AOL blazes acqusition trail

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Continuing its acquisition spree, America Online on Thursday agreed to scoop up Global Network Navigator from O' Reilly & Associates for $11 million in cash and stock, also acquired the WebCrawler search tool and said it plans to offer a separate branded Internet service. The Internet service will be unveiled in August and will be built around GNN, a commercial publishing site that claims over 180,000 registered subscribers.

Black vodka coming to U.S.
Heublein, Hartford, Conn., will import Smirnoff Black, a super-premium Russian vodka not previously sold in the U.S. Smirnoff Black will be rolled out in nine states next week before full national distribution in October. Publications on the initial ad schedule include Advertising Age and The Wall Street Journal. Created by Cairns & Associates, New York (Grybauskas-Beatrice, New York, bought media), the ads will carry a phone number that consumers can call to win Smirnoff merchandise by taking a quiz on pre-revolutionary Russia. They will also announce events at New York bars where the crowning of "czars" for various industries will take place on June 14. Between $8 million and $10 million has been budgeted for a similar print campaign in October, from Lowe & Partners/SMS, New York.

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