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Published August 2, 1996
INSIDE THE IBM BUNKER: USA TODAY's Business section Cover Story was an exclusive look inside the workings of the IBM on- site technology team, which worked around-the-clock to correct flaws in the company's computer results system. The piece notes that by midweek last week, IBM CEO Louis Gerstner had ordered market research to see how the glitches were being perceived by execs around the world. The result was not enough to panic, but also not good. By last weekend, IBM was considering advertising in direct response to the problems. But in the wake of the bombing, they determined that such ads "would sound self-serving and insensitive." This week, IBM execs are reporting 90-95% accuracy on track & field and officials are looking to apply the lessons to Nagano and Sydney (USA TODAY, 8/2). SHADOW COMPANY: In Atlanta, Chris Roush writes that Coca- Cola's marketing plan was "unparalleled by any other Olympic sponsor. Coca-Cola, in effect, created a separate company just for the Games" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 8/2). CONTRABAND: Nike employees have been handing out hand-held signs that read "Just Do It -- USA" outside of various Olympic venues. ACOP's Darby Coker said they have "repeatedly asked Nike not to do this." Dave Fogelson, spokesperson for official sponsor Reebok, called it "pretty classless." But Nike's Keith Peters responds: "We're not making people hold up the signs. We're supporting athletics" (Bruce Horovitz, USA TODAY, 8/2). NEWS & NOTES: Despite Visa's "massive marketing campaign," the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION reports that most people at the Games remain unconvinced on the merits of plastic cash cards (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 8/2)....Frito-Lay will debut a new Baked Lays ad during the Closing Ceremonies, featuring Miss Piggy with supermodels Vendela and Kathy Ireland (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 8/2).