IAR Bits and Bytes

MSN, LendingTree Ink $10M Marketing Deal

MSN and LendingTree announced a $10 million, multiyear marketing agreement that will give the online loan brokerage advertising throughout the MSN network and on specific personal finance sites.

The agreement, whose exact length was not announced, includes ads across the MSN network in addition to placements on MSN Money, MSN Calendar and MSNBC.com. In addition, through MSN’s partnership with NBC, MSN will host the Web component of The Today Show’s money management segment, which LendingTree sponsors.

“It’s a really good fit between the brand of MSN and of LendingTree,” said Sue Wilenzick, lead marketing manager for MSN. “It’s also a really good example of using the broad reach of MSN along with specific sites.”

The Today Show area will run on MSNBC.com, with information relating to the money management segment and links to loan tools from LendingTree.

bCentral Offers Paid Listings on SuperPages.com

Microsoft’s bCentral, an online site for small businesses, struck a deal with Verizon Information Service’s SuperPages.com that allows bCentral users to sign up for paid listings on the yellow pages site.

The agreement, the terms of which were not disclosed, will allow bCentral’s two million users the chance to register for a premium listing on SuperPages.com from the bCentral site’s Yellow Pages section. The three levels of premium listings offer advertisers preferred placement in SuperPages.com search results, as well as a Web site link, map and driving directions.

“bCentral offers tools and solutions that help small businesses manage everyday business processes,” said Jeff Riley, general manager of small-business marketing for Microsoft’s business solutions unit. “Microsoft bCentral Yellow Pages builds on this commitment to small business.”

bCentral offers small businesses a variety of online marketing services, including e-mail marketing through a partnership with List Builder and banner advertising through LinkExchange.

Taco Bell Hooks Up With Match.com for Promotion

Match.com and Taco Bell announced on Friday an interactive marketing effort in support of the fast food chain’s new quesadilla.

The “Monterey Match Up” promotion, running now through Feb. 28, will seek out a couple for a blind date in Monterey, California, in support of Taco Bell’s new Monterey Chicken Quesadilla. The contest seeks a “mild” entrant (in honor of the quesadilla’s Monterey Jack cheese) and a “spicy” one (to represent the Pepper Jack cheese). Entrants must answer a five-question survey, covering their likes and dislikes in mates and cheese.

The contest will be promoted through banner ads on Match.com linking to the survey, and television spots airing on shows like “Joe Millionaire,” “The Bachelorette,” and “Blind Date.” Taco Bell will run two 30-second spots and a 15-second one. The commercials, produced by Foote, Cone & Belding, run from Feb. 3 to March 12.

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