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Intel defends co-op marketing policy change

Intel today defended its controversial decision to change eligibility rules for its co-operative marketing funds. The move could change the face of PC advertising, according to observers.

The firm has caused a storm by telling PC vendors that advertising funding will be halved from 66 per cent to 33 per cent if they use logos other than their own and the five-year-old 'Intel Inside' badge campaign that has helped make the chip giant the world's tenth most recognised brand, according to a Financial World magazine survey in 1995.

"'Intel Inside' is funded by Intel revenues which would otherwise be profits," said Herbert Weber, marketing manager for Intel Inside in Europe. "People don't spend an hour reading advertisements. You've got three seconds on average to get the reader's attention before they go on to read an article or another advertisement. With the number of logos around now, it becomes pretty challenging. There's so much local clutter just from the number of logos."

However, Weber said that although the rule applies to logos of component makers, magazines and endorsement contributors, it is not prohibitive. "If [on an advertisement] you're sitting in front of your TV with a Lacoste T-shirt and a can of Coke or eating a burger that's OK," said Weber. "The same if your printer has a different logo to the system, but we don't want logos to be specifically highlighted."

Weber declined to comment on feedback from vendors but at least two PC makers said they would run separate ads to maintain part of the Intel funding.