Playboy Enterprises named Buford Smith president of its new media group, and corporate senior VP of Playboy Enterprises. Mr. Smith, who was previously president of new media for Reuters America, will oversee all Playboy's new media business. In January, Playboy said it would create a separate business for new media, which had been part of the Playboy Publishing Group. Playboy Online includes Playboy.com (www.playboy.com), a free, advertising-supported site, and Playboy Cyber Club (http://cyber.playboy.com), a subscription site.
Yahoo! Online goes live with AOL-busting price
Yahoo! Online! powered by MCI Internet (http://online.yahoo.com) opens for business today with a price plan meant to undercut America Online's $21.95-a-month plan.
For unlimited access, Yahoo! Online will cost $14.95 a month for those with MCI long distance service or those who switch to MCI. After three months, consumers choosing an alternative long distant service will pay $19.95.
MCI can afford to charge 30% less for its service than AOL because "It's a different cost structure," said David Trachtenberg, executive director of brand marketing at MCI.
Yahoo! will support the service with sponsorships and banner ads, similar to the advertising it does on its main search page. Initial sponsors include CDnow, Egghead.com, Hallmark Cards, Travelocity and Career Mosaic.
N2K releases co-branded site with iVillage
Online music retailer N2K rolls out today a co-branded version of its Music Boulevard site for iVillage.com (www.ivillage.com). iVillage will incorporate Music Boulevard's music news, information and retail options into the site. N2K and iVillage are also kicking off a Women's Music Poll promotion today to promote the co-branded site.
Nickelodeon launches NickJr.com for kids
Nickelodeon today launches NickJr.com (www.nickjr.com), aimed at the same preschooler target audience as Nick Jr. weekday TV programming, with shows like "Allegra's Window," "The Busy World of Richard Scarry," "Blue's Clues," and Jim Henson's "Muppet Babies." The first sponsor on the site is Humongous Entertainment (www.humongous.com), known for its CD-ROMs for children including Putt-Putt, Freddi Fish and Pajama Sam. Each week features a different game beginning with Blue's Clues about colors and shapes. A special parents' area features off-line printable activities, e-mail exchange, questions and answers and TV programming schedules.
MSNBC on the Internet breaks new campaign
MSNBC on the Internet today launches Breaking News Banners, a java-based news delivery system that allows for headlines to be updated constantly in banner ads, developed by Quantum Leap, New York. The ads will be used in conjunction with MSNBC on the Internet and MSNBC Cable's six-week, $5 million "Leader in Cable and Internet News" branding campaign that includes Internet, TV, radio, print and outdoor media.
In other news
K2 Design, New York, has selected AdKnowledge to serve, manage and report on Web ad campaigns for its clients.. . . New York interactive agency i33 communications (which develops adage.com) has released AdMaximize SM, which tracks banner ad performance utilizing click-through reports, lead generation, customer acquisition and sales information.. . . San Francisco start-up NetWeb Corp. (www.netwebcorp.com) announced last week that it has acquired SmartClicks, the No. 2 ad exchange network. NetWeb was founded by former Softbank Forums President William Lohse.. . . Cowles New Media will begin charging for its Media Daily site beginning in April. . . . CMG is acquiring the ad management company Accipiter.