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IBM's European advertising campaign to link with Wimbledon

LONDON - The European element of IBM's $350m (£245m) 'play to win' global advertising campaign will launch in May and tie in with the Wimbledon tennis tournament.

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The television ads will launch in Germany, France, Italy and the UK on May 6, followed by a print and web campaign on May 13. The campaign will focus on all IBM's services and products.

As part of the campaign, viewers will be able to log on to the Wimbledon.com website to shop and check out tournament news, including the latest scores and interviews.

Ann Bohly, manager of marketing communications at IBM Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: "It has been created to drive awareness and generate demand for cross-brand products, services and industry solutions, by presenting well-known international brands like the Grand Slam tennis tournament in Wimbledon as real-life examples of successful e-businesses."

The US ad campaign launched last week. It features the same strapline and will build on IBM's "basketball" campaign, which launched in the US in January.

IBM has a long-standing relationship with Ogilvy & Mather, owned by the WPP Group. Its advertising is created in the US, with Ogilvy's Paris office handling any tweaking the ads needed for the European market.

Last week, IBM sent ripples through the stock market after unexpectedly warned that its first-quarter earnings would fall well short of analyst expectations. It has since denied that the timing of the ad campaign was planned to coincide with the profits warning.

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