PHILIPS AD BUDGET TO TOP $100 MIL

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The NC blitz isn't the only indication of surging spending for digital devices: Philips Electronics this year is expected to at least double its U.S. ad spending to more than $100 million as it phases in the Philips Magnavox brand and introduces its first phones and pagers.

Philips devoted its entire fourth-quarter budget to its WebTV device in a campaign from Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG, New York, that launched the dual brand and positioned Philips as a digital leader.

Doug Dunn, chairman-CEO of Philips' audio and video unit, said WebTV sales have exceeded expectations but cautioned that it's too early to say whether this type of device will be a mass product or one in "just a few million households."

VP-Advertising Michael Keel said advertising again will focus on new but, for now, not necessarily high-volume products-digital video disc players, digital phones, a $10,000 flat-panel TV-that boost Philips' image as a technology innovator.

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