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Yahoo! Opens L.A. Office

Entertainment and commerce portal Yahoo! Inc. announced plans today to open offices in Santa Monica, Calif. for closer proximity to the entertainment hub and promotional and content partners Sony Pictures and Walt Disney Co.

The new office will house Yahoo!'s 150-member entertainment team of sales, production, business development, and marketing professionals that support Yahoo! Movies and Yahoo! TV.

The Yahoo! Movies' site promotes movie tickets, show times, film trailers, celebrity interviews, entertainment feature articles, movie reviews, and all things Hollywood. Yahoo! TV performs the same function for the television industry with television listings, Nielsen ratings, and a link to Disney's SoapCity.

In a likeminded announcement, Yahoo! forged a marketing alliance with Los Angeles-based Artisan Pictures, an independent entertainment company that produces and develops home entertainment and television properties. Artisan also operates Landscape Pictures, which produces motion pictures.

Yahoo!'s deal with Artisan will focus on the promotion of Artisan's April release of "National Lampoon's Van Wilder" via Yahoo! Movies, with a series of tie-ins to the films offline promotions. The campaign will include editorial content from Artisan, an extensive interactive marketing campaign, streaming video, and a national sweepstakes contest for tickets to the film's premiere.

Yahoo! will serve as the primary online marketing outlet for the film's target audience of 18-24-year-olds.

"Yahoo! Movies is committed to bringing the best content to our users, while using our vast audience and online marketing expertise to become the promotional partner of choice for film studios like Artisan," said David Mandelbrot, vice president and general manager of Yahoo! Entertainment.

Yahoo! also elaborated on its three-wheeled cyber cart concept used in the Winter Olympics to what the company is now calling "interactive pedicabs," which will be used at Spring Break 2002 in Panama City, Florida as transportation/promotional vehicles for spring breakers wanting to hitch a ride on the pedicab and view streaming clips from "Van Wilder" on a Compaq iPAQ Pocket PC.

Yahoo!'s new offices will be located on Olympic Boulevard. The company is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif.