MSN BOLSTERS ANTI-AOL OFFENSIVE

Effort Includes $10 Million Print, Online and Direct Mail Campaign

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Microsoft Corp. today said it's ramping up its efforts to switch Web users from America Online to its MSN online service with a new $10 million print campaign and a host of new tech tools to make leaving AOL less traumatic.

Microsoft is offering AOL subscribers free use of a suite of tools from TrueSwitch, which allows users to move data from their AOL address books and calendar features into their new MSN account. Users making the switch can also have e-mail forwarded from their old AOL address for 30 days.

$10 million campaign
Microsoft will bolster the tools' availability with a new print, Internet and direct mail campaign valued at $10 million.

The print component, which goes up this week, will

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run in USA Today, Martha Stewart Living, The New Yorker and Newsweek, among others. The print ad features the stark headline "With new hassle-free switching tools, leaving AOL is, well, hassle-free" and attach the tagline "More useful everyday" to the MSN logo.

MSN has been running "switch"-themed ads for nearly a year. The creative for the ads come courtesy of Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann-Erickson Worldwide, San Francisco, which is the lead agency for the account.

America Online is the online division of AOL Time Warner.

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