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HO, HO HO: Christmas-related marketing and advertising stories expectedly dominated coverage in the SPINdex sample of influential media outlets, turning in a score of 2,567, enough to rank as the third-biggest marketing story of 1997 (see special SPINdex edition, AA, Jan. 5).

In most any other month, Jerry Seinfeld's off-news day announcement of the end of the "Seinfeld" series would have been the biggest story, with a score of 1,994.

National media coverage of what normally would be a local news event-New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's legal challenge of a New York Magazine ad campaign ridiculing his honor, attracted enough impressions-67 news stories, including six network TV newscasts-to earn a fifth place ranking in this month's chart.

The titanic marketing effort of Paramount Pictures' Christmas season film hit "Titanic" sank all other movie competition in media attention-especially Warner Bros.' "The Postman," which despite heavy marketing support, got a "return to sender" by the national media.

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