AltaVista boosts ad presence in Italy

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ROME--U.S.-based search engine AltaVista has made its first move out of print advertising in Italy. In a new radio effort, voices are given to characters that previously only appeared in print.

AltaVista.it is the Italian version of the popular portal. Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, which designed AltaVista's earlier print ads, also produced the 30-second radio spots. They will involve a dialogue between a Godfather-type character and a humble native of Sicily, who discuss the Internet and use AltaVista to find information in cyberspace.

The company says the campaign is part of an increasing effort to establish itself in Italy. Though U.S.-based research labels AltaVista the eighth most popular Web page in the world, it's not among the top 15 most visited pages in Italy.

"In the next five years, the number of World Wide Web pages will number 100 billion or more," says Davide Corcione, AltaVista.it's director of marketing. "That will mean it's even more important to have a good guide through the Web. We want people to think of AltaVista when they need help getting around."

Copyright October 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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