MCI CALLS UP OLYMPIC CACHET

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80-plus slots on NBC will carry new corporate adsAlthough MCI Communications Corp. isn't an official sponsor of the Olympic Games, it'll appear as such to many consumers.

The telecommunications marketer has spent more than $20 million for airtime to run 82 TV spots during NBC's Olympic coverage.

The 30-second spots will likely feature such products as networkMCI, with other spots likely to be drawn from a new corporate campaign called "Commitment to Excellence" that features MCI customer service representatives who have gone "above and beyond the call of duty to serve customers."

Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG, New York, is currently producing that campaign.

SPONSORING NBC VIGNETTES

As a sponsor of NBC's Olympic telecast, MCI also is sponsoring 15 prime-time vignettes called "The Last 24 Hours," which feature NBC footage covering athletic highlights from the previous 24 hours.

MCI has been in discussions with both IBM Corp. and BellSouth over rights to run ads for certain products, like networking systems and paging and cellular products, to which both companies hold respective advertising rights with NBC. AT&T Corp. is the official telecommunications sponsor of the Olympic Games.

Adding more weapons to its arsenal, MCI also recently became a sponsor and the exclusive long-distance telephone provider for the International Federation for Modern Pentathlon-the international governing body for the pentathlon, an Olympic event since 1912.

JENNER ON MCI'S TEAM

Additionally, MCI named Olympic decathlon medalist Bruce Jenner its "star teammate" to host summer events for employees and customers in Atlanta.

An MCI executive said the marketer is not using ambush tactics, adding, "The spirit of competition has always been MCI's driving force."

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