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Hotwired network, in an effort to get more recognition for its HotBot search engine, has begun an $8 million to $10 million ad campaign for the service (

The network also has shifted the responsibilities of Hunter Madsen, who devised HotWired's big-ticket sponsorship deals with Levi Strauss & Co. and General Motors Corp.'s Oldsmobile. Mr. Madsen is now serving as HotWired's VP-marketing.


The HotBot campaign follows in the footsteps of other search engines-including Infoseek and Excite-that have launched multimillion-dollar ad campaigns this fall. But unlike the other services, HotWired will spend most of its budget on online advertising.

The campaign, created by Mad Dogs & Englishmen and with media placement by J. Walter Thompson USA, both San Francisco, focuses on the "serious searcher"-someone who doesn't want all the bells and whistles other search engine sites offer, such as news and stock quotes.

Meanwhile, Mr. Madsen, hired as VP-commercial strategy earlier this year to expand HotWired's revenue model to include expensive, long-term deals that commingle content with advertising, has returned much of his duties to HotWired's ad sales group. As VP-marketing, he now oversees the advertising and promotion of the network's properties.


Does this mean there will be fewer deals like that struck with Levi's Dockers, which became the exclusive sponsor of Dream Jobs, or Oldsmobile's deal with Packet? Yes and no, Mr. Madsen said.

"Most of our leads were coming through Rick's team," Mr. Madsen said of Ad Director Rick Boyce. "The sales team became very familiar with the approach I was taking."

Future deals will focus less on exclusivity and more on joint marketing of the sponsored site, Mr. Madsen said.

"We're definitely refining our approach to sponsorship deals," said Mr. Madsen.

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