U.S. currency to carry ads?

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The U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday said it will begin placing commercial ads on the face of U.S. paper currency starting next year. The ads, to begin appearing first on $10 and $20 bills, are expected to generate between $14 billion to $17 billion annually. The ads will be printed in full color on the face of each bill just to the left of the president's portraits and will look very similar to banner ads now appearing on the Web.

Microsoft Corp. will provide all the back-end systems software for developing and managing the new program. Through new technology Microsoft is developing, the currency ads will eventually provide real-time hot links to a variety of Microsoft services and other Internet sites.

(Thanks to the anonymous e-mailer who sent us this April Fool's Day announcement!)

Copyright April 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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