Mexican Internet portal launches TV blitz on sister company TV Azteca

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MEXICO CITY--Planning a publicity blitz of up to 16 TV spots daily, new internet gateway Todito.com expects to increase page views to one million a day and reap $40 million in advertising and e-commerce revenue by year-end. The service launched Aug. 26 and the TV ads broke the day after.

"Through TV Azteca, (Todito.com) has a great opportunity to garner name recognition, an opportunity few have," says Grupo Dataflux President Guillermo Salinas Pliego. Dataflux is majority shareholder in the Internet leading portal. Dataflux signed a 10-year contract with Mexico's second largest broadcaster in 1997.

Currently, the gateway only counts 60,000 "hits" a day, but the TV plugs are sure to spark exponential growth, according to the Dataflux chairman, who is the brother of media mogul and TV Azteca major shareholder Ricardo Salinas Pliego.

In addition, Salinas said TV Azteca will provide a large share of Todito.com's news and entertainment content.

Todito.com's major sources of income will come from advertising sales and e-commerce commissions. While Latin American e-commerce represented only 1% of global transactions in 1998, Dataflux is heartened by the expected 7% participation by 2003, valued at $84.3 billion.

The Web site already counts five virtual stores and company officials hope to create an online shopping mall in which customers can make a variety of purchases from their homes.

Grupo Dataflux, owner of Mexico's largest chain of technical schools and a distributor of computer equipment, will be the gateway's most important e-commerce client.

"There is a huge opportunity to use Todito to grow our distribution business, including built-to-order online computer sales," says the Dataflux president.

Guillermo Salinas Pliego says Todito.com could form an alliance with wireless local telephone carrier Unefon, also part of the family's business empire.

The gateway will target the 130 million Spanish-speakers in Mexico, the U.S. and Canada. Other major players in the Latin American market include StarMedia, America Online, Microsoft Corp., and Prodigy Communications Corp.

Copyright August 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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