Netpliance's new I-Opener Internet Personal Access Device -- or, ahem, the IPAD -- promised consumers the web and email for $199 (although that price would fluctuate) plus $21.95 per month for internet access.
It was the kind of thing that years later would be called a tablet or a netbook -- computers that primarily surf the web, which is the vast majority of what the vast majority of computer users would eventually do.
Here the good idea is sold by a good ad, via McGarrah Jessee in Austin, Tex., which had picked up the account in October. But less than a month later Netpliance replaced the shop with BBDO, only to see BBDO resign the business in July, citing a cutback in ad spending rather than the expected increase.
The I-Opener business model also suffered from the discovery that it wasn't hard to enable the device to connect to the web via other service providers, such as AOL, undermining Netpliance's monthly access revenue.
In July 2001, Netpliance settled Federal Trade Commission allegations that the company's ads hadn't sufficiently disclosed costs including the monthly service charge.
The following the year, Netpliance gave up on the web-access device business and became TippingPoint, a web security company.
AGENCY: McGarrah Jessee