- The Washington Times - Friday, September 29, 2000

DETROIT (AP) Volvo will start its new S60 sedan on line rather than on television to avoid high advertising costs during the run-up to the November presidential election.
Volvo, a subsidiary of the Ford Motor Co., struck a deal with Internet service provider America Online Inc., which has an estimated 24 million subscribers. Ford also has stopped producing television advertisements during the Screen Actors Guild strike against the advertising industry.
The deal with AOL is unique in the auto industry because carmakers rely heavily on television to whet consumers' appetites for new models.
Phil Bienert, manager of consumer relations and electronic business for Volvo's North American sales arm, said on Monday Volvo was abiding by the parent company advertising policy. He said, however, that the actors strike was not the reason Volvo decided on the AOL debut for the S60.
"We know that 85 percent of our customers are on line," he said. "This is just catering to them."
Under the deal, Volvo will buy banner ads throughout AOL and offer AOL subscribers free options valued at up to $2,100 on the S60, which has a base price of $26,500. The ads will link to a Volvo Web site, where the company will sponsor a giveaway of 10 S60s and trips to Sweden.
AOL also will feature Volvo on the "splash screen" that subscribers see when they first sign on. The ads will begin Oct. 9. The car goes on sale Nov. 1.
Mr. Bienert declined to say how much the deal with AOL would cost but did say it would not be less than what would have been spent for a traditional TV campaign outside the highly competitive political season.
"You're competing with George W. Bush and Al Gore, and those guys have more money than any of us," Mr. Bienert said.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide