Major marketers are discovering that one way to distinguish their ads in a TV advertising landscape is to eliminate the clutter by taking on sole sponsorship of a program. Bacardi, Royal Philips Electronics, Nike Inc., Nokia and America Online are just a few of the marketers who have agreed to exclusive sponsorship of single episodes. Advertising executives note that before long there could be a return to the practice -- popular in old-time radio and early television -- of marketers sponsoring entire series.

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