Nortel bets $10 mil on global CNN deal

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Nortel Networks is banking on the global reach of the CNN brand to demonstrate its Internet leadership.

The networking infrastructure company, which last year started using the catchy Beatles' tune "Come Together" in a global branding effort, today begins an estimated $10 million multiplatform deal with Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting System.

Under the one-year deal, Nortel will run TV spots on CNN, CNN-fn, CNN International, Headline News and the CNN Airport Network as well as banner ads on CNNfn.com. Nortel will also be the title sponsor of the CNN and CNNfn "Moneyline" show's Tech Watch segment; the effort will try to drive traffic to a Nortel-branded area on CNNfn.com.

BRANDED FEATURES

The company will have a second branded feature on CNN and CNNfn's "In the Money" show highlighting the market activity of e-commerce players. Business programs on CNN International will also include Nortel-sponsored segments.

"I was looking for creative ways for us to meet my objectives: high-visibility programming, global impact with flexibility built in," said Milan Bekich, VP-global advertising for Nortel. "And I wanted an interactive tie."

Separately, Nortel has inked a deal with CBS Radio where it will run daily branded segments, called "A Minute on the Internet," on more than 1,500 stations in the U.S. and Canada. The segments will run on business programming during drive-times.

Nortel provides Internet communications equipment that enables e-business and other Internet and wireless activity. The company's goal is to "own the high-performance Internet," Mr. Bekich said.

Nortel's primary targets are chief information and financial officers.

Both the Turner and CBS deals allow Nortel to continue its estimated $100 million "What Do You Want the Internet to Be?" campaign from agency Temerlin McClain, Irving, Texas. Media buying is handled by TN Media.

On Feb. 14, Nortel will break a new phase of the campaign in business publications that will highlight celebrities' vision of the Internet.

New TV creative featuring celebrities and their answers will follow and is expected to be used in the CNN deal.

Nortel had a major sports tie-in last weekend when it sponsored National Hockey League events in conjunction with the league's All-Star game in Toronto.

The deal marks the first time Nortel has advertised using CNN International and its global reach.

With its magazines, cable networks and Internet properties, Time Warner bills itself as a one-stop shop where advertisers can craft a message across a variety of mediums. Time Warner's Turner division has set up two units dedicated to cross-media deals: Turner Marketing Solutions Group and the Global Client Solutions Group.

Nortel spent $30 million in measured media during the first 10 months of 1999, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

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