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  • Playboy Channel Launches in S. Korea
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  • Trade Between China and Vietnam on the Rise
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  • SEOUL, S. Korea -- Playboy will launch its programming in S. Korea via satellite next month (on June 15) initially in hotels/motels throughout the country; but programming will be made available to the 14.5 million prospective television households shortly thereafter. Shows will run 24-hours/day via cable and DTH satellite. Playboy will maintain only a 15% stake (the maximum equity position permitted to a foreign company) in this Korean partnership arrangement with Daewoo Corporation.

    Playboy TV is third largest pay-per-view channel in the US. They have been aggressively pursuing a global expansion strategy since October 1995 and can now be seen in Japan, the UK, Benelux region, Spain, Portugal and throughout Latin America.

    The Korean Playboy programming will include Playboy's exclusive library of film and TV product as well as local productions and exclusively licensed programming and movies.

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    CANADA -- Canadians tend to lead more balanced lives, overall, than Americans -- more in tune with nature and family balanced out in the context of their work and personal lives. And their enthusiasm with golf is no exception. About 4 million Canadians participate in the sport at over 2000 locations across the country during the short duration of summer weather. Although golf is a more popular sport in Canada than in the US, nearly half (40%) of all golf-related equipment sold there is made in the USA. In Canada, golf is a US$2.5 billion industry, accessible to the masses; after all, nearly 90% of Canada's golf courses are at least semi-private or public, making the sport more affordable and accessible than in the US market (where it is estimated that 13.5% over the age of 12 play golf vs. 18.4% in Canada). As the golf industry matures in the Canadian market, there are opportunities for marketers, manufacturers and others with expertise in the field -- as this relates to tourism and leisure activities, maintenance, agriculture, automation and related areas.

    ASIA/PACIFIC -- Amway sales in the Asia/Pacific region reached a record level of US$430 mil in the first half of FY1997, a 27% increase over the same period in FY1996. This strong growth rate is largely attributed to strong sales in PR China, in particular. Amway launched in China in 1995 with unimpressive beginnings -- sales of only US$5 mil in their first FY '96 quarter; and US$13 mil during the first half of FY '96. By FY '97, net sales in China reached US$45 mil during the 2nd quarter and reported earnings of US$84 mil for the first 6 months of FY '97 -- an increase of more than 600%. By the end of 1996, Amway operated in 10 cities throughout China, serving more than 50 million prospective customers. Overall, Amway Asia-Pacific Ltd. maintains distribution in 9 Asia/Pacific countries, including Australia and New Zealand, through a network of about 555,000 independent distributors; they claim to be one of the largest direct selling operations in the region.

    (Source: YOUR LINK HERE)

    BEIJING, PR China -- Border trade between China's southwestern Guangxi region and Vietnam hit a record 3.136 billion yuan (US$378 million) in 1996, up 17.9% from the previous year, according to the China Business Times last month.

    Trade through deals reached at border fairs soared, with imports up 61% (to 588 million yuan) while exports rose 46.4% (to 751 million yuan) in 1996.

    China imported more than 40 commodities from Vietnam, including: copper ore, manganese ore, timber and rubber. Major exports to Vietnam from China included finished products such as: bicycles, sewing machines and cloth -- products that can be used in daily commerce and transport. Beer was among the other major exports from China to Vietnam.

    ($1 is about 8.3 yuan)

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    LONDON, UK -- Direct mail has become the 3rd largest form of advertising in Great Britain, according to the Direct Mail Information Service (DMIS), behind only television and print. UK companies spent more than US$2.24 billion (1.4 bil pounds) in 1996 -- a record level for the UK. British companies spent more on direct mail in 1996 than on radio, movie theatre advertisements and billboards combined.

    The food and drink category was among the most successful (compared with an analysis of the automotive, travel, appliances, retail, household goods, food and drink categories) -- with over 60% of recipients actually acting upon the mail they received. All other categories reported results above 25%. Remarkably, 90% of consumers who purchased goods through direct mail last year said they would buy from the same vendor again -- indicating an impressively brand loyal audience.
    (Source: YOUR LINK HERE)

    GERMANY -- Germany's trade figures are showing remarkable improvement, largely due to changes in currency exchange rates. Exports continue to play a major role in Germany's economic recovery, and sources predict that Germany may be headed for another record-breaking year of exports in 1997. Exports increased by 6.4% and imports by 5.5% for the first two months of the year, rising to DM 132.2 billion (US$76.9 bil) and DM117.4 billion (US$68.3 bil), respectively.
    (Source: YOUR LINK HERE)
    BRAZIL -- Beginning next year, Hitachi announced plans to begin selling and manufacturing domestic use room air conditioners in Brazil.
    (Source: YOUR LINK HERE)
    GLOBAL -- International business is on the rise, with strong growth evident even among smaller and mid-sized companies throughout the USA. And most US-based Fortune 500 companies derive at least half their revenues from international sales. It is a wonder that so many of these companies overlook the importance of minimizing risk through thoughtful, fundamental market planning and consumer research. For example, when Quaker Oats launched its Snapple beverages brand into Japan, they neglected to effectively account for local consumer tastes, lifestyles and preferences.

    Similar to local quick service hamburger restaurants in Japan that sell smaller (than US) sized hamburgers, beverages are also typically packaged in smaller sized containers. Quaker Oats invested heavily in market development, but the product didn't sell and was ultimately pulled from the Japanese market. Three consumer-related obstacles were:

    • Bottle size (too large)
    • Flavor (too sweet)
    • Sediments at the bottom of bottle (distasteful and unacceptable)
    In addition to: basic market information, legal issues, competitive climate, economic and political as well as social issues, cultural dynamics and a solid understanding of local business etiquette - which are essential to any successful global product introduction - it is equally important to conduct and evaluate reliable consumer research to assess local receptivity, preferences, cultural nuances, product standardization issues (i.e. package size, color, aroma, texture) and breadth of intangible benefits that range from branding and imagery to emotional appeal and market acceptance.

    PANGAEA specializes in consumer marketing insights and integrates the full spectrum of business intelligence into thoughtful market launch programs for its clients.

    (Source: YOUR LINK HERE)

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    LAST MINUTE TRAVEL BARGAINS -- Special Discounted Fares

    American Airlines' Net SAAver International offers last minute travel bargains for travelers departing from the USA. You can schedule a last minute meeting or a weekend getaway to selected destinations throughout Europe, the Caribbean, Central America or South America each week and benefit from these discounted rates.

    Through this program, you can fly at discounted rates, as long as you can plan to travel on short notice. These low round-trip fares are good for travel only on the dates specified. They expire on Fridays. Check back each Monday for the week's destinations!

    From Dallas/Ft. Worth (DFW) to:

  • US$200 -- Acapulco, Mexico (ACA)
  • US$239 -- Guadalajara, Mexico (GDL)

    From Miami (MIA) to:

  • US$260 -- Belize City, Belize (BZE)
  • US$569 -- Buenos Aires, Argentina (EZE)
  • US$247 -- Guayaquil, Ecuador (GYE)
  • US$285 -- San Jose, Costa Rica (SJO)
  • US$323 -- Tegucigalpa, Honduras (TGU)

    [Restrictions apply. Check with American Airlines for details.]

    To take advantage of these fares, you must depart on Thursday or Friday, June 5-6, 1997. Thursday departures return anytime the following Monday and Friday departures return anytime the following Monday/Tuesday. Call 1-800-344-6702 and ask for Net SAAver International Fares to book your flight. Or subscribe to their mailing list for more information.

    You can also read the latest news about Travel & Tourism.

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