Microsoft-Led Effort to Raise Awareness for Blood Donations

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NEW YORK ( -- A coalition comprised of media companies including Yahoo and AOL Time Warner's America Online and Time Inc. have donated media time to the American Red Cross through the first week in October.

The Red Cross will use the print, broadcast and cable TV and online media to advertise the urgent need for blood. The ads will carry the number for the Red Cross, "1 800 Give Life"; one of the executions carries the headline "Together we can save a life. Her life" above black-and-white portraits of a young woman. No other text or logos from the media partners will appear. Moss Dragoti, New York, created the Red Cross ads.

Ads break 9/11
Gannett Co.'s USA Today will break an ad on Sept. 11, the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks. General Electric's NBC breaks a Red Cross spot that evening.

The media program, led by Microsoft Corp. in partnership with the software giant's agency, Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York and San Francisco, involves hundreds of media partners, said David Grubb, Microsoft's global media director.

"If you were to annualize over the month, it would probably constitute the biggest donated pro bono media space," said Mr. Grubb, who added that the media time is worth millions of dollars.

Microsoft sought initial agreements from media partners more than three weeks ago.

Ads are running in Sept. 16 editions of newsweeklies through the first week of October. Local TV stations and newspapers are also part of the mix.

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