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1-800-Flowers.com breaks TV in $30 mil effort

1-800-Flowers.com next week breaks TV spots as part of a $20 million to $30 million campaign from Pedone & Partners, New York. The spots promote Mother's Day and take a tongue-in-cheek look at a modern mom's hyperactive childhood and her own mom, who cared for her through it all. The tagline: "Take care of mom." The ads run through May 10 and will air on network and spot-market TV and cable channels, including Arts & Entertainment, E!, Lifetime and Oxygen.

MSN launches site to service advertisers

MSN today launches MSN Media Center (www.mediacenter.com) to improve customer service for MSN's (www.msn.com) national advertisers and help small businesses advertise online. The center lets marketers search for ad space available on properties of the Microsoft Corp. arm; find tips and advice to maximize online ads; and access campaign performance reports via a password-protected area. The free service also will help small businesses buy advertising online.

NorthPoint hypes life in the broadband lane

While many of the Baby Bells are making DSL pitches using the word free, broadband is positioned as a lifestyle in a campaign breaking this week from NorthPoint Communications Group. The company, offering broadband communications via Internet service providers and other partnerships in 37 U.S. markets, breaks with a print effort tagged, "Experience the Internet like never before." One series of executions, headlined "Working broadband," targets small to medium-size businesses. A second effort, headlined "Living broadband," targets consumers. Grey Advertising, San Francisco, is the agency.

Virgin Entertainment dips into free access game

Virgin Entertainment Group today unveils Webplayer by Virginconnect. Virgin is partnering with Internet Appliance Network (www.internetappliance.net) to give away 10,000 Internet appliances to access the Web and send and receive e-mail. Consumers must qualify for the device by filling out a survey and agreeing to receive targeted advertising and offers from merchant partners. The service is free for the first year, then costs $50 annually. Thirty-five merchant partners' sites are highlighted in the Virginconnect browser including: E-Trade Securities, MSN Expedia and Tickets.com. IAN is creating Web ads as well as promotions that Virgin will post in its retail stores. Spending was undisclosed.

F.Y.I.

Yahoo! today unveils the world's la-Z-iest shopper promotion. From a Yahoo! branded La-Z-Boy chair -- equipped with a telephone, massager, refrigerator and Internet access -- the shopper can buy things from merchants featured on Yahoo! Shopping. The promotion, which runs through May 12, is at Rockefeller Center. Featured e-tailers include Bluefly.com, RedEnvelope and Origins. . . . RealNetworks today launches a service to insert ads into live TV broadcasts on the Web. . . . BrandEra.com, a portal for the creative, advertising and marketing community, signed a deal with the Ad Age Group, linking BrandEra with AdAge.com.

Chat. . .

Banner billboards: Dot-coms are a big chunk of the 110 finalists for the Outdoor Advertising Association of America's 2000 Obie Awards. In 1999, there were no dot-com finalists. With billboards along U.S. Highway 101 in Northern California hitting $75,000 a month, is it any wonder?

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