CBS, Fidelity sign multimedia deal valued at $50 mil

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In its most extensive multiproperty deal yet, CBS Corp. has closed a $50 million pact with Fidelity Investments for the financial services company to advertise its products and services over a number of CBS media properties.

As part of the deal, inked by the CBS Plus cross-media sales unit, Fidelity gets a piece of the American Dream--specifically, sponsorship of the new weekly "CBS Evening News With Dan Rather" segment of the same name. The deal, also encompassing radio, local TV, outdoor and online, starts next month and is initially slated to run 16 months.

The 4-to-5-minute news segments will be topical and focus on individuals who personify the American Dream, be it the latest Internet millionaire or a member of the USA's Women's Soccer team. The vignettes will be repackaged for radio and local newscasts on CBS' owned-and-operated TV stations.


Fidelity and its ad agency, Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston, will create ads specifically for "American Dream," said Stephen Cone, Fidelity's president-retail and corporate marketing, who declined to value the overall deal.

The ads "will convey stories about people who have faced adversity and have come out in good shape," Mr. Cone said.

Segments will be introduced as being sponsored by Fidelity with a 60-second spot immediately following each segment, he said.

Mr. Cone said Fidelity is considering plugging the segment in its direct mail program as well.

CBS Plus, led by Senior VPs Pam Haring and Lisa McCarthy, previously has made deals with Pennzoil and Taylor-Made-Golf, but those pacts were far smaller in dollar value. The unit also is said to be in negotiations with Glaxo-Wellcome for a deal. CBS declined comment on any deals, deferring to Fidelity.


Two major elements of the Fidelity package will be outdoor and online. CBS owns Transit Display|Inc. and has a pending deal to acquire Outdoor Systems, which will make CBS the largest player in the outdoor arena.

"We've been pleased with our nationwide airport signage to date, and what we're doing is expanding that to other venues starting in the fourth quarter," Mr. Cone said.

One key to the online campaign will be

Besides banner ads, Fidelity will sponsor new content on the site.

"It's going to be a very comprehensive combination of content and hotlinking and banner advertising that will be the dominant outside presence on CBSMarketwatch for the next year and four months," Mr. Cone said.

Gotham, New York, will be involved in developing the online campaign.

CBS sports properties, online and on-air, and its premiere newsmagazines, "60 Minutes" and "60 Minutes Two" also will be utilized.

Copyright August 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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