|EUROPE'S ONLINE RATE TO NEARLY DOUBLE BY 2003|
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands -- It is expected that 33% of Europeans (or 60 million people)
will be online by the year 2003, compared with only 19% today (approx. 33.9 million). And while the rate
of growth will be different from country to country, it appears that the motivations are similar across borders,
ranging from the need for entertainment to security needs, from information access to convenience or
status, and so forth -- needs which are shared across borders.
Likewise, while online usage patterns are similar from country to country (i.e. using the internet for email, searching the web, using search engines, and visiting company/product sites are most popular in each country), there are cultural differences. For example, according to Forrester Research, German users are twice as likely to buy books online as the Dutch. The British are twice as likely to purchase airline tickets online as Swedes . Germans using the web at home are online for almost as long as the average American, but the French are least likely to use the web for finding company or product information, or to buy online at all.
Despite the local differences, it is clear that the internet is becoming widely accepted around the globe for a variety of uses, including communication, commerce, information dissemination and sharing, etc. -- and we will finally realize this when people stop referencing the web/internet for their activities -- just as we rarely say we are going to call someone 'using a telephone'. It is simply understood.
US BABY BOOMLET IS STRONGEST AMONG WOMEN AGE 30+
CHICAGO, IL, USA -- There are so many new babies it seems. Looking around the streets of Manhattan, passers-by ask whether the baby boomlet is real or imagined. Well, the statistics are in.... and they reveal that the number of live births in the United States has definitely increased. In 1998 there were 3,944,046 babies born, a 2% gain over the previous year. With a declining death rate, the overall U.S. population grew by 1,605,976 (exclusive of immigration). This birth rate increase is the first since 1990, halting the steady decline in the number of births, birth rates and fertility rates in the 1990s.
The most notable gain was among women in their 30s. They had the highest birth rates in 30 years, up to 87.5 per 1000 (ages 30 - 34) and 37.4 per 1000 (ages 35 - 39). The birth rate for women ages 40 - 44 was also up -- to 7.3 per 1000. This was almost twice the lowpoint of 3.8/1000 in 1981.
Despite concerns in the early '80s that women were going to choose careers over children, these statistics reveal that women have managed to have it all. Women from the baby boom generation married later and are having children later in life -- after spending a decade or two in the job market. This new 'boomlet' presents tremendous opportunities in all sectors of commerce, education and politics when today's 'boomlet' comes of age.
ATLANTA, GA, USA -- Coca Cola's Chairman & CEO, M. Douglas Ivester, has decided to retire after 2 1/2 years with the company. He will be replaced by a longtime Coke executive, Douglas N. Daft, an Australian with broad experience in Coke's overseas markets. Daft will be the first non-American to headup Coke -- a classic U.S. cultural icon.
While this has been one of Coke's most difficult years in decades (with the contamination scare in Europe and stock prices dropping but since recovering), Ivester's departure was unexpected. He will remain on as a consultant to the company through May 2001.
TOKYO, Japan -- Japan's advertising industry, valued at about 5.7 trillion yen (world ad business estimated at US$26 bil), is now focusing on developing stronger global partnerships for broader exposure outside of Japan. Many Japanese ad agencies have formed relationships with US partners seeking a presence in Japan, but due to resulting local competition, the Japanese agencies are now branching out to US partners for a western presence. For example, the market leader, Dentsu, announced plans to buy a 20% share of Chicago, USA's Leo Group for about US$500 million. Dentsu has also had a relationship with Young & Rubicam since the early '80s, but has not had a strong presence in the US or European markets. Their venture with the Leo Group is expected to change that and give Dentsu a global presence, and a sales increase of about 300 bil yen over the next three years.
Merging US and Japanese advertising businesses requires high-level skill as they are fundamentally different -- from cultural as well as business issues. For example, in Japan, the agency receives payment from the media companies handling their clients' ads. But a US agency is paid directly from the advertisers. Similarly, Japanese companies can handle many clients in the same industry, but US agencies are generally prohibited from doing this due to concerns of revealing trade secrets to competitors. Moreover, the nature of the work is different in US vs. Japanese firms. To function well together, global standards will need to be developed that can work well in both cultures. To this end, Dentsu has created separate units to handle competing clients and keep confidential information private, while handling accounts for more than one company in an industry.
In Japan, television media dominates advertising spending, accounting for about 1,950 bil yen, followed by newspaper, 1,178 bil yen and
new media at 21 bil yen. Dentsu is the industry leader, with 21% of the market, followed by Hakuhodo, 12%.
NEW VIETNAMESE LAW PERMITS WORKING ABROAD
HANOI, Vietnam -- A new law passed in Vietnam permits employees to work abroad, and to get
contract approval within 3 days. This allows Vietnamese businesses to more easily meet the needs of their foreign
partners. The law sets up guidelines for the worker and the agency. For example,
the agency is required to provide language training before the worker goes abroad. And each would be fined if
they break their commitments.
Statistics show that during the last four years Ho Chi Minh City residents working overseas brought back an estimated US$150 million to Vietnam, with a worker being able to save an average of US$10,000 over two years. Since 1991 nearly 14,000 people were sent overseas to work by 15 HCM City-based labour export agencies, particularly to Japan and the Republic of Korea.
It is expected that up to 10 new labour export agencies will begin operating next year and that
Taiwan will become a more popular destination for Vietnamese workers. As
a result of these developments HCM City aims to send 7,000 workers abroad
next year, 12,000 in 2001 increasing to 15,000 in 2002.
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