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Marketers Target Office Workers on Internet

Marketers are discovering that a good place to reach consumers with commercial messages is at work. The theory is that distracted office workers will take a minute or two to check something out on their computers that they might find entertaining--something that will lighten an otherwise boring day at work. One marketer to take advantage of the scenario is Progresso, which recently produced a two-minute "soup opera" about cubicle life. Another is Beringer Wine, which offers a promotion dubbed "Living 5 to 9" with a downloadable computer alarm clock that reminds workers, while still at their desks, that Happy Hour has arrived. Experts say it's understandable why marketers want to marketers invade the workplace. "How else can you reach people at work?" says Jeffrey Cole, director of the Center for the Digital Future at USC 's Annenberg School of Communication. The Internet "is giving marketers a way to reach people that they haven't been able to before," he says. The Internet also faces less competition from other media in the workplace. Also, a recent survey revealed as many as 85 percent of employees admit to using their office computers for personal tasks or as a diversion.



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