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Netscape to unveil "edgy" ad campaign

The company is launching an extensive offline campaign in hopes of boosting the image of its Netcenter portal.

Netscape Communications tomorrow is expected to announce the launch of an extensive offline advertising campaign in hopes of boosting the image of its Netcenter portal, according to a source familiar with campaign.

Netscape's ad blitz will promote its Netcenter Web portal through television, radio, and print media. According to the source, the campaign will be very "un-Netscape," and will present Netcenter in a more "edgy" light.

The launch of the campaign comes weeks after Netscape was acquired by America Online for $4.2 billion, largely for control of Netcenter, as well as for further distribution of AOL Web products through Netscape's Communicator Web browser.

AOL has said previously that Netcenter's appeal is the high number of its users who access the service from their work computers. The online giant is banking on the assumption that the addition of that user base will complement its own service, which is accessed predominately from home computers.

AOL dollars were not behind the upcoming marketing campaign, since the AOL-Netscape deal is not expected to close for at least 90 days, the source added. Nor is it clear whether the campaign will appeal specifically to Netcenter users who log on at work.

Netcenter join several other major portal sites that have launched offline advertising campaigns, including Lycos and its subsidiary HotBot, Yahoo, Excite, and Snap. Disney and Infoseek are expected to heavily promote their new joint portal, Go Network, through Disney-owned media outlets such as ABC, ESPN, and Disney-owned radio stations.

CNET: The Computer Network, publisher of News.com, is an investor in Snap.