PRODIGY TO FOCUS ADS ON CONTENT

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Prodigy executives began huddling last week to plan their next moves for the struggling service that will migrate to the Web Aug. 15.

Although specific ad pricing and marketing budgets haven't yet been finalized, one thing is certain-advertising will fit more logically into the Prodigy content.

CONTENT-SENSITIVE ADS

"The old Prodigy had ads all over the service that were unrelated to the copy," said Scott Schiller, Prodigy's VP-advertising. "Now certain types of ads will appear in context-sensitive content areas, and in personalized areas."

As for initial sponsorship deals, Mr. Schiller said it's going to be a "soft launch." "We're not going to have [audience] numbers on the service that justify [marketing] until 1997."

While ad sales have traditionally been handled by New York-based TeleRep, Prodigy has begun to sell ads in-house as well.

STREAMLINING AD SALES

"We're trying to streamline the [selling] process," said Mr. Schiller.

The company hopes to cultivate the kind of sponsorship deals that its partner SonicNet recently crafted with Sidney Frank Importing Co.'s Jagermeister (http://www.jagermeister.com).

The Jagermeister deal, which goes live June 15, will involve sponsorship of national, local and live event coverage with tie-ins to a contest hosted on its site.

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