DRTV News Briefs: DMW Breaks New DRTV Spot for Network Health Plan

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DMW , a direct response advertising agency, has developed a direct response television commercial and Web site to support Network Health Plan's Medicare marketing efforts.  The spot, entitled "Don't Look Too Far," targets seniors in the 13 counties surrounding the Green Bay, WI, area that are eligible to enroll in Network Health Plan's Medicare Advantage PPO and features retired Green Bay Packer, Max McGee.  To compete head to head against big-name companies, the commercial focuses on the "local brand people know" endorsed by the local celebrity people know, like, and trust.  DMW developed the concept, provided script-to-screen execution, and handled media strategy and buys.  The spot, which is currently on air, also ran during Packers' games during the 2005-2006 NFL season.
 
Meanwhile, Renée Mezzanotte has joined DMW as senior vice president and account group director, responsible for heading its commercial account group. Ms. Mezzanotte's career most recently included senior-level direct marketing positions as an officer of Euro RSCG Devon Direct.  She brings to DMW two decades of experience in both business-to-business and consumer direct marketing for industry leaders such as Nextel, MCI, Road Runner Broadband, PECO, Agilent Technologies, GMAC Insurance, ADT, Fleet, International Paper, Nutri/System and Day-Timers, among others.

EchoStar Communications Corporation announced it will embed GetConnected Inc.'s transaction processing platform for the sale of digital services into EchoStar's reseller portal. The partnership allows EchoStar's DISH Network resellers and channel partners to cross-sell digital subscriber line (DSL) broadband services as DISH Network services are sold. GetConnected's platform is a widely deployed technology platform used for digital sales for retailers. By implementing GetConnected's platform, the EchoStar reseller portal now enables DISH Network retailers to go online and find out if a customer can also receive DSL service from various providers.
 
Mercury Media, and Expo Communications announced a long-term partnership to help lead the direct response television onto video on demand (VOD). Mercury and Expo have been working together since Expo's launch in 2004. Expo is available in more than 13 million homes through cable and other distribution partners, offering video content from advertisers, experts and its consumer community. Some of the programs that Mercury clients will be engaged in through ExpoTV during coming months include exclusive VOD special consumer offers, promotional marketing campaigns driving to long-form awareness and viewership of Mercury clients.

Hawthorne Direct celebrates 20 years of "firsts" in direct response television agency services. Since its inception in June 1986, Hawthorne has grown from a company of two employees with $250,000 in annual billings to an agency of 75 employees with over $135 million in annual billings. Hawthorne has won 300-plus creative awards and currently has offices in Iowa, California, Texas, Florida, Arizona, Washington, Georgia, Colorado and Washington State.

Ion Media Networks Inc.  and Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution  announced a comprehensive programming deal, providing ION with the rights to broadcast popular movies and classic television series from Warner Bros.' library on its flagship I television network, reaching over 90 million homes. Under the deal, Ion has acquired the broadcast rights to a number of Warner Bros.' popular television series and movies. ION will begin scheduling the television product in August.

Also, Ion appointed Lucille S. Salhany, managing partner of Echo Bridge Entertainment, and William A. Roskin, formerly executive vice president and currently senior advisor to Viacom Inc., to its board of directors effective June 23. Ms. Salhany is an experienced television industry veteran, having served as President/CEO of LifeFX Networks Inc., as well as having launched UPN, the country's fifth broadcast television network, where she served as President/CEO from 1994 to 1997. Ms. Salhany became the first woman to head a television network as chairman of Fox Broadcasting, where she guided the network's expansion from four to seven nights. The appointment of Ms. Salhany and Mr. Roskin to Ion's board increases the total number of directors to eight, six of whom are independent.

Respond2 announced that it has expanded its production division and named Iris Cole-Hayworth as testimonial coordinator. In this newly created position, Ms. Cole-Hayworth will find, screen and develop testimonials for clients' campaigns. Ms. Cole-Hayworth joins Respond2 with nearly 10 years' experience in managing commercials and infomercials, feature films and music videos.  In her new role, Ms. Cole-Hayworth will also manage all logistics of the commercial production process, serving as the communications liaison.

Got news, suggestions, articles, comments or tips? E-mail Sarah Littman at sarah@dmnews.com.

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