John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co. announced last week that it has signed a $7.5 million advertising deal with Microsoft Corp.

The Boston-based insurer said the two-year deal was the first of its kind. Under the agreement, Microsoft will put John Hancock advertisements on Web sites like, MSNBC, Slate on-line magazine, and several other MSN sites.

In a prepared statement, Hancock said it wants to be the first life insurance company consumers think of when they go on-line.

John Hancock, a leader in direct purchase and sale insurance and investment products, will have pull-down financial planning tools on MSN to plan for college, savings, retirement, and asset protection.

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