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Trans World Airlines today embarks on a $6 million spring campaign, aimed at business travelers, that celebrates the 50th anniversary of its first trans-Atlantic flight.

The 30-second spot from D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, St. Louis, breaks on network and cable TV, running through March and again in May. Magazine ads will be used along with radio and newspaper in anchor markets like New York and St. Louis.

The TV spot has an original score of big band music, and mixes historic with new footage. "It used to be about elegance," says the voice-over; "It still is," the spots concludes.

"We're not on a budget parity with our competitors, and DMB&B has done more with less," said Marie Spadoni, director of advertising for TWA.

TWA last year spent $30.4 million on advertising through November, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

TWA emerged from its second bankruptcy reorganization in August, and had a $25 million operating profit for 1995, its first since 1989.

"Anniversary advertising is usually sickeningly self-serving and irrelevant," said Jim O'Donnell, chairman of Seabrook Marketing. "In this case, it is a particularly salient message because many people never thought they'd see the day."

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