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Carat Interactive expands globally with U.S. unit

Global media agency Carat today launches Carat Interactive (www.caratinteractive.com), a global interactive media agency based in Boston, with offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. Its clients include Pfizer, Radio Shack and Symantec. Sarah Fay, formerly managing director of the interactive services and B2B media divisions at Carat Freeman, Boston, was named president of the unit. Carat Freeman's interactive unit will be merged into Carat Interactive.

"We're not just media planning and buying," said Ms. Fay. "We're more of an interactive business consultant."

Carat Interactive's other services include an affiliate marketing and partnerships program. In addition, Ms. Fay said Carat will work closely with sibling company eVerger, a recently founded venture capital company. eVerger has made investments of between 25% and 50% in four of Carat's interactive technology partners. She declined to name the companies, but said eVerger had $125 million in investment backing.

Carat Interactive is merging with an existing global unit, which launched in 1995 in France and the U.K. and has offices across Europe. Carat Interactive's main pan-European clients include Lycos, Renault, Coca-Cola Co. and Philips.

Holiday banners create 47% lift in awareness

The holiday banners of five top e-tail sites created a 47% lift in brand awareness even as click-throughs remained constant, according to a study released today by Dynamic Logic. In its Holiday Online Advertising Study, commissioned for Advertising Age, Dynamic Logic tracked the ads of Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, eBay, Red Envelope and Yahoo! between Nov. 14 and Dec. 4. Dynamic Logic's AdIndex showed these sites generated an average 47% lift in message association after people were exposed to ads. Lift is the percentage of people who have seen a banner and associated it with tagline or brand compared with the percentage of people who have not seen the banner but correctly linked a message to a brand. According to 24/7 Media, average industry click-through rates are .34%.

Transora buys online couponing company

Transora, Chicago, a business- to-business company, acquired Internet promotions company planet U, San Francisco, in an all-stock transaction. Terms were not disclosed. Planet U specializes in delivering retailers' and package-goods marketers' targeted promotions-such as its U-pons Internet coupons-directly to consumers over the Internet.

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