Inside Line: Val-Pak mailing links to Barbie and Hot Wheels

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Val-Pak, the cooperative direct mail unit of Largo, Fla.-based Cox Target Media, is giving away 25 computer systems branded with Mattel's Barbie and Hot Wheels in a 50 million-piece mailing through Sept. 18. The "Cool Back-to-School Giveaway" also gives consumers the chance to register on valpak.com to win $1,000 shopping sprees at Mall.com. In its first such move, Val-Pak also printed the Barbie, Hot Wheels and Mall.com logos on the back of the envelopes.

BrannForbes, Dallas, the retail marketing unit of BrannWorldwide, signed on Madge.web to provide the Web hosting infrastructure for its newly developed TradeArea.net, a tool enabling clients to manage local marketing programs online. The service allows local owner-operators to buy media in real time through secured sites, as well as download and order already-made creative, with the option to localize it.

Advo, Windsor, Conn., will launch a 30-second public service announcement at the end of August to support its "Have You Seen Me?" direct mail campaign designed to recover missing children. The spot, created by TLP, Dallas, will run on network and cable TV, and be supplemented by a radio spot and an insert in Advo's Shopwise direct mailer. The effort follows this month's announcement of the 100th child found through the 15-year-old initiative sponsored by the direct mailer, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the U.S. Postal Service.

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