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Talk of the day

By TIMES WIRES
Published January 10, 2007


Lancome enlists hard-working actor

British actor Clive Owen will be the face in ads for Lancome's new men's grooming products, including a fragrance and anti-aging skin-care line. Lancome chose Owen, who stars in Universal's Children of Men, not because of his tall, dark and handsome look but because of his talent and work ethic, said Odile Roujol, general manager of Lancome International. Owen, 42, was nominated for an Oscar for his role in 2004's Closer. Owen's ad campaigns for Hypnose Homme, a men's fragrance with top notes of mint and cardamom, and Lancome Men skin products will launch in the spring.

YouTube back on in Brazil after ban

A Brazilian judge reversed course Tuesday and lifted an order that led to a ban of YouTube across much of the country because a sexy video of supermodel Daniela Cicarelli and her boyfriend kept circulating against the boyfriend's wishes. Justice Enio Santarelli Zuliani asked telecommunications companies and Internet providers across Latin America's largest nation to stop blocking the popular video-sharing site immediately. He also wanted to know why the companies can't simply prevent the video from being seen without pulling the plug on the entire site. The widely viewed video shows Cicarelli and Brazilian banker Renato Malzoni in intimate scenes along a beach near the Spanish city of Cadiz. Cicarelli, one of the country's best-known models, hosts a show on Brazilian MTV and was previously engaged to soccer great Ronaldo, who plays for Spain's famous Real Madrid team.

Wal-Mart ads tout working benefits

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the largest U.S. private employer, has rolled out two television commercials nationwide that tout the benefits the company provides families and communities as it faces demands to boost pay and health coverage. The 30- and 60-second advertisements, titled Sam's Dream and One Company, show employees talking about the jobs the company creates and contributions it makes to charities. Wal-Mart debuted the ads in Tucson, Ariz., and Omaha, Neb., last August as part of an effort to promote the company as it came under attack from politicians including Democratic Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn.

Nuclear power not Euros' cup of tea

Only 20 percent of Europeans favor the use of nuclear power as an energy source, according to a European Union poll released this week. The survey indicates that a large majority favor the use of renewable energy sources such as solar power, wind energy and hydroelectric energy as viable energy sources in the years ahead. Last winter's energy shortages because of a pipeline dispute between Ukraine and Russia, and problems over another pipeline between Belarus and Russia this month have forced the issue of drafting a common energy policy to the top of the EU agenda.