A study released today by SkyGo, a wireless marketing company, found that most users found wireless ads valuable. The study involved 1,000 consumers in Boulder, Colo., who were given Web-enabled Ericsson phones with a subsidized wireless AT&T service plan. After four months, 60% of participants said they found the ads valuable and 27% said they'd be likely to switch carriers to receive these ads in the future.
Daren Tsui, CEO of SkyGo, said both branding and direct response ad alerts were delivered to consumer three times a day. Interactive agencies Avenue A, Seattle, and Modem Media, Norwalk, Conn., created the wireless ads-both text and voice ads. Advertisers included Procter & Gamble Co., which ran general branding ads for its Tide detergent, Hollywood.com, which sold movie tickets directly through mobile phones, and local businesses in the Boulder area.
"The (wireless) marketing campaigns have to be targeted and compelling (such as buy one get one free) and very convenient," said Mr. Tsui. When the test is over at the end of January, Mr. Tsui said SkyGo is in discussions with partners to expand the test nationally. He said it's also talking to U.S. Internet companies, such as Excite-@Home, and mobile-phone carriers about potential partnerships.
Organic latest to make layoffs, lower forecast
Organic, joining the flock of troubled i-services ventures cutting jobs and lowering forecasts, late Dec. 13 said it cut 270 jobs, or about 25% of its staff. Co-founder and Chairman Jonathan Nelson is stepping down as CEO. Organic also announced a restructuring and lowered revenue and earnings expectations for the fourth quarter and 2001. San Francisco-based Organic said Mark Kingdon will succeed Mr. Nelson as CEO effective Jan. 15. Mr. Kingdon, a former PricewaterhouseCoopers management consultant, was most recently with Idealab, an ailing Internet incubator. He will run day-to-day operations. Mr. Nelson, who as of June owned 59.3% of Organic, will focus on strategy. In the reorganization, Organic is closing its recently opened Atlanta and Boston offices. Organic expects fourth-quarter revenue of about $26 million-even with a year ago, but far off revenue of $37.4 million in the third quarter, when Organic lost $16.5 million. Omnicom Group owned 17.1% of Organic as of June.
Ask Jeeves cuts 25%
of workforce, CEO exits
Search engine and Internet company Ask Jeeves said last week it will cut 25% of its workforce, about 180 positions, and take a fourth-quarter charge of $10 million to $12 million for a restructuring. Skip Battle was named CEO on an interim basis succeeding Rob Wrubel, who resigned. As part of the reorganization, Ask Jeeves will split into two divisions-Business Solutions and Web Properties.
Internet Broadcasting Systems, (http://ibsys.com), today unveils two new TV and Web ad packages for its local TV news Web channels and their partner television stations. IBS' Channel-3000.com built with partner station WISC-TV in Madison, Wis., and Click2Houston with partner station KPRC-TV in Houston, both signed multimedia deals. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.
Do not open this e-mail before Christmas: L.L. Bean has been sending out confirmation e-mail this holiday season that state up front: "Please note: The following message may contain information about gifts to be delivered from L.L.Bean. If you share this e-mail address with someone else-and have not recently placed an order at L.L. Bean, please do not read on. We don't want to spoil a surprise!" Now, who wouldn't want to know what they're getting for the holidays so they can complain ahead of time.