent last year on rising revenues, acquisitions, and strong growth in the US and many emerging markets. Profits after taxation climbed to £936.5 million ($1.6 billion, 1.1 billion euros) in 2013, up from £822.7 million in 2012, WPP said in a results statement. Total revenues advanced 6.2 percent to £11.02 billion, added WPP, which owns the Grey Group, Young & Rubicam and Ogilvy & Mather advertising agencies.

S. Korea's mobile ad market nearly doubles in 2013

By Kang Yoon-seung SEOUL, Feb. 18 (Yonhap) -- The local market for mobile advertisement nearly doubled on-year in 2013, a government report showed Tuesday, amid soaring number of smartphone users in the country. The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning said the size of South Korea's mobile advert market was estimated at 416 billion won (US$392 million) last year, a leap from the 215.9 billion won in 2012. Last year's figure accounted for 4 percent of the entire advertisement market in the country, a twofold growth from 2 percent tallied a year earlier.

Liberal private member's bill aims to limit tenor and volume of federal ads

OTTAWA - It you're tired of seeing tax dollars spent boasting about the Canadian economy and Conservative budgets during Hockey Night in Canada, a Liberal MP thinks he has the solution. Ottawa MP David McGuinty has tabled a private members bill in the House of Commons that, if passed, could limit both the partisan tenor and volume of federal government advertising. "It's time to bring Canada's advertising rules into the 21st century," McGuinty said Thursday at a news conference on Parliament Hill.

Sponsors in branding battle for Sochi

LONDON (Reuters) - Official Olympic sponsors are being beaten by non-affiliated rivals in the race for brand awareness ahead of next year's Sochi Winter Olympics and the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, according to a report due out on Sunday. Media tracking company The Global Language Monitor (GLM) said in a "Sochi 2014 Ambush Marketing Outlook" that official sponsors faced considerable pressure from those who contributed nothing to the Olympic movement.

Bangladesh disaster responses highlight PR strategies at clothing brands, risks to reputation

MUMBAI, India - Global clothing brands involved in Bangladesh's troubled garment industry responded in starkly different ways to the building collapse that killed more than 600 people. Some quickly acknowledged their links to the tragedy and promised compensation. Others denied they authorized work at factories in the building even when their labels were found in the rubble.

Calling all mad men: Harper government seeks bids for new 'action plan' ads

OTTAWA - The Harper government is looking for a creative contractor to continue those feel-good "economic action plan" ads that have blanketed the airwaves for the past four years. A new call for tenders says the winning advertising firm will spend up to the next three years handling ads on TV, radio, theatre screens and print and digital media. The ads are supposed "to inform Canadians about key initiatives, programs and benefits under Economic Action Plan 2013, which may include advertising Budget 2014," says the statement of work issued Friday by Public Works.

U.S. digital ad revenue climbs to $36 billion in 2012

(Reuters) - Digital advertising revenue in the United States increased 15 percent to $36.6 billion (23.8 billion pounds) hitting a record, according to the organization that tracks digital spending. Advertisers turned mostly to search ads, the format that dominated almost half of total spending representing 46.3 percent at $16.9 billion.

When education meets passion

Remember those good old days when you used to draw? Sitting on your knees, bending over your favourite art book, crayons scattered all around, delving into a world of your own? Remember those amateur drawings? May be some are still hanging on your walls with your signature right at the corner. Those with a thatched hut, banana trees (only the leaves visible from behind the hut!), a river with a boat, the descending sun and flying birds? Then came the days when you had to give up 'aka aki' (drawing) for a more serious affair, 'porashona' (studies).

No discount' strategy beats slump

A tempting market strategy in this prolonged recession is to hold bargain sales. In fact, a lot of brands have begun seasonal discount sales to attract customers who have tightened their purse strings.But other companies are bucking the trend by continuing to maintain their price tags. These firms believe price cuts can increase sales in the short run but damage their brand image in the long-term, as customers would then expect to always buy goods at discount prices.One firm with a “no price cut strategy” is low-priced cosmetic brand Skin Food.

Ford was "shocked" by sexist poster ads in India, executive says

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co <F.N> was "shocked" by a series of Indian poster advertisements that included one showing women tied up in the trunk of a Ford driven by ex-Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, its chief marketing executive said on Wednesday. The Indian company that produced the ads fired employees over the incident earlier this week.
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