Yesterday General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS), a leading consumer food products company, and America Online, Inc. (NYSE:AOL), the world's leading interactive services company, announced a multi-year alliance under which the companies will implement a series of innovative online and offline consumer marketing programs across America Online's family of interactive brands.

This alliance brings together one of the world's leading consumer packaged goods companies with the world's most popular interactive services company. The agreement offers AOL and CompuServe members, and visitors to other America Online, Inc., interactive properties AOL.COM, and Digital City, special promotional programs associated with a number of General Mills' most popular brands.

AOL and Compuserve now have over 27 million members, and tens of millions more online consumers visit the Company's Web-based brands every month.

As part of the new relationship, General Mills and America Online will work together to develop a variety of consumer promotions and innovative cross-marketing campaigns for some of General Mills well-known brands. One of the first promotions will be a contest, where members can enter to win an "ultimate party" for friends and family from Chex Party Mix/Chex Cereal.

"We're delighted to be working with America Online to develop the kinds of innovative promotions and offers that will enable General Mills to reach AOL's members nationwide," said Mark Addicks, vice president, General Mills. "As we find our consumers spending more time online, we look forward to working with America Online to reach them with information that is relevant and timely, offering a wide variety of promotions and other online opportunities."

"We're pleased to announce this new relationship with General Mills, an acknowledged leader in the consumer packaged goods industry, as they bring their family of popular brands online with ours. General Mills clearly recognizes the power of online marketing, and this new relationship will enable us to work with them on a variety of innovative programs and promotions to help them bring information on their products to our more than 25 million members," said Myer Berlow, President, Interactive Marketing, America Online, Inc.

General Mills is a leading manufacturer and marketer of consumer foods products, with annual sales of over $6 billion. Major U.S. businesses include Big G cereals; Betty Crocker dessert, side dish and dinner mixes; snack products; Gold Medal flour; and Yoplait and Colombo yogurts.

The company's expanding international operations include wholly-owned businesses in Canada, Mexico and China, a snacks joint venture with PepsiCo in Europe, and a worldwide cereal joint venture with Nestle.

Founded in 1985, America Online, Inc., based in Dulles, Virginia, is the world's leader in interactive services, Web brands, internet technologies and e-commerce services.