Running of the squirrels
This year's Superbowl won't have the Pets.com sock puppet (the company is now out of business), but it will have squirrels. During Sunday's game, information-services company EDS plans to debut its take on Spain's running of the bulls - but with squirrels. It's the last in a trilogy of ads -focused on staying ahead in a fast-paced digital world -that began with a humorous look at cat herders during the 2000 Superbowl. Look for the new ad in the first quarter, a good place to advertise if the matchup turns out to be as low-scoring as predicted (apologies to Ravens and Giants fans). Last year, 20 percent of the ads were from dotcoms, this year only three companies are returning, thanks to an iffy Internet economy. Making a repeat appearance are investing service E-Trade, and jobs sites Monster.com and Hotjobs.com.
- Kim Campbell, media correspondent
Post merger, AOL trims staff
Less than two weeks after getting the green-light from the government, the newly merged AOL Time Warner announced this week that it will eliminate more than 2,000 positions. The cuts will happen across groups that include America Online, Warner Music, Time Inc, and the New Line Cinema studio. The company also plans to sell or close all 130 Warner Bros. retail stores worldwide, according to reports. The cuts follow the announcement last week that about 400 people will be let go at CNN, the cable news network now owned by the media giant.
Child porn and free speech
Taking on a child-pornography dispute, the US Supreme Court said Monday it will decide whether Congress can ban computer-altered pictures that appear to show minors involved in sexual activity, even when no such activity took place. Like obscenity, child pornography is not protected by the Constitution's free-speech guarantee.
-Compiled from news wires
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