NBC MAKES ITS MARK ON THE WORLD WIDE WEB;COMPUSERVE CUTS PRICES, GETS FRIENDLY; KETCHUM OPENS ONLINE CATALYST; AOL, M/A/R/C LINK FOR RESEARCH;

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NBC this week unveils a full-fledged World Wide Web site at http://www.nbc.com, expanding on a test effort promoting "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" that began earlier this year. The new NBC site features program and local station information as well as Peacock Park, a new brand designed to foster relationships among viewers and advertisers. NBC also will use the Web site to promote its presence on the upcoming Microsoft Network, launching later this month.

CompuServe unveiled several initiatives designed to make the online service more user-friendly. It will lower prices effective Sept. 10, a move that will bring it in line with the other major commercial online services and give it a better footing to compete with the looming Microsoft Network. CompuServe's new pricing structure offers five hours per month at $9.95, with additional hours costing $2.95, the same price America Online and Prodigy charge. The online service also will introduce a new, basic service code-named "Wow" at Fall Comdex. CompuServe said it will spend upwards of $35 million on advertising via new agency Martin/Williams, Minneapolis.

Ketchum Communications, New York, is the latest agency to join the Web, opening Catalyst/Ketchum last week at http://www.ketchum.com. The site features discussion groups on interactive topics; a monthly guest columnist; and a "smart agent" feature allowing users to determine what information they want from the site.

America Online, Vienna, Va., and M/A/R/C Group, Dallas, formed a joint venture, Digital Marketing Services, to provide marketers with online research opportunities. AOL subscribers who purchase certain products may earn credits toward free hours on the online service.

Other news:

Knight-Ridder shut down its Information Design Laboratory, which was developing flat-panel electronic newspapers.....Joseph Willix, 49, was named director of sales and marketing at Newsweek InterActive, New York, a new post, from sales development director for several Newsweek regional offices..... Prodigy unveiled a new interface that looks more like the World Wide Web and reduces the size of on-screen ads to small buttons.

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