INDUSTRY AND Trade Minister Eli Yishai should have remembered an old Biblical lesson that forbidden fruit tastes sweetest when he warned the Steimatzky chain that desecrating the Sabbath for the release and sale of the latest and last book in the Harry Potter series would meet with heavy penalties. Although it was certainly not his intention to generate greater interest in the count-down event of the wee small hours between Friday night and Saturday morning, that's exactly what he did by making a hullabaloo out of the issue. He could have just as easily imposed a fine and said nothing. This way, he inadvertently persuaded more people to join in the fun. STEIMATZKY'S NEW policy since its take-over by Markstone, is to enter into strategic alliances with other companies for joint promotion campaigns. This time around Steimatzky is conducting a marketing campaign with Cellcom. CEOs of the two companies Iris Barel and Amos Shapira invited clients to a launch of their new project with Shapira explaining that although Cellcom is a heavy supporter of the local music industry, it wants to get involved with culture on a larger scale and books were naturally the next step. ADVERTISING A bank has become a big thing with people in the communications and entertainment industries, and it's causing a certain amount of confusion among their fans who are having trouble sorting out the difference between advertising hype and reality. Gullibility can be a costly disease. Yair Lapid has been promoting Bank Hapoalim for quite some time - which is not entirely ethical, considering that he's also a journalist. Gadi Sukenik's colleagues were reportedly angry that he did not immediately suspend himself when he began negotiating with Leumi Mortgage Bank to head its advertising campaign. Mudi Bar-On, who is promoting Bank Discount for the sixth successive season, is fortunate in having good script writers, but his sense of authenticity could be misinterpreted as a con job by fans who believe the message in the commercial, simply because Bar-On is the star. And then there's Assi Cohen, who has recently started to convince television viewers and newspaper readers that the International Bank is in their best interest. Has anyone ever thought of introducing a law barring certain products and services from being endorsed by celebrities? APROPOS BANK Leumi, its jet-setting private banking team is flying around the world to meet overseas clients and touch base with its representatives abroad. Not only that, but the value added to these visits is a prominent Israeli speaker who addresses a gathering in the city being visited and talks about the Iranian nuclear threat, the peace process or something else pertinent to Israel's future. Thus, when the team went to Germany, they took Israel Television's intellectual news and current affairs anchor David Vitstum. In Paris, the star attraction was former Israel Ambassador to France Meir Rosenne. More recently, the team went to Montreal, where Leumi CEO Galia Maor and head of the bank's overseas private banking division Zvi Itzkovich hosted some 200 leading Jewish business people, including architect and real estate developer David Azrieli, at a glittering reception at Club Mount Stephen, an impressive 19th century mansion owned by business tycoon and philanthropist Mike Yuval. The lecturer on this occasion was Israel's former Consul General in New York Alon Pinkas, who before becoming a diplomat, was a member of The Jerusalem Post editorial staff. Guests were also entertained by Azrieli's daughter, Sharon, a trained opera singer, who sang several arias to everyone's delight. WHEN THE Rami-Lee chain of maternity stores opened several years back, it specialized not only in maternity clothes but in fashionable items for larger sized women. More recently the company has gone to the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of size and has developed a new line called Baby, which caters to infants from newborn to 24 months. Here too, the company is marketing fashion as much as size by specializing in dresses for baby girls. The Baby line comes in three categories: Newborn, Basic and Fashion. The latter includes cute little dresses, on the premise that if Mommy is wearing dresses again because they're in vogue, so can baby. MALE MODELS Raz Meirman and Nir Lavi have been chosen to head the Polgat Menswear Fall-Winter campaign for 2007-2008. The two will be featured in new season's garments produced under the Daniel Hechter and Max Moretti labels. The campaign, which is being handled by Glickman, Netler and Samsonov, includes a catalogue, newspaper advertisements and fliers which will be distributed at sales points. Polgat is part of the Golf&Co Group. SOMETIMES YOU have to be careful with whom you're photographed. Hagit Adler, Marketing Manager for Tnuva Dairies, was photographed with Dora, the popular figure whose likeness will now grace Tnuva products for children. Adler said she hoped her own children would not see that particular photo because they would never forgive her for not having taken them to the studio for the shoot.