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Barclays Global Unleashes New iShares Ads

Barclays Global Investors of San Francisco has launched a multi-million dollar advertising campaign promoting its iShare exchange-traded funds. The campaign started Jan. 8 and will run until April, the company said.

The ads will appear during local and national, daily and weekly news programs, as well as during various sporting events.

The campaign was developed by Saatchi & Saatchi of San Francisco, said Christine Hudacko, a spokesperson for Barclays Global.

Last year, Barclays Global introduced over 40 iShares and promoted them in an extensive advertising campaign, said Hudacko. Barclays Global Investors now has a total of 58 exchange-traded funds. At the end of last year, the iShares had total assets of over $7.5 billion in the US, she said.

Barclays' 2000 ad campaign cost the company $12 million. This year's campaign is similar to last year's in both message and cost, said Hudacko. She declined to disclose the exact cost of the company's current campaign.

Three ads have been launched already and a fourth will begin soon along with the introduction of the iShares NASDAQ Biotech Fund, said Hudacko. Other products will be introduced in 2001, including the iShares Cohen & Steers Realty Majors Fund, in the first quarter, and five fixed income iShares.

Barclays' first new ad shows two airline passengers talking about investing in technology stocks. A woman sitting between them looks perplexed as she listens. A voice-over tells her that she can invest

in all technology stocks with a single trade by purchasing the iShares Dow Jones

US Tech Index Stock. The voice

suggests that she ask her financial advisor about it.

The second ad is set in the hallway of an investment firm. A man holding a coffee cup and a donut runs into two senior executives who are talking about which cap stocks are hot. They conclude that micro-caps are the best investments. The man looks perplexed about what "micro-caps" are. A voice says, "prepare your portfolio for anything. Ask your advisor about building a financial plan with iShares index stocks."

In the third ad, a woman is pushing a cart in a retail department store. She sees a variety of products that are made in South Korea like teacups, chocolate, hats and coffee. She looks inquisitively into the camera. A written message says: "Spotted a trend? Buy it. MSCI Korea Index." The voice-over says, "Own the stocks of South Korea or more than a dozen other countries in a single trade. iShares Index Stocks. Ask your advisor."

"Getting the word out to investors is always very important," said Hudacko. "It has to be a continuous process. And increasing the brand awareness through advertising is one way of doing that. You have to keep the momentum up."