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Epicurious.com kicks off holiday print ads

Conde Nast Publications' Epicurious.com food site is launching a holiday print campaign in November magazines that appeal to food enthusiasts. Created by Resource Marketing, Columbus, Ohio, the ads will appear in Architectural Digest, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Gourmet and Martha Stewart Living, among other publications.

The ads try to take a humorous approach, showing things consumers should avoid doing in preparing recipes. Punchy cutlines on the ads include: "Your turkey is supposed to put people to sleep after they eat it," and "Cranberry. Not CanBerry."

Avenue A opens doors of consulting group

Seattle-based Interactive media company Avenue A, today unveils the Avenue A Consulting Group. The unit is designed to broaden Avenue A's services to include customer analysis, as well as ways to counsel clients on return on investment strategies. The consulting group will use the company's Atlas Technology Suite, which was introduced last week, and automates the analysis of marketing campaigns for ROI.

DoubleClick rolls e-mail suite of products

On the heels of its recent announcement to acquire e-mail list company NetCreations, Internet ad management company DoubleClick is launching two new e-mail products as part of its yearlong strategy to ramp up efforts in the category, providing everything from back-end technology and front-end media under the DoubleClick e-Mail umbrella. The new DARTmail Publisher adapts DoubleClick's banner ad-targeting technology to e-mail, enabling marketers to dynamically target ads in e-mail newsletters to reach a certain audience, rather than use blanket sponsorships.

The technology will be used by the new DoubleClick e-Mail Network, an aggregate of 140 e-mail newsletters from 36 publishers, enabling publishers to customize content -- against which DoubleClick will sell ads -- for different audiences based on six subject categories including automotive, business and travel.

HotSocket taps power of media providers

Online direct-marketing company HotSocket will begin partnering with media providers to create and drive campaigns for clients, including offline direct marketers looking to acquire customers on the Web and online marketers seeking better results. By combining back-end technology and information with media companies, HotSocket plans to increase accountability on media spending. Partners are undisclosed.

Best Buy breaks spot touting Web site

Best Buy Co., the nation's No. 1 technology retailer, flags its online store, BestBuy.com, in the 30-second "Dog" spot breaking this week. The comical spot features a dog home alone, bored, until he gets online and orders some consumer electronics from BestBuy.com. His puzzled owners come home to find several empty boxes and one contented dog. Voice-over: "Buy online, return in the store. BestBuy.com." Tagline: "Now wasn't that easy?" Spending was undisclosed. This represents the first work for the BestBuy.com brand. It was created by Tribal DDB, the interactive arm of DDB Worldwide, New York. Credits for TV spot: John Staffen, copywriter and art director.

F.Y.I.

Stamps.com Chairman-CEO John Payne resigned last week, leaving former U.S. Postmaster General Marvin Runyon as acting chairman. The dot-com's president-chief operating officer Loren Smith also stepped down from his position. . . . MaMaMedia.com laid off 40% of its 110-member staff last week. . . Grey Advertising-owned interactive agency Beyond Interactive, Ann Arbor, Mich., laid off 60 people, about 15% of its staff. . . . Ga-zoontite.com filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in San Francisco. The site plans to keep open its five U.S. retail stores. . . . Texaco took a minority stake in Red Sky, a San Francisco-based Web shop. Texaco has a two-year contract with Red Sky for e-business consulting. Omnicom Group's Communicade division is also an investor in Red Sky.

Chat . . .

Playing a dirge for the dot-coms: In the last month, the unmistakable funereal notes of "Taps" have become a familiar sound to listeners of "Future Tense," a technology news program delivered from Minnesota Public Radio to public radio stations across the U.S. Reporter and "Future Tense" producer and host Jon Gordon admits using "Taps" to introduce a segment on the demise of dot-coms "came from my sick and twisted brain," but in his view, what better way to summarize the recent implosion of dot-coms? "I definitely wanted to mark the end of the dot-coms as we have known them," he says.

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