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A sampling of news items in the promotion marketing field.

American Express Co. this week begins a five-week sweepstakes promotion in Chicago, offering chances for weekly $10,000 credits to customers of 100 participating restaurants who "Pick Up the Check" with AmEx. Instant win game pieces also offer discounts on future dining at the restaurants. The promotion, a test that might be expanded to additional markets, is co-sponsored by the Tribune Co., which promotes it with a dining guide in the Chicago Tribune and TV spots on WGN-TV, via Gams Advertising.

Subway Sandwich & Salad Shops is boosting its kids marketing effort with two fall promotions from Johnson Grossfield Promotional Marketing, Minneapolis. A back-to-school tie-in to the animated TV program "Inspector Gadget" offers premiums of four collectible figures. A Halloween promotion gives kids a "Spook-Tacular" reflective candy bag and a toy with a Subway Kids Pak meal purchase.

Luby's Cafeteria, San Antonio, Texas, recently kicked off an in-restaurant sweepstakes promotion with Southwest Airlines targeting those 65 and older. The sweepstakes offers 37 first-prize winners a pair of round-trip airline tickets on Southwest; second-prize winners will receive a free lunch or dinner for two at Luby's each month for a year. The promotion, coordinated in-house, will be touted inside 176 Luby's locations in the Southwest.

Tombstone Pizza Corp., Northfield, Ill., and Twentieth Century Fox Licensing & Merchandising are teaming up this fall to offer pizza eaters a free poster based on Fox's "The Simpsons." Consumers can get a "Simpsons" poster by mailing in three proofs of purchase per poster, promoted on 12 million Tombstone Pizza packages through Halloween. Solarz Advertising, Deerfield, Ill., designed creative elements of the promotion, also developed in-house by both marketers.

Account activity: Miller Brewing Co., Milwaukee, to Market Growth Resources, Wilton, Conn., from several shops for key promotion marketing assignments, including national promotions for Miller Genuine Draft and various Miller projects in the Eastern U.S.

Kate Fitzgerald coordinates Promotion Marketing News. Reach us by fax at (312) 649-5331 or via e-mail at K8FITZ@aol.com.

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