Wednesday, February 6, 2002
INTERNET IS POWERFUL COMPLEMENT TO TRADITIONAL ADVERTISING MEDIA

Groundbreaking Results From Advertising Research Foundation, Interactive Advertising Bureau, MSN and Unilever Home & Personal Care's Dove Further Validate Promise Of Online Advertising

New York, NY - February 6, 2002 - In a joint presentation to agency and corporate advertising executives, the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF), the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), the MSN® network of Internet services from Microsoft Corp., and researcher Rex Briggs today announced the results of groundbreaking new research that validates the importance of online advertising. The culmination of a yearlong investigation of the relative effectiveness of and synergies between online and traditional media advertising, the research found that online advertising's share in the media mix can have a significant increase in the effectiveness of an overall advertising campaign. With the support of ARF and IAB methodology, MSN commissioned Briggs to examine the role the Internet plays in the advertising mix of a consumer package goods brand.

"Helping people deepen their understanding of online's ability to build brand continues to be among our top priorities," said Joanne Bradford, vice president of MSN Sales at Microsoft. "Today's research gives media planners the data they've long craved to help quantify the value of the Internet and gives them steps to maximize the effectiveness of their online efforts."

"Dove is dedicated to developing marketing plans built on consumer insights," said Peter Waxman, director of Dove masterbrand at Unilever Home & Personal Care - North America. "We commend MSN for spearheading this research, and we will further explore the benefits of cross-channel marketing."

Although recent studies have proven that online advertising is an effective branding medium, today's research marks one of the first times online advertising was studied in tandem within an overall advertising campaign and therefore provides more realistic results.

Until today, media planners and buyers often were challenged to quantify the benefits of increasing online advertising's share of the media mix. Today's study is one of the first of its kind to measure the effectiveness of recent advertising campaigns by working with Unilever Home & Personal Care's Dove Nutrium Bar in the real world and real time. Award-winning researcher Rex Briggs of Marketing Evolution conducted the independent, third-party study with Dynamic Logic Inc., a leading independent research firm focused on advertising effectiveness. Unilever, Web Marketing LLC and mindshare were engaged in the analysis and assisted to ensure that all Dove's online and offline advertising was properly accounted for and carefully tracked. These are the research conclusions:

The research suggests that CPG brands that increase their online advertising may result in increased key metrics, such as brand awareness, brand attributes and purchase intent.

Higher online frequency boosts branding effectiveness. Specifically, increasing the number of online impressions from six impressions to 12 impressions over six weeks can increase Dove Nutrium Bar's overall branding effectiveness by 42 percent.

TV, print and online advertising are each effective at branding, yet online is generally more cost-efficient in terms of branding increases from the precampaign level.

"We've seen lots of proof that online advertising works, but this is the first time we have measured how online really stacks up to television and magazines," said Jim Spaeth, president of ARF. "The results are a giant leap forward for the advertising industry, addressing a question it has long been pondering."

"IAB considers the results of this research to be extremely valuable to our members and the industry at large, because they demonstrate that the Internet can dramatically improve a brand's ROI on overall marketing when it is a significant part of the overall media mix," said Greg Stuart, president and CEO of IAB. "We believe this landmark research is so important that we have already gotten agreement from the entire IAB board and other members to conduct a Phase II study with more than 15 publishers and six major marketers."

Additional information on the MSN Advantage Marketing Program and the cross media research is available at http://advantage.msn.com/.

About ARF
ARF's mission is profitable business through effective research and insights. Founded in 1936, the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) is a nonprofit corporate membership association, which is today the pre-eminent industry organization in the field of advertising, marketing and media research. Over 400 advertisers, advertising agencies, research firms, media companies, educational institutions and associations comprise ARF's memberships

About IAB
Founded in 1996, the IAB is the industry's leading interactive advertising association and represents companies that sell over 70 percent of online advertising, including AOL, CNET, MSN, Yahoo!, DoubleClick and many others. Its activities include evaluating and recommending standards and practices, fielding research to document the effectiveness of the interactive medium, and educating the advertising industry about the use of interactive advertising. Membership includes companies that are actively engaged in the sale of interactive advertising.

About Marketing Evolution
Marketing Evolution is a marketing measurement consultancy focused on helping marketers increase overall performance offline and online. Marketing Evolution is led by Rex Briggs, winner of the Atticus Award for his work in direct marketing, the Tenagra Award for outstanding contribution to branding, and the Fernanda Monti award for his work in CRM. Briggs also was nominated for the prestigious John and Mary Goodyear award for best international research for his work in understanding digital marketing and online advertising. Briggs leads Marketing Evolution with the mantra "Test, Learn, Evolve." The firm's services have helped a number of leading companies restructure marketing efforts to improve measurement and increase return on investment.

About Unilever Home & Personal Care
Unilever (NYSE: UN, UL) is one of the world's largest consumer products companies with annual sales of approximately $46 billion in 2001. It produces and markets a wide range of foods and home and personal care products. Unilever products are on sale in 150 countries around the globe and employs approximately 295,000 people. In the United States, Unilever sales were approximately $11 billion in 2000. It employs 28,000 people and has 80 offices and manufacturing sites in 26 states.

Unilever Home and Personal Care - North America includes Dove, Suave, Wisk, "all", Surf, Snuggle, Sunlight, Lever 2000, Caress, Degree, Pond's, Vaseline, Q-tips, Mentadent, Finesse, Salon Selectives, ThermaSilk and Calvin Klein, Nautica and Lagerfeld cosmetic and fragrance products.

About MSN
MSN attracts more than 270 million unique users worldwide per month. Available in 34 markets and 18 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering Web services to consumers and digital marketing solutions to businesses worldwide. The most useful and innovative online service today, MSN brings consumers everything they need from the Web to make the most of their time online. MSN is located on the Web at http://www.msn.com/. MSN worldwide sites are located at http://www.msn.com/worldwide.ashx.

About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software - any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft and MSN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

For more information, press only:
Amy Fuller, Waggener Edstrom for Microsoft, (425) 638-7000, [email protected]
Rapid Response Team, Waggener Edstrom for Microsoft, (503) 443-7070, [email protected]
Stu Ginsburg, FAVA Public Relations for IAB, (646) 336-2612, [email protected]
Jim Spaeth, ARF, (212) 751-5656, [email protected]
Stacie Bright, Unilever HPC for Dove, (203) 625-1130, [email protected]

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft® Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft's corporate information pages.