Publicis to buy Razorfish
French advertising company Publicis Groupe SA has agreed to buy Microsoft Corp’s digital advertising firm Razorfish in a move to boost its share of advertising on the Web, a joint statement said on Sunday. The deal is valued at US$530 million, comprised of cash and 6.5 million Publicis Groupe treasury shares. The two companies also signed a five-year strategic alliance agreement that will allow Publicis to purchase display and search advertising from Seattle-based Microsoft on favorable terms across Microsoft’s digital properties in exchange for certain minimum guaranteed purchases. Under terms of that agreement, Razorfish will continue to be a preferred provider to Microsoft for digital strategy, creative and marketing services and Microsoft has committed to spend a minimum amount for those services each year. In addition to Microsoft, Razorfish’s major clients include Ford Motor Co, Best Buy Co, McDonald’s Corp and Starwood Hotels Resorts Worldwide Inc. Razorfish will continue to operate under its brand name and be part of VivaKi, the new Publicis Groupe entity created in June last year to reflect independent operations of Digitas, Starcom MediaVest Group, Denuo and ZenithOptimedia.
Aussie boycott threatened
Britain’s leading fashion retailers are threatening to boycott Australian wool after farmers said they would continue sheep mulesing, or cutting of the hide to prevent disease, a report said yesterday. Next and Marks & Spencer are among major chains to condemn the decision as “totally unacceptable,” and have pledged to seek wool from non-mulesed Australian farms, or from other countries, the Guardian newspaper said. Marks & Spencer has pledged to use non-mulesed merino wool for suits in its menswear range after next year. In a letter to Australian wool industry leaders, the retailer is said to have stressed the “2010 deadline is not negotiable and loss of confidence in M&S wool products could well lead to widespread customer boycotting and loss of revenue for the whole supply chain,” the newspaper said. The British Retail Consortium said it was “disappointed” at the announcement by the farmers last month, and at the end of next year its members “will seek to use suppliers who don’t use mulesing.”
BNP appoints China head
BNP Paribas SA said Margaret Ren (任克英) has been appointed chairwoman and chief executive officer of corporate finance for Greater China to expand the investment banking business of France’s biggest lender in the region. Ren’s appointment is effective yesterday, BNP Paribas said. She is a former managing director and chairman of China investment banking at Merrill Lynch & Co. Merrill was bought by Bank of America Corp this year.
Oil hovers at US$71 a barrel
Oil prices hovered near US$71 a barrel yesterday in Asia as investors looked to signs later this week of US consumers health. Benchmark crude for September delivery was up US$0.17 to US$71.10 a barrel by midday in Singapore in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Friday, the contract fell US$1.01 to settle at US$70.93. Crude prices have fluttered near US$71 a barrel and US$72 for about a week as investors try to gauge how strong a US economic recovery will be this year.
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did
The military last week sent “no small number” of Marine Corps officers to the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Island, 東沙群島) following reports of a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) drill targeting the islands scheduled for this month. In an interview with Hong Kong’s Bauhinia Magazine published on Saturday last week, PLA National Defense University professor Li Daguang (李大光) confirmed that the Chinese army was planning to stage a simulated invasion of the Pratas Islands in the South China Sea this month. The islands comprise three atolls, with Pratas Island, at 1.74km2, being the largest. They lie southwest of Taiwan proper in the South