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Soccer scores: The U.S. Women's Soccer Team scored World Cup gold and netted more coverage in the SPINdex sample of influential media outlets than any other marketing-driven story during the month leading up to this column. Finishing second for the month was the related story of the Nike sports-bra flap that broke out after U.S. team member Brandi Chastain scored the winning goal and created one of the greatest photo op/product plugs in the history of sports. Regardless of her gesture's spontaneity, which was called into question, the story was brilliantly spun.

Media hype surrounding the surprising success of the low-budget independent film "The Blair Witch Project" helped push it near the top of the box-office rankings. At press time, "Blair Witch" had beaten the box-office results of Walt Disney Co.'s more family-friendly "Inspector Gadget," while marketing tie-ins for that flick attracted more overall media attention.

Rounding out this month's list was coverage surrounding presidential hopeful George W. Bush's overflowing campaign war chest, now large enough to make him

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