Inside Line

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MCI WorldCom has added a new twist to the estimated $300 million promotional pre-paid phone card market by offering companies phone cards that collect trackable consumer information. The promotional cards use voice response units to ask consumers a series of targeted questions during a brief survey. "This is an opportunity through merging technology to make the consumer happy and give a benefit back to the giver of the card so they can collect information more efficiently," said Chris Smith, director of channel marketing for MCI WorldCom.

Michael Bronner, chairman emeritus of Bronnercom, is pre-paring to launch a direct marketing and e-commerce focused Internet company currently being called Lifetime Rewards.com. Details regarding what exactly the company will do are being kept secret for now. Jeff Bussgang, formerly VP-worldwide marketing and business development at Open Market Inc., joined Mr. Bronner's start-up as president and chief operating officer last week.

Super Coups, a direct mail coupon co-op and Advo subsidiary, said it has acquired Yellow Jacket Franchise Corp., Laguna Hills, Calif. The acquisition will help Super Coups expand its reach into Arizona, California and Nevada. Yellow Jacket President-CEO Bob Philpott will join Avon, Mass.-based Super Coups as business development manager for Western markets.

Direct Marketing Association launched its e-Mail Preference Service last week, allowing consumers and businesses to remove their addresses from unsolicited commercial e-mail lists by registering at the e-mps.org Web site. DMA members are required to use the service as part of the association's Privacy Promise to American Consumers. Direct marketing associations in eight other countries also have agreed to participate in the program.

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