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         On CBS's "Eye to Eye" last night, the feature "Children at
    Work" reported on the violation of child labor laws in Pakistan.
    One of the most flagrant violations is in the production of
    soccer balls sold in the United States.  CBS' Roberta Baskin
    reported that about "half the soccer balls in America are made in
    Pakistan."  The leather is made in the big cities of Pakistan,
    but "the handicraft, the world famous stitching is not done here.
    It is done in the surrounding villages and much of that work is
    done by the children of Pakistan."  Sublime ships balls to the
    U.S. to adidas and Reebok, and the president of Sublime, one of
    the largest soccer ball manufacturers in Pakistan, told CBS they
    have "not allowed" young children to do the stitching on their
    soccer balls.  At the adidas America headquarters in Portland,
    OR, CBS spoke to Tom Kain, who manages the U.S. Soccer Division
    and said "he didn't believe" that children were used to produce
    the balls.  CBS then showed Kain videotape of the young children
    stitching adidas balls.  Kain:  "I'm surprised, and concerned,
    and I guarantee that the adidas company is not going to sit still
    and accept this.  If that situation is improper or not helpful to
    those children we will take a look at it."  Reebok responded in a
    written statement that "both child labor and bonded labor violate
    their human rights policy, and that it has taken immediate action
    to cease business with the Sublime factory pending its own
    investigation" ("Eye to Eye," CBS, 4/6).
         PRE-SPONSE:  The Soccer Industry Council of America released
    a statement prior to the airing of the show accusing CBS of a
    "sensationalists approach."  Their response:  1) Neither SICA nor
    any member companies were aware such a problem existed;  2) CBS
    did not inform SICA or its member companies when the
    investigation began in February.  When Reebok was informed on
    March 23, they  immediately suspended their relationship with
    their Pakistani supplier;  3) SICA is in the process of
    developing guidelines covering the supplier relationship;  4)
    Both adidas and Reebok are concerned about unfair labor practices
    and are committed to investigate the situations raised in the
    report.  Neither company tried to hide anything (SICA).

    Print | Tags: CBS, Reebok, Viacom, Washington Nationals

         Fantasy Play By Play offers sports fans the chance to
    announce great moments in sports and walk away with a souvenir
    videotape of their performance.  The company is presenting a new
    interactive ad opportunity for sponsors with a pro sports tie-in.
    In addition to signage and logos on all printed materials,
    participating sponsors receive a 30-second spot on each souvenir
    videotape.  Sponsorships are currently available for Fantasy Play
    By Play at SEAFAIR in Seattle, the '96 St. Petersburg Grand Prix,
    the U.S. Open Golf Tournament, the new College Football Hall of
    Fame and the '96 Atlanta Olympics (Fantasy Play By Play).


         Nike's "Reuse-A-Shoe" program is profiled in this morning's
    WALL STREET JOURNAL.  The program has recycled more than one
    million used and defective shoes to be used as material to
    resurface basketball courts.  Reebok also has a court resurfacing
    program, but they do not recycle old shoes using the court's
    original material instead.  In Europe, Nike "is aiming to place
    its courts -- and its Swoosh logo   -- in high profile spots,
    perhaps":  Red Square in Moscow, the Old Town in Prague, the
    Czars' Winter Palace in St. Petersburg or in front of the Eiffel
    Tower in Paris (Roger Thurow, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/7).
         AGENCY DANCE:  The current issue of ADWEEK chronicles Nike's
    efforts to get their primary ad agency, Wieden & Kennedy, to
    partner with another agency to handle Nike's overseas accounts.
    W&K eventually teamed up with McCann-Erickson to handle Nike's
    Japanese and European accounts.  Both W&K and McCann have said
    their new arrangement "pertains only to international efforts."
    W&K's Dave Luhr "dismissed recent speculation that McCann plans
    to take a stake in its new partner or buy W&K outright":  "I've
    heard those rumors, too, and they're absolutely not true.  Wieden
    & Kennedy remains an incredibly independent agency.  There have
    never been any talks along those lines" (Noreen O'Leary, ADWEEK,
    4/3 issue).  In other W&K news, the company will open a broadcast
    buying unit in New York with about ten employees.  The unit will
    be headed by Thomas Winner, now Dir of National Broadcast at the
    Busch Media Group, the in-house media unit of Anheuser-Busch
    (N.Y. TIMES, 4/7).

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Nike, Reebok, Wieden Kennedy

         Ryka Inc. is asking L.A. Gear for a short-term loan and is
    seeking to renegotiate the terms of the companies' acquisition
    agreement.  Ryka said, in a statement, that failure to reach a
    revised deal "will result in termination of the merger
    agreement."  Under the deal, L.A. Gear would acquire Ryka for
    cash and stock valued at $16.4M.  The acquisition was scheduled
    to close by this summer.  Ryka said it has exceeded its borrowing
    limit with its primary lender, Heller Financial, and it needs a
    loan from L.A. Gear.  Ryka's "financial woes come at a critical
    time" when athletic-footwear makers begin factory runs for back-
    to-school shipments (Joseph Pereira, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/7).
         TIMBER!  Timberland is featured in today's USA TODAY
    "company spotlight."  The piece notes that Timberland's stick has
    "slumped more than 13% since Tuesday, when the company announced
    that 1st & 2nd quarter earnings would be "significantly below"
    expectations (USA TODAY, 4/7).


         Sunglass Hut International signed Super Bowl XXIX MVP Steve
    Young to a three-year contract to serve as its spokesperson.
    Sunglass Hut is the world's largest sunglass retailer, with more
    than 950 stores worldwide.  Young will endorse Sunglass Hut's
    exclusive SunGear line, and be featured in upcoming marketing
    campaigns for both the store and the brand.  NJ-based Integrated
    Sports Int'l will help implement Young's marketing program
    (Sunglass Hut).


         The Mets repositioned their outfield yesterday, "dropping
    the Marlboro Man to a less visible spot in their Shea Stadium
    advertising lineup."  The idea was to reduce the amount of air
    time the billboard receives on TV.  More than a year ago, New
    York Mayor Rudy Giuliani began pressing for the removal of the
    billboard, saying it had a bad influence on children watching
    Mets games (N.Y. TIMES, 4/7).  Earlier this week, Madison Square
    Garden removed Marlboro signage that was visible during telecasts
    of Knicks games in the face of a Federal lawsuit claiming the
    sign violated a '70s-era law banning cigarette advertising on TV.

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, New York Knicks, New York Mets
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