C/NET MULLS AGENCIES FOR ITS 1ST BRANDING ADS;$1 MIL TO $2 MIL BUDGET POSSIBLE FOR CAMPAIGN

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C/NET: The Computer Network, which disclosed plans in late May to go public, is talking with agencies about a branding campaign.

Senior VP-Marketing Ellen Atkinson is talking with San Francisco shops Citron Haligman Bedecarre, Goldberg Moser O'Neill and Woolward & Partners, and may look at other agencies.

EXPLORING OPTIONS

"We're just exploring options," said Ms. Atkinson, a veteran Ziff-Davis Publishing Co. executive who joined C/NET earlier this year.

Since starting one year ago, C/NET has developed a variety of media products, including a Web site (http://www.cnet.com) and search service; and cable and syndicated TV shows about technology.

Now, Ms. Atkinson wants to clarify what the C/NET brand stands for. An ad agency, she said, would be responsible for print, direct mail and other non-Internet media; C/NET handles advertising on the Web in-house.

C/NET has not given the project a go-ahead or set a budget. Ms. Atkinson is interested in doing both trade advertising and ads reaching heavy Internet users. But if C/NET proceeds, it probably would need to spend $1 million to $2 million.

At Ziff early this decade, Ms. Atkinson oversaw two attention-getting print campaigns for PC Magazine from Pagano, Schenck & Kay, Providence, R.I., featuring lawn bowlers, the Coney Island Polar Bear Association and Elvis Presley impersonators.

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