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Three major marketers-Olympus, Nokia and 1-800-Flowers-sponsored's first live Internet coverage of New Year's Eve festivities in New York City's Times Square. offered three elements in the Webcast, said Adam Sohn, director of MSN's global sales and marketing: a live TV feed, camera shots of street events and crowd reactions in and around Times Square and coverage by local pop radio DJ, Romeo, from radio station Z100. Romeo's coverage was run like a radio call-in program, to which visitors e-mailed comments and questions. The New Year's coverage, which was on the MSN home page, ran from 6 P.M. on Dec. 31 until just after the ball dropped from One Times Square at 12:15 a.m. on Jan. 1. Jennifer Caccavo, spokeswoman for 1-800-Flowers, said the floral marketer decided to sign on as a sponsor because the online New Year's Eve ad buy was cheaper than TV. QwikFIND aaq21j

LG Mobile Phones buys into `24' game

Online gaming publisher WildTangent has launched an Internet game for the season premiere of the Fox TV series "24" that features branded product placement by LG Mobile Phones. LG purchased inventory from Fox on the game as it would any media buy, said Dave Madden, exec VP-sales and marketing at WildTangent. Terms of the deal were not available. Product-placement buys such as LG's typically cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Fox show features Jack Bauer, played by Kiefer Sutherland, who heads a counter-terrorist unit looking to foil plots against the U.S. The game, which went live yesterday at, lets the gamer play the role of Bauer, and reminds the player to tune in to the premiere of the series' fourth season Jan. 9 and 10. In the game, Bauer communicates with his team using an LG phone, the LG VX8000, which the company will put on the market in January. The phone features streaming audio and video, high-speed Internet access and a digital camera. LG billboards also occur along the highway. WildTangent will track how many visitors play "24 Countdown," how long they spend there and how many times they return. WildTangent will also measure how long gamers spend lingering over the LG device and whether they click through to the LG corporate site. QwikFIND aaq20t

Bollore loan based on Havas shares

Vincent Bollore, head of Paris-based Bollore Group, rekindled speculation that he will increase his financial stake in, and potentially his influence on, the management of Havas, the a parent of Euro RSCG Worldwide, Arnold Worldwide and media-buying entity MPG. Last week, Bollore Group consolidated all the Havas shares it had previously purchased through four of its entities and used some of them, 55.1 million, as collateral for a 200 million euro ($272 million) bank loan. Mr. Bollore has bought shares of the Paris-headquartered Havas since summer and holds 86.4 million shares, worth about 350 million euros or $476 million, according to Bollore Group. The loan, a spokesman for Bollore Group said, will be used to invest in media-related businesses. A company spokesman would not comment. The lender to Bollore Group, described in a company press release as a "leading French financial establishment," is believed to be Societe Generale, Paris. A spokeswoman for the bank would not comment. QwikFIND aaq21i

Drug Office wants ad funds increased

The latest findings of a study of drug, tobacco and alcohol use by children indicates drug use has declined for the third-straight year, and the White House "drug czar" pointed to the effectiveness of a youth anti-drug media campaign. John Walters, who heads the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, said the findings justify additional spending on the campaign. The "Monitoring the Future" study, from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, is the government's official annual survey of teen drug, alcohol and cigarette use. The creative for the youth campaign comes from the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, and Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote Cone & Belding, New York, is ONDCP's new agency. Lloyd Johnston, the University of Michigan researcher who conducted the study for the National Institute on Drug Abuse, also said the advertising was one of the reasons for the declining drug rate. QwikFIND aaq20s


The Washington Post Co. will acquire online magazine Slate from Microsoft Corp. The deal is expected to close this month. QwikFIND aaq20q. ... Rich Stoddart, marketing-communications manager of Ford Motor Co.'s Ford Division, was named president of Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett USA, Chicago. QwikFIND aaq20m

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