De Beers Boosts Advertising Budget In a sign of high hopes for the holiday season, De Beers has boosted its fourth-quarter U.S. advertising budget by a whopping 30% over what it originally planned. “We feel this will be one of the strongest fourth quarters the U.S. trade has ever had,” says Richard Williams, De Beers account director for J. Walter Thompson. “And we felt we should maximize the opportunity.” The expanded budget reflects the positive reception given De Beers new “Crowds” TV commercial, which links diamonds with the millennium and began airing in late summer. “There is a sense that this is one of the strongest ad campaigns we have ever done,” says Williams. “Eighty-three percent of test audiences who viewed it agreed that 'Diamonds would be a perfect way to commemorate the millennium.’ That means the commercial is doing its job.” Thanks to the expan

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