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Bauer, Garden Escape

in co-promotion

Eddie Bauer and Garden Escape (www.garden.com) are partnering in a retail promotion through May 18 that offers contest participants the chance to win $1,000 in garden resources. Garden Escape's Web site is advertised on select pages within all May editions of Eddie Bauer catalogs as well as through point of purchase materials in the more than 400 Bauer retail outlets in the U.S. and Canada.

Time Warner to kill

FSN by yearend

Time Warner Cable will shut down its Full Service Network interactive TV system in Orlando by yearend. The service allowed some 4,000 subscribers to order video on demand, play interactive games, order pizzas and bank online. Pizza Hut and Barnett Bank were among the few marketers that participated in the service, which launched in December 1994 but proved too costly to roll out.

Online services settle FTC charges

America Online, CompuServe and Prodigy Services Corp. will settle Federal Trade Commission charges that all three companies mishandled automatic credit card debit procedures from free service trial offers, according to a May 1 statement from the FTC. The FTC stated that all three services "must disclose clearly and prominently any obligation to cancel [service] to avoid charges, and provide at least one reasonable means of canceling." The settlement bars them from advertising free access unless the services also make clear that consumers must cancel after the free period to avoid charges.

FreeLoader proves tough to unload

Individual Inc. is having trouble selling FreeLoader. Individual said in its first-quarter earnings report last week that "the abundance of companies promoting push technology has dramatically confused the market" and made a sale difficult. FreeLoader CEO Mark Pincus said last month that the company was close to being sold (AA, April 21). Individual reported a net loss of $4.7 million for the quarter ended March 31.

Gates poses as pal to newspaper industry

In a speech at the Newspaper Association of America conference last week, Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates compared his company's local-market service, Sidewalk, to weekly entertainment listings, not newspapers. "Don't think of Microsoft as a primary competitor; think of us as someone who can provide software tools," Mr. Gates told the 1,200 attendees. The argument seemed to carry little weight with the publishers, many of whom publish such magazines as well.

Other news:

The National Hockey League will use Accipiter's Web ad management software for its Web site.

. . . The Wall Street Journal this week is expected to form an online alliance with SmartMoney.

. . . Bruce Judson, former general manager of Time Inc. New Media, joined CellularVision USA as chief marketing officer.

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