AmericanGreetings.com Strikes Deal With Warner Bros. Online

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SEATTLE -- In a new private-label effort, AmericanGreetings.com has partnered with AOL Time Warner's Warner Bros. Online in a multilayered marketing deal.


AmericanGreetings.com will supply electronic greetings and newsletter services, while Warner Bros. Online will offer licensed content that includes Bugs Bunny, Taz, Road Runner, Looney Tunes, Peppy Le Pew, The Three Stooges and TV shows such as "West Wing."


"It means that we have a viable market for generating revenue other than advertising," said Nancy Davis, director of communications at AmericanGreetings.com, a subsidiary of greeting card maker American Greetings Corp., Cleveland.


The multiyear deal also calls for a redesign by AmericanGreetings.com of many Warner Bros. Online greetings. Moreover, AmericanGreetings.com will completely take over the greetings part of Warner Bros. Online.


As compensation, AmericanGreetings.com will get fees for private labeling. In return, it will pay Warner Bros. Online, Burbank, CA, for licensing the characters and other intellectual property.


The deal took effect this week with wbwebcards, which are online greetings that feature selected Warner Bros. characters at www.warnerbros.com. Warner Bros. Online will use AmericanGreetings.com's delivery system to dispatch cards.


In addition, the Warner Bros. brands will be featured as greetings on www.americangreetings.com and the AOL Greetings site, which AmericanGreetings.com manages.


With this deal, Warner Bros. Online's advertisers will be able to zero in on their audience by category and demographic and with fewer wasted impressions.


The cross promotion will also offer advertisers access to Warner Bros. Online's network of more than 150 sites, which attract 4.5 million unique monthly visitors.


A personalized newsletter created by AmericanGreetings.com for Warner Bros. Online will go live in two months.


The Warner Bros. Online agreement is by far AmericanGreetings.com's largest licensing deal. The online greeting card site has similar relationships with Oxygen.com, About.com and FamilyWonder.com. AmericanGreetings.com is one of the leading online greetings sites along with Excite's bluemountain.com and Hallmark.com.


Davis said the deal helps Warner Bros. Online gain a higher profile in the Internet market.


"It increases their site stickiness and provides a much broader audience for them to extend their brand through greetings," Davis said. "Greetings are viral: One greeting gets two names and brings someone brand new right to the site. They can then capture names and market many other WB items to them."


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