AOL launches 9.0 Security Edition; TiVo courts advertisers; CNN spots promote integrated presence.
AOL Launches 9.0 Security Edition
America Online launched its AOL 9.0 Security Edition, which includes spyware protection and spam control tools with guards against instant message spam, or "spim."
The new security-focused version of AOL's software is meant to convey to members the company is dedicated to online safety and PC protection. In addition to guards against spyware and spam, AOL 9.0 Security Edition offers a pop-up blocker, a personal firewall for high-speed connections, parental content controls, and "money alerts" that monitor unauthorized bank and credit account activity.
AOL is promoting the service in its "Commitments to Members" ad campaign, including TV and online placements.
Davina Kent, TiVo's advertising and research sales manager, told the paper the company will begin displaying ads within the TiVo interface when customers use their remote control to evade commercials.
"The message we really want to get across is that we now have a dedicated road map for advertising," she was quoted as saying.
While the display of ads will reportedly not lengthen the time PVR users take to accelerate through video ad breaks, the decision to incorporate them is significant. The company's initial value proposition was that it stood up to big advertisers. To many PVR and TiVo enthusiasts, the news came as proof advertisers will ultimately find their way to where the eyeballs are.
"I think this is a dark day for TiVo, and this new feature is aimed at pleasing TV networks and advertisers," wrote Matt Haughey on his popular PVRblog. "I doubt a single customer would ever ask for this kind of feature, and that it happens while you skip commercials just drives the point home. TiVo is no longer TV your way, it's TV their way."
TiVO did not return a call seeking comment.
A new campaign from CNN highlights the power of its multi-platform media presence. The network's top journalists are featured in commercials that highlight its reach and accessibility both on TV and the Web.
The humorous ads depict CNN anchors presenting news and weather in sit-down meetings with ordinary people in their work environments. The spots will appear on CNN/U.S., CNN Headline News and other Turner networks.
"The election showed the power of the combination of CNN.com and CNN. With this ad campaign, we are now showing our personality and having fun with the way our millions of users interact with us daily," said David Payne, CNN.com senior VP and general manager.
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