BURNETT FORMS GROUP TO STUDY INTERACTIVE; KNIGHT-RIDDER JOINS BELL ATLANTIC TEST; CHRYSLER TEST ON IN FARES WELL; BELL ATLANTIC-TCI DEAL NEAR DONE

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Burnett forms group

to study interactive

Leo Burnett Co., Chicago, is establishing an Interactive Marketing Group to help clients identify strategies and opportunities in interactive media and marketing. The group is an outgrowth of an interactive task force Burnett formed last year and reiterates the agency's aggressive commitment to interactive marketing. Burnett already is working with some clients, notably General Motors Corp.'s Oldsmobile division and McDonald's Corp., on interactive programs. Six Burnett executives will devote part of their time to the group: Rishad Tobaccowala, VP-account director and the group's leader; Bob Brennan, VP-media director; Jayne Spittler, VP-director of media research; David Olson, VP-group research director; Ward Mulroy, associate creative director; and Tig Tillinghast, technology associate.

Knight-Ridder joins Bell Atlantic test

Bell Atlantic Corp.'s Video Services Co. last week announced an alliance with newspaper publisher Knight-Ridder to explore the delivery of news, information and advertising services for Bell Atlantic's Stargazer consumer interactive multimedia service. The alliance, which is not exclusive, allows Knight-Ridder to work with Bell Atlantic on developing interactive information services ranging from news, weather, sports and business to classified advertising. The services will be added by early 1995 to the Stargazer video-on-demand system being readied for rollout later this year. Stargazer is now testing in markets including Alexandria, Va.

Chrysler test on IN fares well

Nearly 61% of participants in Chrysler Corp.'s post-Super Bowl interactive survey expressed interest in the new Neon, Chrysler said. The automaker said 689 people, totaling 14% of Interactive Network's 5,100 subscribers, participated, keying in answers to questions on IN's laptop device. The survey, Chrysler's first use of interactivity, was designed to test viewer recall and reaction to the three Neon commercials that ran during the Super Bowl. Chrysler said 95% of the people who played along with the football game on IN participated in the survey.

Bell Atlantic-TCI deal near done

Bell Atlantic Corp. and Tele-Communications Inc. last week said they have "resolved major issues" regarding the merger announced last October and will proceed to finalize it. Although the merger was expected to be concluded last month, the companies expect to sign a definitive merger agreement "in the next two weeks," a Bell Atlantic spokeswoman said.

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