Fox Signs HotJobs to Super Bowl

Recruitment site HotJobs.com said it plans to advertise during Super Bowl XXXVI, amid a brewing buyout war between Yahoo and rival career site Monster.com.

New York-based HotJobs becomes one of only two dot-coms to have committed to purchasing ad space during the Fox Television Network broadcast on Feb. 3. E*Trade recently signed on for the third year as sponsor of the game’s halftime show.

Spending on HotJobs’s buy — its fourth Super Bowl ad purchase — was not disclosed. Last year, the firm bought one spot during the game and three during the pre-show, for about $2.4 million. (About $2 million of that is rumored to have been strictly for the in-game spot.)

HotJobs’ Super Bowl advertisement again is being handled by agency of record Brand Architecture International, formerly Weiss Stagliano Partners.

Executives at the firm said a decision about a fourth consecutive Super Bowl ad purchase had been academic. Despite the whopping price tags — the company’s first buy in 1998 sapped about half of its quarterly income — the company said its Super Bowl ads have paid off, proving effective at garnering both traffic and publicity. Last year, the company said it saw a 174 percent upswing in site visits.

“In this economic climate, the Super Bowl is a strong vehicle for HotJobs to communicate to consumers the inherent value in the service we provide: HotJobs is where the jobs are,” said HotJobs chief executive Dimitri Boylan. “Advertising in our fourth consecutive Super Bowl makes solid business sense as it further elevates our brand and supports our broader strategic objectives.”

The news comes just days after Web portal Yahoo announced its unsolicited bid for HotJobs, which had already been in talks with TMP Worldwide, the parent of Monster.com.

Monster.com, another three-time Super Bowl advertiser, has yet to commit to an advertising buy during the upcoming game. Sources close to the firm say it is holding out for Fox to lower its asking price for a 30-second in-game spot, though company spokespeople were not available for comment at press time.

Whether Monster.com advertises this year or not, HotJobs is likely to again earn at least passing notice from Super Bowl ad-watchers as one of the few dot-coms still able to foot the million-dollar plus bill. Seventeen dot-com companies advertised during the Super Bowl in 2000, though only three made it back for Super Bowl XXXV.

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