Unilever makes big Web ad buys with AOL, MSN

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Unilever has cut interactive advertising deals with both America Online and Microsoft Network. The deals are estimated to involve well over $20 million over three years, unprecedented for a package goods advertiser online. To serve both relationships, Unilever is establishing an Interactive Brand Center in New York, staffed with both marketing and Internet experts. More than 100 Unilever brands, from cleaning to personal care to food and beverage products, will appear on AOL in contextually relevant channels. The AOL deal is international in scope with Unilever ads also appearing on AOL Canada, U.K., Germany, France, Japan and later this year in Australia. The AOL pact may also include future advertising on places including CompuServe, AOL's interactive service for business users; and on e-mail, message boards or live auditorium events. Unilever also plans to work with Microsoft Corp. to develop next-generation communications, although no further details were provided.

Copyright July 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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