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Ask Jeeves retires the butler, readies ad campaign to promote revamped site

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Feb. 27 New York—Ask Jeeves has officially dismissed cartoon butler Jeeves, re-branding the search engine as Ask.com.

The news was announced Monday at the Search Engine Strategies Conference & Expo by media mogul Barry Diller, head of parent company IAC/Interactive Corp., during his keynote and Q&A session with SearchEngineWatch Editor Danny Sullivan. IAC/Interactive Corp. bought the search engine last year for more than $2 billion.

The newly branded engine will be promoted through an ad campaign created by TBWAChiatDay that will break in mid-March. The revamped site includes a streamlined home page and a vertical toolbar with links to search tools, including maps, dictionary, local and desktop search, and images.

The IAC network of companies includes brands such as QVC, Ticketmaster, Lending Tree, Evite and Bloglines.com.

Diller said he intends to gain a greater share of the search market over time. Ask.com had a 6.5% market share in November, according to comScore Media Metrix, while Google and Yahoo! had 39.8% and 29.5%, respectively. MSN was third with a 14.2% share.

“We’re ready to compete,” Diller said. “We’re very serious about this. Search evolves. We have a product that I think is part of that.”

—Carol Krol

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