Free PC-to-phone service Dialpad today names Citron Haligman Bedecarre, San Francisco, its agency of record for an anticipated $10 million to $20 million account. San Francisco agencies J. Walter Thompson USA, Black Rocket and BBDO West also participated in the review. Dialpad plans a print and online campaign targeting the ad and financial communities. Consumer ads are expected in the fall.
Web host recruits Shaq for $5 million campaign
Digex, marketer of Web hosting services, tapped National Basketball Association Most Valuable Player Shaquille O'Neal for a print and and outdoor ad campaign breaking May 23 in The Wall Street Journal. The initial $5 million, six-month effort via the Benchmark Group, Cincinnati, draws a parallel between Shaq as dominant player in the NBA and portrays Digex as the leader in Web hosting.
"We needed a breakthrough campaign that makes us table talk," said Laura Heinrich, VP-marketing.
Sports e-tailer MVP.com turns to Digital Edge
Sports e-tail site MVP.com awarded its integrated online branding business to Digital Edge, New York, the interactive arm of Young & Rubicam's Media Edge. Digital Edge will handle online media planning and buying and work with New York-based Agile Industries on online creative. Leagas Delaney, San Francisco, handles offline ads.
WorldByNet launches with $12.8 million in funding
WorldByNet.com, a Houston-based online multilingual network of country-specific destination sites aimed at expatriates, immigrants and people of common descent living in the U.S., officially launches today. The company also said it received funding of $12.8 million from investors including PSINet Ventures, Auric Partners and Seneca Capital.
Encirq Corp., an online marketing services company, today rolls out its Illuminated Statements, a program in which it provides credit card companies, banks and other institutions with enhanced, ad-supported online financial statements. Encirq, which splits ad and e-commerce revenue with its partners, targets offers based on people's purchases. The company said its software protects people's privacy because all personal information remains on a user's PC, rather than being sent to a central data collection site. A beta program launches in June with the Bank of Hawaii.
Digital Entertainment hits financial brick wall
Digital Entertainment Network (www.den.net), a pioneer in Web video entertainment that has failed to raise new cash, told employees last week it didn't have enough money to pay them amid reports it intends to file for bankruptcy reorganization or liquidation. DEN hired TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, Calif., in October for what the agency expected to be a $40 million account. DEN attracted investments from Microsoft Corp. and Dell Computer Corp. and sponsorship agreements with Ford Motor Co., Microsoft and Pepsi-Cola Co. But DEN was rocked late last year by a co-founder's sex scandal and later resignation. DEN in February withdrew plans for an initial public stock offering.
Veridiem unveils ad-effectiveness measure
Veridiem, a Maynard, Mass., provider of services to optimize marketing spending, today introduces Veridiem MPi to track effectiveness of offline and online spending. The Web-based service links data on a company's marketing activities with customer interactions and transactions.
DDB Digital's new San Francisco office has been awarded the online advertising account of Achieva.com, an online college admissions and counseling service. DDB Worldwide in April won Achieva.com's offline account with anticipated billings of $20 million. TV ads are tagged: "College is hard enough. Getting there shouldn't be." The DDB Digital office was opened to handle Clorox Co.'s online marketing. . . . Weather Services International's Intellicast.com weather site today begins an affiliate program to provide free local and national weather content to TV station Web sites. The content includes real-time forecasts. . . . Rachel Mueller-Lust left as VP-methodology research at Nielsen Media Research to join rival Media Metrix as VP-director of research for the U.S. . . . Start-up Internet Appliance Network today begins a multimillion-dollar print campaign from Shepardson, Stern & Kaminsky, New York, to promote Net appliances as an advertising vehicle. . . . Spanish Internet company Terra Networks last week agreed to buy Web portal Lycos for $12.5 billion in stock. . . . The Internet Advertising Bureau and Wireless Advertising Industry Association combined their wireless interests, as expected (AA, May 15). The IAB's Wireless Ad Council and the WAIA merged to form the Wireless Advertising Association, which will promote guidelines globally for wireless Internet and other wireless applications.
Chat. . .
"It's a fog-a-mirror job market," Jeff Cohen told Ad Age as he stepped down from his post at Intuit's Quicken.com. "If you can fog a mirror, you can get a job." Mr. Cohen left as director of partner marketing as the site readies a management restructuring. He says he may take a break before jumping into another venture.