Friday, January 27, 2006

Amex Fights AIDS With New Red Card

Amex Fights AIDS With New Red Card
Amex Partners with Product RED to Fight AIDS


January 26, 2006

NEW YORK -- American Express announced a new partnership today with the UK's Product RED to help fund the fight against AIDS and malaria on the African continent.

As part of the program, the financing giant has launched a new product, American Express Red, a credit card that will contribute 1% of everything spent with the card toward the humanitarian group the Global Fund. (Product RED is an initiative whose primary objective is to engage the private sector in the fight against AIDS in Africa by channelling funds from the sale of RED products directly to the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.)

“American Express is proud to be the founding partner of RED,” John Hayes, CMO of American Express, said in a statement. “It has encouraged us to think about our own products in new and innovative ways. And, it has the potential to improve the lives of women and children affected by AIDS in Africa”.

Amex says American Express RED will be the first credit card to meet the payment needs of a new and growing group of individuals it calls 'Conscience Consumers.' These are consumers who make decisions about the brands they purchase based on their social, ethical and environmental values.

Companies whose products take on the RED mark have made a commitment to contribute a portion of profits from the sale of that product to the Global Fund to finance AIDS programs in Africa. Besides Amex, current partners are Converse, Gap and Giorgio Armani.

--Staff Report

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Obesity, Diabetes Becoming Very Common

Obesity, Diabetes Becoming Very Common


POSTED: 4:48 pm EST January 26, 2006


MILWAUKEE -- A connection between obesity and diabetes is so common today that researchers have coined a new word to describe it: "diabesity."


WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee reported the United States' growing ranks of "diabese" are overweight and developing Type 2 diabetes at a shocking rate.


"What's happening is sugars are going up because the body can not keep up with the weight," said Dr. Kate Glasenapp, of the Diabetes Center for Healthy Living in Wauwatosa, Wis.


Glasenapp said "diabesity" is now the go-to term to describe this problem. She said the word has appeared in books, articles and conferences.


The endocrinologist said "diabesity" can lead to "heart disease and joint disease. Some lung problems are related to obesity. In and of itself, it's a chronic illness."


Diabetes-focused programs work with patients to revamp eating habits, start exercise and lose weight. Some doctors have also started trying new medications.


WTMJ reported that patients can expect inhaled insulin to get federal approval this year, and injected hormones byetta and symlin enhance blood sugar control and help patients shed pounds.


Almost 90 percent of all Type 2 diabetics in the United States are overweight and obese. Experts said that losing just 10 percent of their body weight can ease their symptoms if they have diabetes.

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Study: Healthcare is third-most shared content via e-mail



Study: Healthcare is third-most shared content via e-mail


A vast majority (89%) of U.S. adult Internet users share content with each other via e-mail and healthcare is the third-most popular content category that people share, according to a study from interactive marketing firm Sharpe Partners. The study showed that 32% of Internet users forward e-mail containing health and medical information. Women aged 45 and older were the most likely to forward health-related content, and in the healthcare category branding of the message did not affect whether consumers would share it. In other categories, however, a branded e-mail was less likely to be forwarded. More than half (56%) of respondents said they are less or slightly less likely to share branded content and 5% said they refuse to share content that has a clear brand message.




Nearly 90% of Internet Users Share Content via Email According to Sharpe Partners' Study on Viral Marketing; Humorous Marketing Messages Are Shared the Most

Business Wire via NewsEdge Corporation :

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 25, 2006--A study by Sharpe Partners, an award-winning interactive marketing agency, revealed that 89% of adult Internet users in America share content with others via email.

Sharpe Partners' study on viral marketing also found that 63% of the respondents share content at least once a week, with 25% sharing daily or almost daily, and as many as 75% of the respondents forward this content to up to six other recipients.

These results are good news for proponents of viral marketing, a self-propelling "word-of-email" technique in which a company sponsors - often with subtlety - entertaining or informational content that is forwarded from one email recipient to another, especially when living in an era when digital video recorders make it easy for consumers to skip traditional paid advertising.

Humor is Hot for Viral Marketers

In addition to highlighting the rampant frequency of content sharing, the study generated some interesting results regarding the type of content that is sent. The most popular content is humorous material, with 88% forwarding jokes or cartoons. The second most popular category is news (56%), followed by healthcare and medical information (32%), religious and spiritual material (30%), games (25%), business and personal finance information (24%), and sports/hobbies (24%).

For companies looking to employ a viral marketing program, the study found that adding overt brand messages only slightly reduces the likelihood that the content will be shared. 56% of the respondents are less or slightly less likely to forward such content, whereas 43% said they are more or slightly more likely to send marketing-related messages. Only 5% refuse to share content that contains a clear brand message.

As for the impressions branded content leaves on the respondents, it is clear that viral marketing is a low-risk approach. While the vast majority (75%) says that brand sponsorship has no impact on whether or not they will forward a message, 19% say that it actually has a positive impact whereas only 7% say that it is negative.

Profiling the Catalysts

The study found that the most likely person to share content - and share it widely - is a woman in her late 30's/early 40's who resides in the South or Midwest. Sixty-four percent of the female respondents share content at least once a week versus 58% of the males. Residents of the South (68%) and Midwest (66%) are likely to be more frequent forwarders than their counterparts in the West (58%) and East (55%).

Ethnicity is a factor as well. Blacks/African-Americans and Whites/Caucasians share content most frequently, with 63% sharing at least once a week, followed by Hispanic/Latin-Americans at 56%, and Asian-Americans at 46%.

The study also found that education is only a slight influence, with 64% of those without a college degree sharing weekly versus 61% with a college degree. Marital status, the presence of children, and household income did not prove to be factors, similar to the length of time someone has been using the Internet.


Sharpe Partners' Viral Marketing Survey was conducted online by Greenfield Omnibus from September 23-26, 2005. The respondents were 1,071 adults residing in the U.S. In addition to standardized demographic information, they were asked about the incidence and frequency of sharing content via email, the type of content shared, and attitudes regarding brand-sponsored content.


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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Web site gives pharma access to targeted consumers

Web site gives pharma access to targeted consumers     

A new Web site from online marketing firm Prospectiv will help pharmaceutical brand managers target self-profiled customers, Prospectiv says. The site,, already has featured brands on its home page, including Crestor, Lunesta, and McNeil, all offering free samples or information. According to Prospectiv, marketers will be able to identify consumers interested in specific health and wellness offerings and acquire permission-based data about their personal health interests and preferences. When consumers register on the site, they can receive health offers, such as samples and coupons, product information, health tips, and recipes. Other brands featured on the site include Pepsid AC and Nexium, according to

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Monday, January 23, 2006

WebMD Announces Acquisition of, Inc.

WebMD Announces Acquisition of, Inc. 
PR Newswire via NewsEdge Corporation :
NEW YORK, Jan. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- WebMD Health Corp. (Nasdaq: WBMD), a leading provider of health information services to consumers and physicians, today announced that it has completed the acquisition of, Inc. (, an online publisher of medical reference information for physicians and other healthcare professionals. The purchase price was $25.5 million.
With in-depth coverage of approximately 6,000 topics, provides physicians and healthcare professionals detailed clinical information relevant to the diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of medical conditions. The acquisition of further enhances WebMD's ability to deliver diversified promotional and educational programs on behalf of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, who spend more than $8 billion annually for promotional and educational programs for physicians and healthcare professionals.
"The acquisition of complements WebMD's current offerings for physicians and health care professionals," said Wayne Gattinella, CEO, WebMD. "In combination with Medscape, will strengthen our reach and expand the breadth and depth of our online clinical reference information."
The Company expects to realize the full benefits of the acquisition after the integration of sales, technology and editorial infrastructure is completed in the latter part of 2006. For 2005, estimated revenues were approximately $6 million with a break even net income. The Company believes that will have a small positive contribution to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and other non-cash charges for 2006 as a result of's anticipated level of profitability, offset by integration related expenses expected to be incurred during the first half of 2006.
About WebMD
WebMD Health Corp. (Nasdaq: WBMD) is a leading provider of health information services to consumers, physicians, healthcare professionals, employers and health plans. Through our public online portals, WebMD enables health-involved consumers and clinically active physicians to readily access healthcare information relevant to their specific areas of interest and specialty. Through our private online portals, WebMD provides an integrated platform for employers and health plans to enable their employees and plan members to make more informed benefit, treatment and provider decisions. WebMD Health Corp. is a subsidiary of Emdeon Corporation (Nasdaq: HLTH).
All statements contained in this press release, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements, including those regarding: the amount and timing of the benefits expected from the transactions referred to in this press release; future deployment of applications; and other potential sources of additional revenue. These statements are based on WebMD's current plans and expectations and involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual future events or results to be different than those described in or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include those relating to: market acceptance of WebMD's products and services; WebMD's ability to form and maintain mutually beneficial relationships with customers and strategic partners; and changes in economic, political or regulatory conditions or other trends affecting the healthcare, Internet and information technology industries. Further information about these matters can be found in WebMD's Securities and Exchange Commission filings. WebMD expressly disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
SOURCE WebMD Health Corp.
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Report: Search Engines Often Used For Navigation

Report: Search Engines Often Used For Navigation via NewsEdge Corporation :
When Internet surfers want to go to common Web sites, they often rely on search engines to get them there rather then typing the desired URL directly into the address bar, according to a report issued Wednesday by research firm Niesen//NetRatings.
In its monthly survey of Web users, the Internet media and research firm said "ebay" and "google" led in the most popular search category.
"Five of the top 10 search terms were for sites with search engines themselves, supporting the argument that Web visitors are not likely to be loyal to a single search engine," the Nielsen announcement stated.
The three top search terms have remained steady in recent months with "ebay" the search term recording the most frequent number of requests with 13,871,000 followed closely by "google" with 13,301,000. Yahoo was third with 7,997,000.
Others, in order, were: "mapquest" with 7,431,000, "", 6,528,000; "", 4,062,000; "walmart", 3,688,000, "ask jeeves", 3,389,000; "msn", 3,155,000; and "", 3,125,000.
Nielsen noted that "weather" was the first topical search term. It ranked 23rd. Other popular search terms were for retail and auction sites.
"There are two types of online searchers that type a Web site's URL into a search engine rather than into the browser's address bar," said Ken Cassar, chief analyst, Nielsen//NetRatings, in a statement. "Those inexperienced enough not to appreciate the difference between the two, and those that are so experienced they have become habituated to using the search engine as their portal to the Internet."
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Study shows pharma using Internet more as awareness-raising tool

Study shows pharma using Internet more as awareness-raising tool 
Research firm Best Practices conducted a recent study that shows that more pharmas--87% of those surveyed--are using online sites to raise awareness of physicians and patients as opposed to raising market share, the firm reports. Studying 17 top-selling oncology drugs from nine drug companies, the study identified trends and best practices in using the Internet as a marketing and value-added service tool for patients, physicians, and thought leaders in the oncology marketplace, says Best Practices. With doctors and patients increasingly searching the Internet for information, pharma has started to shift its efforts to more online targeting.


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Study: Simple disease management programs work as well as complex ones

A simplified education program improves knowledge, self-care behavior, and disease severity in heart failure patients in rural settings.

Am Heart J.  2005; 150(5):983 (ISSN: 1097-6744)

Caldwell MA ; Peters KJ ; Dracup KA
University of California, San Francisco, California, USA.

BACKGROUND: Self-monitoring by heart failure (HF) patients of worsening symptoms caused by fluid overload is a cornerstone of HF care. Disease management has improved outcomes in HF; however, these resource-intensive programs are limited to urban centers and are generally unavailable in rural or limited health care access areas. This pilot study sought to determine whether a simplified education program focused on a single component of disease management (symptom recognition and management of fluid weight) could improve knowledge, patient-reported self-care behavior, and HF severity in a rural setting.

METHODS: This randomized clinical trial enrolled 36 rural HF patients into an intervention or control group. The intervention group received a simplified education program with a follow-up phone call focusing on symptom management delivered by a non-cardiac-trained nurse. Patient knowledge, self-care behaviors, and HF severity (B-natriuretic peptide [BNP]) were measured at enrollment and at 3 months.

RESULTS: The sample was primarily white men and married with a mean age of 71 years and ejection fraction of 47%. There were no differences between groups in knowledge, self-care behaviors and BNP at baseline; however, knowledge and self-care behavior related to daily weights improved significantly at 3 months in the intervention group (P = .01 and .03, respectively). Although the changes in mean BNP at 3 months were in the hypothesized direction, the difference between the 2 groups was not significant.

CONCLUSIONS: A simplified education program designed for use in resource scarce settings improves knowledge and patient-reported self-care behaviors. These findings are important in providing care to patients with HF in limited access settings but should be studied for longer periods in more heterogeneous populations.

  • PreMedline Identifier: 16290977
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AtomFilms Plans Studio to Finance 'Snack-Sized Content' for Web Users

AtomFilms Plans Studio to Finance 'Snack-Sized Content' for Web Users

From Associated Press

SAN JOSE — As the Internet becomes the people's stage and online video takes off, AtomFilms today will launch what could be one of the first of many new studios dedicated to the production of video for the Web.

The Internet video pioneer, which already runs a website for preproduced video shorts or clips from independent creators, said it would continue to bank on what it calls "atomized" pieces. But with AtomFilms Studio, it will finance select projects, investing upfront in the production of original content designed for Internet-based delivery.

The development house has six projects that are under production already — due for release in the spring — and as many as three dozen others planned for the studio's first year. The initial round ranges from a Craigslist-inspired online dating reality series to a short film about a man who finds himself fighting for his life after a successful date.

Parent company Atom Entertainment Inc. plans to invest "hundreds of thousands of dollars" in the initiative in 2006, with budgets per project expected to vary widely, said AtomFilms founder and Chief Executive Mika Salmi, declining to be more specific.

Atom hopes its roots dating back to 1999 will give it a jump in the latest online video rush, which has attracted deep-pocketed rivals such as Yahoo Inc. and CBS Corp.

In the early days of AtomFilms, the San Francisco-based start-up and other websites such as and struggled to gain niche viewers with poor-quality, mostly amateur video played over slow Internet connections. The dot-com bust then dashed a number of grand ambitions to produce original content for the Web.

But times have changed. Video quality and computers have improved. More people have faster Internet connections and are turning to the Web as a source of entertainment.

AtomFilms Studio intends to fund projects that are preferably less than five minutes long.

"We believe in snack-sized content across all our brands," Salmi said. "We think this is what consumers want for broadband entertainment across various screens."

Atom will not have a physical studio like Paramount Pictures Corp. or Warner Bros. in Hollywood because it plans to leave film production up to the creators.
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Sunday, January 22, 2006

Podtrac, Kiptronic Launch Podcast Ad Networks

Podtrac, Kiptronic Launch Podcast Ad Networks

With Podtrac, advertisers can opt to upload pre-recorded 10-second spots, or a script for a host-read spot, which will appear within the first 90 seconds of the podcast; a 30-second spot could be inserted at the end of the podcast. For video podcasts, Podtrac is also offering some product-placement opportunities.

Advertising positions for three top-ranked iTunes podcasts will be auctioned by Podtrac. They include a leading technology podcast, This Week in Technology, and leading entertainment podcasts MuggleCast and Josh & Japan, writes MediaBuyerPlanner. The online auction will end on March 31, 2006.

Kiptronic's ad-insertion technology allows podcasters to add sponsorships to their content while providing advertisers a central exchange where they can connect with the topical podcasts that they are interested in, allowing podcasters to retain control over the type of advertising that runs on their podcasts.

"Podcast sponsorship doesn't mean you've sold out, it means your podcast just might be popular enough to become more than a hobby," reassures the Kiptronic homepage.

The smaller podcast players might just have to contend with Google, according to InformationWeek, which points to Google's acquisition of dMarc Broadcasting.

"I doubt Google is getting into radio advertising," Tim Bourquin, chief executive officer at TNC New Media, the creator of the Podcast & Portable Media Expo, is quoted as saying. "I would bet they will use this technology to somehow deliver podcast advertising."


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Amateur Video Sharing Grows Online

Amateur Video Sharing Grows Online

By ANICK JESDANUN, AP Internet Writer2 hours, 21 minutes ago

Over the past year, Janelle Gunther occasionally captured video with her Canon PowerShot digital camera: An elephant parading through city streets to the Ringling Bros. circus, her friends on stage during an improv dance show.

But the clips simply sat on her computer unwatched — until last weekend, when she began adding them to Vimeo, one of several sites to emerge for sharing amateur footage.

There's no shortage of sites willing to accept such video, and once issues of revenues, copyright and ease of use get sorted out, the sharing of personal video promises to become as commonplace as photo-sharing is today.

"For the past six months or so, a lot of these sites have been popping up," said Jakob Lodwick, Vimeo's founder. "It went from being none to there being new ones every couple of weeks."

Credit the digital video revolution.

Most digital cameras sold since 2004 can shoot video, and so can newer models of cellular phones, said Jill Aldort, an InfoTrends consultant who specializes in Internet imaging trends. CVS Corp. even sells disposable video cameras.

"People have video all over the place, coming out of their ears," said Cynthia Francis, chief executive of Reality Digital Inc., which runs the ClipShack sharing site. "People are looking for a way to share that."

Now they needn't necessarily burn DVDs or carry around cameras to show friends their latest video oeuvre. Thanks to faster Internet connections and better online video technology, even search engine leader Google Inc. is getting into the game.

Now that it's easier to reach her audience, Gunther expects to shoot even more video, just as she shot 10 times as many photos once she started sharing them on Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO - news)'s Flickr.

"I finally had a place to put them," the 30-year-old architect said of her photos., a leading site, had more than 3 million visitors in December, nearly tripling its visitation in November, according to Nielsen/NetRatings. YouTube Inc. says its users have been sharing 20,000 new videos a day and watching some 10 million daily.

One clip on YouTube is of a 12-year-old scoring a touchdown, another is of a woman burping in front of a mirror. One young man captured himself skateboarding on a treadmill.

Others are more carefully produced and edited, even set to music.

Steve Silvestri, a local television news cameraman in Bates City, Mo., began sharing his library of personal videos on Christmas Eve, many featuring his travels on Amtrak. One clip got more than 10,000 views within two weeks — gaining a wider audience than he did from burning 50 DVDs for family and friends.

"It's the greatest thing since the Internet," Silvestri said. "Everybody wants to have an audience for their stuff."

Budding filmmakers and musicians can promote themselves, too, but people generally capture everyday moments without ever thinking they'd become Internet sensations, said Chad Hurley, YouTube's co-founder.

Despite the growth, video-sharing remains largely a province of the tech-savvy.

Many people don't know their digital cameras can shoot video or can't be bothered transferring or trimming it.

Though video-sharing is available to higher-end paying subscribers of Smugmug Inc.'s photo service, it's not the main driver, said Chris MacAskill, the company's co-founder.

Photos, on the other hand, can be shared as is and many photo-sharing sites even let users crop, remove "red eye" and perform other minor editing.

The early video sites differ in another key aspect.

With the exception of Flickr, the popular photo-sharing sites tend to promote sharing within a circle of friends and family, generally by sending links. Most of the video sites, however, encourage sharing with the world. They make the task easy by grouping video by most watched or highest rated, and they let users tag clips with keywords so others can search for all clips on bowling, for instance.

And while photo-sharing sites typically sell prints and photo-imprinted mugs, there's no commerce counterpart for video, which can consume 10 times as much storage and bandwidth — even after compressing files and reducing resolution.

So video sites are exploring a range of revenue models, including advertisements, which rely on huge audiences. After all, video ads already precede segments at news Web sites like CBS.

"But the question is, `Are those same strategies going to work when users are viewing user-generated content?'" ClipShack's Francis said.

A few services, particularly newer ones aimed at moms reluctant to share family footage with strangers, are relying entirely on subscriptions.

Hewlett-Packard Co.'s Snapfish, for instance, charges $25 a year for the video-sharing service it unveiled this month, even though its photo service is entirely free. Both emphasize closed communities — one must already have the link to watch.

And then there's Revver Inc., which relies on ads but shares revenues with users who submit video.

"It is a new frontier," said Steven Starr, Revver's chief executive. "The migration of video onto the network is upon us, and the rules of that migration are being worked out as we speak."

Intellectual property owners also must grapple with these services, some of which are littered with skits from "Saturday Night Live" and music video segments.

As studios and networks expand online sales of already-aired shows through services like Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes, look for them to more aggressively pursue violations.

"This is an evolving landscape," said Rick Cotton, general counsel for NBC Universal. "As we get into partnerships ... to make material legitimately available, we are increasing and escalating our efforts to police against the unauthorized and extensive infringing of materials."

The video-sharing sites promise to remove copyright materials — as well as pornography — when requested, but they also say that some such clips are actually authorized or tolerated for their promotional value.

Another gray area involves music playing in the background.

"If you are lip-synching a Prince song, do you owe Prince royalties to that?" asked Trevor Wright, chief executive of the Sharkle Inc. video site. "The industry needs to and will begin to figure these things out."

Entertainment lawyer Mark Litvack said copyright owners may not go after every use in amateur movies, but video that becomes an overnight sensation likely will attract attention. Fair use, he said, does not always protect even home movies.

But there's no doubt content providers see value in sharing. Just this month, CBS Corp. began offering some shows through Google, which lets amateurs and professionals alike charge viewers for video, with Google getting a cut.

There's also great interest among advertisers.

A news site can produce only so much video on its own, Wright said, but user-generated content is limitless, driven by personal ego: "People want to share things they've done, places they've been, creations they've made and so forth."


On the Net:

Gunther's video:

Silvestri's video:


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