Turner Gears Promo to Ops Sites

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Turner Network Sales has developed Web-based affiliate promotions for two very different projects-Cable News Network'sYour Choice, Your Voiceand TBS Superstation'sSpawn.

The goal of both efforts is to drive traffic to affiliates' local Web sites, TNS senior vice president of marketing Coleman Breland said last week. "We know that's very important to the cable operators."

TNS has signed 38 TBS affiliates for the promotion tied to the Oct. 29 primetime broadcast premiere of the 1997 theatrical filmSpawn, based on a popular comic-book character.

To participate in the customer-retention effort, Breland said, viewers must log on to the local cable system's Web site, then click on a specialSpawnlink to obtain a discount code.

Using that code, consumers can connect to theSpawnmain page, where they can get a 15-percent discount throughout October on action figures from McFarlane Toys.

The first 50 affiliates to sign up for the promotion will receive aSpawnprize pack to give away via the Web, Breland said. The goodies within include the DVD version of the film, the soundtrack CD, a "collector's edition" set of theSpawncomic books and aSpawnT-shirt.

TBS sister company New Line Cinema plans to release the theatrical sequelSpawn 2: Dark Justicenext year. Turner may develop a similar promotion at that time, Breland said. (An animated adult-orientedSpawnseries has aired in late night on Home Box Office, but TBS is not acquiring that property, a spokeswoman said.)

Meanwhile, as the 2000 presidential campaign reaches the debate phase, CNN has embarked onYour Choice, Your Vote, a six-part educational program designed to teach more than 25,000 students about the electoral process.

The promotion consists of a six-week educational contest in which schools use the Internet as a learning tool. Each participating class will take weekly, 10-question quizzes through their local cable operator's Web site.

Local operators have signed 1,000 middle schools, junior-high schools and high schools as participants, said Breland.

More than 70 cable systems will participate in the educational-outreach promotion, which started late last month and runs through Election Day on Nov. 7. The local ad-sales sweepstakes component drew 100 affiliates and interconnects in Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, Houston, Miami, Tampa and Minnesota's twin cities.

Teachers can obtain the lesson plans and curriculum materials on which the weekly quizzes are based via the Web atwww.yourchoiceyourvoice.com.

The winning class will win such Philips Consumer Electronics Co. audio-visual equipment as a 27-inch TV set and two VCRs, awarded by the local cable system. One winning class will host anOn the Roadsegment forCNN Newsroom, a commercial-free weekday news and feature broadcast for students.

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