The week in marketing: 18 November

LONDON - A weekly roundup of major news from the world of marketing.

Tsingtao to back Monkey

Tsingtao, the Chinese beer, has agreed a deal to sponsor the Chin-ese Circus Opera, Monkey: Journey to the West, which runs at London's O2 Arena until 5 December.

The production is a stage adaptation of 16th-century Chinese novel Journey to the West by Wu Cheng'en, produced in a collaboration between former Blur frontman Damon Albarn and British artist Jamie Hewlett. The pair also created animated band Gorillaz.

An excerpt from the Monkey work was used during the BBC's coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games; the animated sequence was called Journey to the East.

Ryanair's prepay card

Ryanair is launching a branded prepaid card that entitles users to four free flights with the airline. The Ryanair Master-Card, created in partnership with M-Cube, offers discounts and benefits with brands including Ticket-master, Car-phone Warehouse, HMV and Marks & Spencer.

Puma briefs Droga5

Puma has appointed ad agency Droga5 to its global advertising account. The sports-wear brand's high-profile sponsor-ship deals include a tie with Olympic 100m and 200m champion Usain Bolt.

O'Connor in Tesco ads

Tesco has hired TV veteran Des O'Connor to front its Christmas TV campaign. The ad, created by The Red Brick Road, shows O'Connor walking through a store, singing The Christmas Song, made famous by Nat King Cole.

Sky in mobile ties

Sky has agreed mobile advertising deals with Adidas and Fiat. The two brands will advertise across Sky portals such as Sky Sports, Sky News and Football 365. The deals follow an agreement between Sky and mobile operators Vodafone and T-Mobile to enable advertising through its mobile channels.

Mirror's Edge launch

EA Games has launched a global campaign to promote the launch of Mirror's Edge, an action-adventure video game for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Activity created by Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam will run across TV, cinema, digital, banners and print channels.

Aviva hires Gooding

Insurer Aviva has expanded its marketing team ahead of the 2009 rebrand of Norwich Union. Jan Gooding has joined as marketing operations director from the role of interim marketing director at British Gas, with a brief spanning brand, customer and marketing communications and billing.

Sainsbury's book row

Sainsbury's has issued an apology to parents for passing on adult content in books that it handed out to children to boost their environmental aware-ness. One of the books, How to Change the World for £5, features illustrations of sexual positions to try in the bath in a chapter about saving water.

Hilton picks chief

Hilton has recruited Paul Brown as president of global brands and shared services. Brown, who is president of Expedia North America and its partner services group, will join Hilton next month.

COI science push

The COI is launching a campaign for the Department for Children, Schools and Families encouraging 11- to 16-year-olds to study core subjects. Ads highlight the importance of maths and science to 'cool careers' in the mobile phone and computer games industries.

Orange gift box offer

Orange is running a gift box offer supported by outdoor and online activity. It will give away free texts, a Christmas phone stocking, a photo frame and a watch to new and upgrading pay-as-you-go customers.

Times book scheme

The Times is to re-open its Books for Schools campaign to all UK schools in January, after a four-year hiatus. The newspaper has partnered with Scholastic Book Clubs for the promotion, which will be supported by TV and press ads.

Barnardo's shock ads

Barnardo's will focus on misunderstood children in a campaign comprising TV and digital activity created by Bartle Bogle Hegarty. The 'Break the Cycle' TV ad will air on 24 November. An online video, 'Hunting', breaks this week and shows a group of men shooting at children in a dramatisation of real comments posted about chil-dren and young people on newspaper websites.

Cadbury 2012 ire

Cadbury's sponsorship of the 2012 Olympics has been met with outrage by workers at one of its plants, which faces closure. Cadbury plans to shut the Keynsham factory near Bristol by 2010, axing 500 jobs.

Co-op's charity bag

The Co-operative has launch-ed a limited-edition Fair-trade bag. All profits from sales of the pink bag will go to the Wings of Hope charity, which provides education to poor and orphaned children in India and Malawi.

Specsavers plays card

Specsavers has parodied Barclaycard's Waterslide TV campaign with a YouTube viral. In its spoof version, rather than grace-fully gliding down the flume, a man finds himself hurtling down a builders' waste chute before ending up in a skip. The 'Should've gone to Specsavers' strapline appears as a muffled cry of 'Bo*****s' emanates from the skip.

Page 3 jewellery

The Sun newspaper is launch-ing a Page 3-branded range of diamond jewellery that includes earrings, pend-ants, bracelets and watches. Prices range from £25 to £150.

According to a survey of Sun readers, 28% said they would rather buy Page 3 jewellery than Play-boy jewellery. The range will be sold in Harveys and Thomp-son jewellers and online.

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