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A sampling of news items in the promotion marketing field.

MCI Communications Corp. last week launched a Valentine's Day tie-in promotion with Hershey Chocolate USA, offering consumers 5 minutes of free long-distance calling in the U.S. with the purchase of an 8-ounce or larger bag of Hershey's Kisses. The offer, coordinated in-house, is promoted on-pack and extends through June 30.

Barq's continues its reputation for quirky promotions with this year's "Stink 'N Stare" scratch-and-sniff effort kicking off in April. Game pieces available in specially marked 12-packs of Barq's regular and diet root beer will feature 24 different hidden 3-D images with related scents; winning pieces are scented like Barq's. A total of 400 prizes of $100 will be awarded, with one grand prize of $10,000. A separate trade promotion offers $20,000 in prizes to participating bottlers. The effort also includes a mail-in offer through the purchase of 2-liter Barq's bottles and with certain coupons. A 30-second cable TV commercial breaks in June, backed by print and point-of-purchase material. Advertising is handled in-house.

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