Financial Services Company Signs Ad, Marketing Agreement with AOL

Financial services holding company National City Corp. announced Friday a marketing agreement with America Online to provide location-targeted ads across many of AOL’s brands.

Financial details were not disclosed.

Under the one-year agreement, National City will run banner ads on AOL’s Digital City local content sites for markets in which National City operates subsidiaries — Chicago, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Columbus and Grand Rapids, Mich.

Banner ads will also appear in these markets on other America Online properties, including Netscape Netcenter, CompuServe, Mapquest and Moviefone.

“This marketing agreement will give us the opportunity to promote National City’s rapidly growing list of National City online services, including personal online banking, to millions of America Online customers,” said A. Joseph Parker, National City executive vice president and head of retail sales and distribution.

“America Online is a dynamic, far-reaching brand that carries tremendous clout among online consumers and National City is looking forward to this opportunity,” Parker said.

“One of our largest lines of business is our retail banking operations, so we’ll be using the sites to promote our retail banking operations,” said National City Web marketing manager Scott Linabarger. “We see this as a tremendous opportunity to reach more people with what we consider a very strong online banking product.”

The company said it also will be using the arrangement to promote future online products, including small business online banking and Visa Buxx, a prepaid e-commerce debit card targeted at teenagers — a product similar in intent to RocketCash.

“We’re going to use this opportunity to promote a number of different online services that we have,” Linabarger said. “We’re evaluating right now what precisely those are going to be.”

In addition, the company said it and AOL are in preliminary discussions about the possibility of adding co-branded local content from Digital City local content to National City’s Web site.

“We would either host content on our site, or at the very least provide some sort of links to the Digital City properties that serve the markets that we serve,” Linabarger said. “We’re interested in maximizing value for our customers, and we see providing community-specific news and info as a way to do that.”

Initially, AOL will design the campaign’s creatives, although “we will evaluate our opportunities as time moves forward,” Linabarger said.

“We still have some work to do internally, and with AOL, to develop the scope of our arrangement,” he added.

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