Amazon, VarsityBooks rumored to be talking
Rumors circulated that Amazon.com is in talks to acquire VarsityBooks.com, a leader in online college textbook sales. VarsityBooks declined comment; Amazon.com was unavailable for comment. Separately, eCampus.com, Lexington, Ky., joined the crowded field of textbook sites July 2, with Wendy's International founder Dave Thomas investing $5 million in the $50 million venture. DeVito/Verdi, New York, will handle eCampus.
Bank One, First USA open bank online
Bank One and its First USA unit opened their newly branded Internet bank, WingspanBank.com (AA, June 14).
Ads, created by Gardner/Nelson Project, New York, with no mention of the parentage, note, "If your bank could start over, this is what it would be." Carat, New York, placed the multimillion-dollar print, TV and radio campaign.
Tickets.com taps humor in 1st campaign
Tickets.com this week breaks its first advertising, an outdoor and print effort from Ogilvy & Mather, Los Angeles. Spending was undisclosed. One outdoor board, showing a close-up of a face with a trickle of blood running from the nose, is tagged "Sorry about your seats. next time, www.tickets.com." The campaign breaks in San Francisco and goes national later this year. Other efforts include a wild posting and print campaign that takes a humorous approach to things one "can miss," such as a kidney, and things one cannot miss, such as entertainment events.
Online watch retailer looking for agency
Ashford.com, a Houston-based online watch and gift retailer, is searching for an agency to handle its estimated $17 million campaign, including TV, radio, print and outdoor. Deutsch, New York, and GSD&M, Austin, Texas, are in the review. A