Excite, an Internet search engine (http://www.excite.com), named Foote, Cone & Belding, San Francisco, agency of record for its estimated $10 million account. CKS Partners, San Francisco, also participated in the review.
Interactive grocery shopping service Peapod secured $17.25 million in investment from backers including Eos Partners, CIBC Wood Gundy and Travelers Insurance Co. Peapod plans to use the funds for expansion within the Chicago area and other markets including San Francisco and Boston.
Big Book, a San Francisco-based online consumer resource (http://www.bigbook.com), awarded its multimillion-dollar ad account to i-traffic, a New York-based interactive agency. i-traffic was one of five agencies who participated in a review to handle online media planning, interactive consulting and creative development. The service, which lists more than 11 million online businesses, will launch an extensive online advertising campaign later this month.
Dentsu and Softbank Corp. will establish Cyber Communications, a joint venture that will serve as a Web rep firm and interactive consultant for Asian marketers. Cyber Communications, to be headquartered in Tokyo, has also formed an alliance with Softbank Interactive Marketing, a New York-based Web rep firm formed by Ziff-Davis, Interactive Marketing and Network 1.0.
E! Online, from E! Entertainment Television and C/NET: The Computer Network, named Lew Harris editor in chief, from entertainment editor at People....Kathy Sharpe was named director-interactive communications, DDB Needham Worldwide, New York, from account director at Ogilvy & Mather Interactive....Prodigy launched Stim (http://www.stim.com) as an ad-supported guide to Web culture....The Internet Advertising Council holds its first open organizational meeting June 21 in New York. Call (212) 704-4446 for information.
DISCUSSION OF THE WEEK
Is it a conflict for Wired Executive Editor Kevin Kelly to create content for Absolut's new Web site? Are the lines between advertising and editorial becoming too blurred in cyberspace? Share your views on Ad Age's Digital Media forum (http://www.adage.com/InterActions/index.html). Or send e-mail to IMM Editor Debra Aho Williamson at email@example.com, or Associate Editor Kim Cleland at Kimcleland@aol.com.