Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, agreed to a two-year, $64 million strategic alliance with America Online, Dulles, Va., that focuses on movies, sports, holidays and community. This marks Coca-Cola's entry into interactive marketing after rival Pepsi-Cola Co. in March struck an Internet marketing agreement with Yahoo! Through the agreement, Coca-Cola will pay an estimated $24 million to AOL to market its soft-drink brands to AOL's 24 million members and visitors through it Internet brands, including Instant Messenger, AOL MovieFone and Digital City. In return, the soft-drink giant will market AOL services through advertising, merchandising, packaging and retail promotions, including Coke's Olympic sponsorship. While the companies would only confirm a multiyear agreement, it's said they will support the pact with $20 million in marketing over two years, which may extend into a third year.
Copyright May 2000, Crain Communications Inc.