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IAR Bits and Bytes

MSN Launches Best Practices Initiative

In a move to provide publishers with more empirical data that interactive advertising is effective, Microsoft's MSN has teamed with the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) to develop a database of best-practices case studies for the interactive advertising industry.

MSN has created a best practices Web site, which features a database of case studies on topics like effective branding through rich media and the usefulness of targeting ads by daypart. To publicize the best practices database, MSN has joined Dynamic Logic, Eyeblaster, Point.Roll and Unicast for a road show to nine cities. The show, which features industry leaders like Executive Summary's Rick Bruner and interactive marketing consultant Joseph Jaffe, began Tuesday in New York City.

The briefings, which run through Feb. 13, focus on how marketers can use the interactive medium to build brands, improve customer response, and solidify consumer relationships. In addition, the IAB's cross-media studies are highlighted, along with a variety of MSN case studies.

The database highlights a number of campaigns, including a Radio Shack Jimmy Neutron advergame; Florida Department of Citrus' Eyeblaster ads; and a Unilever viral e-mail campaign by featuring Fabio hawking I Can't Believe It's Not Butter.

IBS Inks Deal for Cox Local TV Sites

Internet Broadcasting Systems (IBS) said on Tuesday that it had signed up to operate the Web sites for all 15 local TV stations owned by Cox Television, giving IBS 64 TV station sites.

The deal, the financial terms of which were not disclosed, calls for IBS to produce and host the sites, as well as handle national editorial and sales operations. The local stations will remain in charge of local editorial and sales.

"Our successes with other broadcast partners and leading news stations across the country are great examples of what Cox can expect from partnering with us," said Tolman Geffs, the chief executive of IBS.

IBS had already signed deals to provide similar services for stations owned by NBC, Hearst-Argyle Television, and McGraw-Hill Broadcasting. Last quarter, the company boasted of producing 1,500 ad campaigns, with a client roster that includes Samsung, Delta, Bell South and Ford.

By the end of next month, IBS plans to re-launch each of the 15 stations' Web sites.

Monster to Unveil Hourly Services in Super Bowl Ad

In the hopes of making the most of its $2 million, TMP Worldwide's Monster said it would debut its new job listings for hourly workers with its 30-second spot during Sunday's Super Bowl.

Arnold Worldwide created the spot, titled "Driven." It will mark the fifth consecutive year Monster and rival HotJobs have trolled for job seekers during the priciest night for commercial TV airtime. The commercial will feature a voiceover by country music DJ and songwriter Bill Mack, whose "Country Crossroads" radio show out of Fort Worth has been popular with truckers for three decades. His show is now available via XM Satellite Radio.

"This is the first time that Monster has leveraged the expansive audience of the Super Bowl to launch a brand extension," said Jeff Taylor, the chairman of Monster. "The Super Bowl continues to serve as a successful vehicle to reach a captive nationwide audience comprised of all types of job seekers."

Monster was widely expected to make a move into the market for hourly workers, hoping to tap into a sector of the job market that has not moved to online recruiting as quickly as most services and white collar professions. Rival Careerbuilder, owned by major newspaper chains, in December launched a section for hourly workers.