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FORD BOOSTS PRODIGY PRESENCE, PLANS TO ADVERTISE ON AOL; CES CANCELS MIDYEAR INTERACTIVE SHOW; INTERACTING:; OTHER NEWS:

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Ford Motor Co. is stepping up its online activities. Already a prominent advertiser on Prodigy and CompuServe, Ford will start a sponsorship within CBS' domain on Prodigy and will be one of the first advertisers in America Online's new Marketplace area. On Prodigy, Ford will sponsor a module linked to "Scarlett," a November miniseries. As part of the deal, J. Walter Thompson/Online, Detroit, Ford's agency, will help build the "Scarlett" module, said Roland Sharette, JWT director of interactive resources. On AOL, Ford will open an electronic showroom, featuring information about Ford products and downloadable video clips. Ford also may tie in with online magazines, such as Car & Driver, Mr. Sharette said. "Ford has wanted to be on AOL for a long time, but AOL has not been ready for advertisers to participate," he said.

The Electronic Industries Association blinked first in the battle of the interactive trade shows, canceling CES Interactive, a new show scheduled for May 11-13, 1995, in Philadelphia. CES cited competition from Infotainment World's Electronic Entertainment Expo, scheduled for the same time in Los Angeles. Nintendo of America, CES Interactive's largest exhibitor, said it will attend E3. The EIA said its event would be rescheduled for May 1996 in Orlando. The decision to postpone the show ends an increasingly bitter battle for exhibitors and attendees.

Tim Dorgan resigned as president of Ketchum Advertising, Chicago, to join Peapod, an Evanston, Ill., interactive grocery shopping service, as exec VP, a new post. A replacement at Ketchum hasn't been named. (See related story on Page 20.) ... Jack Horstmeyer was named VP-multimedia at Times Mirror Magazines, New York, in addition to his responsibilities as director of business development. He succeeds Jay Moses, who left. ... Film director Chuck Braverman will develop interactive movies as senior VP-production and development, new media, a new post at Sony Corp.'s New Technologies unit.

SCTT Interactive's Interactive Index, tracking the aggregate stock performance of 65 new-media companies, closed at 98.44 on Oct. 5, down 3.48 from Sept. 28. ... Compaq Computer Corp. joins Hearst Corp. as a minority investor in Books That Work, a Palo Alto, Calif., interactive software developer. ... Mecklermedia Corp. opened MecklerWeb, an online service helping companies establish a presence on the Internet.

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