BMW'S MGM PROMOTION DEAL PUTS 007 IN Z8 DRIVER'S SEAT: $20 MIL BACKS SLEEK ROADSTER INVOLVED IN NEW JAMES BOND FILM

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BMW AG has struck a $20 million promotion deal extending its franchise in James Bond movies.

The promotion tying in with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's "The World Is Not Enough," arriving in theaters Nov. 19, will pave the way for BMW's latest sports car, the Z8. The sleek $100,000-plus roadster will bow late this year.

In 1995, BMW launched the Z3, its modest return to the sports car field, with MGM's "GoldenEye," the first of the James Bond movies to star Pierce Brosnan.

"We are very excited to have BMW back as our partner again," said Keith Snelgrove, senior VP of worldwide promotions for MGM.

Mr. Snelgrove wouldn't reveal details of the promotion, except to say that the Z8, like other BMW cars before it, would be in the movie, with Mr. Brosnan in the driver's seat.

SIMILIAR TO 'TOMORROW' PACKAGE

He said this deal is similar to what BMW agreed to for its most recent Bond film, "Tomorrow Never Dies," released in fall 1997.

Bond/BMW promotions previously included sweepstakes, European vacations, licensed merchandise and BMW cars as prizes.

Executives said BMW will spend some $20 million in media worldwide on the promotion, with $8 million of that in the U.S.

For that movie, MGM amassed some $100 million in worldwide media support with additional partners including Ericsson cell phones, Visa International, Omega Watch Co., United Distillers & Vintners' Smirnoff vodka and Heineken USA's beer.

Mr. Snelgrove said other consumer product category deals are coming for the new Bond movie.

MGM's partnership deals for "Tomorrow Never Dies" created some controversy in the marketplace because some TV commercials used Mr. Brosnan as James Bond, blurring the line between selling the movie and selling the products. Some critics said the movie studios were going too far to achieve commercial goals.

ACTORS FORBID USE OF IMAGE

Many A-list actors fear their film being involved in consumer product promotions for just this reason, and forbid studios to use their image in any other way.

As a result of the commotion over the last movie, industry executives said, Mr. Brosnan won't be involved in any TV spots for the new movie's marketing

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