Ford has started a sweepstakes that offers consumers a chance to win a new F-150 pickup every five years for life in what is believed to be the first US promotion of its kind, Advertising Age reported.

The trade paper said the promotion is part of Ford's $US100 million-plus launch for its redesigned 2004 pickup.

Online ads for the "F-150 for Life Bowl Championship Series Sweepstakes" began appearing last month on the home page of Yahoo! and on America Online and redirect consumers to a Ford website, the report said.

WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson in Detroit, created the online ads in conjunction with Yahoo! and AOL, Advertising Age said, noting that US consumers also can enter the sweepstakes by calling a toll-free number but not until December 7.

To win, those who register must watch college football bowl games on ABC-TV on January 1-2, and, if called after any of the three games, must be able to identify the "Built Ford Tough Play of the Game", the paper said.

Advertising Age said one winner from each bowl game will be flown to New Orleans for the Nokia Sugar Bowl, college football's national championship game, where one contestant will win the grand prize while Ford has also signed a deal with BP PLC, which is offering the winner a card good for $US1,200 of its petrol annually for life.

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