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Netscape Goes After NetZero in Q4 Push

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NEW YORK The Netscape ISP this week broke a cable TV campaign that pits the $9.95-a-month Internet service provider against another low-cost alternative, NetZero.

In one 30-second spot from Omnicom Group's BBDO in New York, two young guys compare their discount ISPs. As the Netscape loyalist points out his ISP's Web Accelerator and other features, the NetZero subscriber quietly switches to his friend's service. "Just the Net you need" is the tagline.

The campaign has two targets: 18- to 34-year-old value shoppers and Web-savvy men, who are 45 or older.

Sources said about $10 million is expected to be spent through the end of the fourth quarter on the effort, which also includes a direct TV component from C Media of Portland, Ore. The push follows a four-market test in Seattle, St. Louis, Indianapolis and Denver that ran from June to August.

America Online launched the Netscape ISP in January to ward off competition from dial-up discount providers like NetZero and United Online's Juno. The Dulles, Va.-based Time Warner Internet unit gave it the Netscape moniker to protect the premium America Online brand; an AOL membership carries a $23.90 monthly fee and more features.