IBM launches campaign to fire up Internet business

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MEXICO CITY -- IBM has launched a pan Latin "e-business" campaign to promote the use of the Internet among businesses of all sizes.

A four-page insert is running in the big gest newspapers in many of the 20 Latin American countries where "Big Blue" has operations, as well as in magazines with pan-regional circulations. Thirty-second TV spots will begin airing during this week, also on a regional level. The campaign is via Ogilvy & Mather. No budget was disclosed.

"We want to demonstrate the business opport unities that exist in the area of electronic commerce," and that IBM can support such efforts, says Elio Catania, president of IBM Latin America.

The ads tout such services as a communications system evaluation, design and creation of Web sites, and IBM's electronic financial services, primarily targeted at financial institutions, which include Internet payment systems. They also promote seminars and workshops on the opportunities of electronic commerce, priced from $3,000 each.

The insert includes the Web site address of "e-business para America Latina," with infor mation in both Spanish and Portuguese. While the insert contains general information and case studies from different countries, it is tailored to specific markets. The Mexico City insert lists a local and a toll-free number to call for information or to receive a hard copy of the information from the Web site.

According to a recent study by technology consultants Select-IDC, Mexico ended 1997 with just over 400,000 Internet users, a number expected to double during 1998.

Of the current user base, almost half are from businesses, 119,000 are home users, 27,000 are in academia/education and 7,000 are in government.

Copyright March 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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