Friday, April 07, 2006

Mobile Marketing Grows Up

Mobile Marketing Grows Up

USA Today


Mobile marketing, where advertisers reach consumers via their cell phones, is emerging as a more sophisticated marketing tool as companies begin to dabble in text messaging, video, location-based services and mobile-payment schemes. In Las Vegas this week, about 40,000 people gathered for the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association Wireless trade show to unveil all the new methods now available to connect with customers. For example, under a deal between Sprint and the Luxor hotel here, when you land in Las Vegas and turn on your cell phone, the Luxor can check you in before you exit the plane. Also, during your stay, you might get mobile coupons for discounted meals, show tickets and other offers. Using the phone's GPS capabilities, the Luxor can see if you are off the hotel premises and tailor mobile promotions to lure you back. "Your phone is about you in ways that are unlike traditional mass media," says Linda Barrabee, an analyst at the Yankee Group research firm. Sprint is also working with the Las Vegas Monorail on a service permitting riders to buy tickets wirelessly. "This is a great marketing tool," says Sprint's data communications director John Styers, who expects the platform to be used at sporting venues and concerts. However, critics have reminded marketers that for any mobile marketing initiative to work, consumers must willingly opt in and feel confident they can opt out. To help prevent mobile spam, the Mobile Marketing Association is asking carriers and marketers to adopt stringent "best practices" policy. "We're going to be very careful about allowing access to our customer base," says Verizon Wireless COO Lowell McAdam.


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Thursday, April 06, 2006

iVillage Buys Another Medical Publisher

iVillage Buys Another Medical Publisher

Three months after buying Healthology, iVillage struck again, purchasing HeathCentersOnline, another health publisher, for $11 million in cash and $1 million in stock. The company runs HeathCenterOnline, AllergyHealthOnline and HeathlyLivingOnline. iVillage, known for its focus on women, has been increasingly gunning for the medical market. It provides health content to MSN.
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Jupiter: One in Five Seeks Medical Word of Mouth

Jupiter: One in Five Seeks Medical Word of Mouth

Jupiter Research released figures showing that one in five online users turn to other users for advice on healthcare. The figures show that pharmaceutical marketing may be more influenced by word of mouth efforts than previously supposed. Many people have found online communities concentrating on specific conditions, diseases and treatments, most having no affiliation with commercial or even medical enterprises.

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Older Adults Using Internet More, Traditional Media Less

Older Adults Using Internet More, Traditional Media Less

U.S. online adults 55 years and older - the heaviest users of offline media - say the ability to access online content any time of the day (69.2 percent) and the greater accuracy of online information (67.5 percent) are the primary advantages of the internet versus TV, radio, magazines or newspapers, according to a Burst Media survey. Some 57.9 percent of respondents also cited "content I cannot find on television, radio, magazines or newspapers"; other attributes they pointed to include content that is up to date (45.6 percent), ability to access from many locations (33.7 percent), better/more focused content (32.8 percent).

Not surprisingly, then, 36.6 percent spend less time reading magazines now than a year ago; 44.1 percent spend less time reading newspapers; 44.0 percent spend less time listening to the radio; and 43.6 percent spend less time watching TV.

Some 60.7 percent say they use the internet more now than a year ago, and 65.5 percent say they are going to more websites (34.5 percent say "many more"). As to why they use the internet, 56.3 percent cite gathering information for personal needs; communicating with others (53.6 percent); surfing for news, sports and weather information (48.8 percent); and researching product information (43.0 percent) are among the top reasons for doing so.

Other uses of the internet by older adults include travel-related research and transactions (34.7 percent), education (33.0 percent), making online purchases (32.1 percent), personal finance (31.1 percent), work/business (26.8 percent), entertainment information (25.7 percent) and gaming (21.7 percent). The most significant gender gap is in gaming: 30.3 percent of women respondents say they use the internet for game playing, but only 15.8 percent of men 55 years and older say so.

Some 77.1 percent of older online adults use the internet to search for healthcare information, with 53.4 percent saying they seek information about specific symptoms and 50.2 percent seeking treatments for a specific illness.

They also use look for information concerning specific drugs or remedies (42.4 percent), nutrition (30.1 percent), vitamins and supplements (25.2 percent), health plans and coverage, including Medicare (21.8 percent), diet or weight-loss programs (20.4 percent), non-prescription/over-the-counter remedies (19.7 percent) and heath and beauty aids (12.3 percent).

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Prospectiv Adds '' to Marketing Platforms

Prospectiv Adds '' to Marketing Platforms

Prospectiv announced that it has added a new vertical website to help pharmaceutical, health, beauty, and wellness brand marketers reach new prospects, MediaBuyerPlanner reports. is designed to help consumers search for information, tips, promotions and products that help them achieve a healthier lifestyle. Consumers who register with can receive contextually relevant offers and information on personal health, beauty, and wellness.

Marketers will then have the opportunity to identify consumers interested in specific health and wellness offerings and acquire profile data on these consumers.

According to a 2005 Prospectiv Consumer Preference Index poll, 92 percent of consumers surveyed said they are interested in visiting websites focused on treatments for specific ailments.


buzz this Survey: Branding, Rich Media In; Pop-ups Out Survey: Branding, Rich Media In; Pop-ups Out's third annual survey of interactive publishers has found that publishers expect increased spending for online branding from advertisers; increased support for video, rich media and behavioral targeting; and continued growth for large creative formats. Publishers expect web-based direct-response advertisers to account for the largest share of online ad spend (58.5 percent), but they anticipate more than 32 percent will come from more traditional, brand-focused advertisers, up from 26.5 percent in 2005.


More than 40 percent of publishers cite branding as their advertisers' main objective, more than a 100 percent increase over 2005's percentage. Moreover, for the third consecutive year publishers predict CPM pricing will account for the largest share of revenue in 2006 - up to 45 percent, compared with 41 percent in 2005.

About 67 percent of publishers support contextual advertising, up from 50 percent in 2005 - they are also now supporting brand-focused creative capabilities: Some 76 percent support rich media, up from 69 percent in 2005; 35 percent support video, compared with 25 percent in 2005; about 30 percent rely on behavioral targeting, up from 25 percent in 2005.
Moreover, more than 43 percent of publishers now support streaming content - and among those who don't, 30 percent plan to do so later this year.

Text ad are cited as the most profitable ad unit for publishers; standard banner ads and large rectangles are expected to be important, with 15.9 percent and 14.6 percent, respectively, predicted by publishers to bring in the most revenue.

Pop-ups are on the decline for the first time in three years and are not expected to be profitable.

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Ad-Supported AP Online Video Network Launched; Airs Video of Bush, Chertoff Being Warned about Likely Katrina Calamity

Ad-Supported AP Online Video Network Launched; Airs Video of Bush, Chertoff Being Warned about Likely Katrina Calamity

The Associated Press (AP) has officially launched its AP Online Video Network in the U.S. after two months in beta. Powered by MSN Video and using AP content, the ad-supported service will allow some 4,000 AP newspaper and broadcast member websites to offer a free breaking-news video content to their audience, initially totaling 45 million unique visitors.

Only nine hours after the launch of the network, paidContent points out, the AP posted video of President Bush, Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff and other government officials being warned about Katrina, a day before it struck.

(The video shows that the government was aware of the various catastrophic scenarios likely to follow the storm, including the breeching of levies. The video footage is available only through customers of the new service, but the blizzard of news stories pretty much covers the gory details.)

When launched, the network included 450 sites that had already signed up. The service will offer 40 or so video clips per day covering national, international, technology, business and entertainment news, including this week's Academy Awards.

Participating websites in the video network receive a custom-branded MSN Video player, pre-stream advertising that runs prior to the video in the player, a portion of the advertising revenue and daily news video from AP - at no charge to the sites and their visitors.

MSN is also working to expand the functionality of the network, including local content, local advertising, and content syndication systems for AP affiliates within the network.

The AP-MSN relationship is the first time that the MSN Video player technology has been syndicated to sites outside MSN's network. remains the exclusive video news content partner for MSN.

The Kansas City Star is one of the AP daily newspaper members that participated in the beta test of the vide network; New York all-news radio station 1010 WINS also took part.

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Major Marketers: TV Spots Less Effective; Eyeing Online, Search

Major Marketers: TV Spots Less Effective; Eyeing Online, Search

Advertisers will be spending significantly less on television and increasingly more on online advertising in the next couple of years, according to a poll of major advertisers by Forrester and the Association of National Advertisers, writes ClickZ. Some 78 percent of the surveyed marketers said the effectiveness of their TV advertising has diminished in the last two years. Some 80 percent said they would instead invest more in web advertising, and 68 percent pointed to search marketing specifically.

Also, 70 percent said digital video recorders (DVR) and video-on-demand (VOD) would "reduce or destroy" the effectiveness of 30-second spots; a large plurality of advertisers said they had experimented with ads on DVRs (49 percent) or VOD environments (44 percent).

Some 24 percent said they would to reduce TV ad spend by at least 25 percent and reallocate once DVR penetration grows to more than 30 million households. In addition to online, program sponsorships, product placement and online video ads were mentioned by smaller percentages of respondents.

Those polled included Charles Schwab, Colgate, Dunkin' Donuts, Johnson & Johnson, Mattel, Pfizer and Verizon. Partial results of the study were presented at the ANA's 2006 Television Advertising Forum.

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Media M&A Market Smoldering Hot in Q1

Media M&A Market Smoldering Hot in Q1

Media M&A activity 1Q06
Click to enlarge

Merger and acquisitions activity, which began to rebound in 2004 and exploded in 2005, is so far soaring high in 2006, with the number of deals and deal value having increased in the first quarter compared with 1Q05. Across the 11 industry sectors tracked by the Jordan, Edmiston Group, Inc. (JEGI), media and information industry M&A volume in 1Q06 numbered 168 deals, up nearly 8 percent from the year-ago quarter; deal value surpassed $14.6 billion, a 35 percent increase over the first quarter of 2005, according tothe M&A firm.

The increase in M&A activity was led by the following key sectors: online media (number of deals up 54 percent); consumer books (number of deals up 100 percent; value up over $1 billion); consumer magazines (deal volume up 27 percent); database information services (volume up 13 percent; value up nearly six-fold); exhibitions and conferences (volume, 27 percent; value, 70 percent); marketing and interactive services (volume up 31 percent; value up 29 percent); and newspaper publishing (value up 188 percent).

JEGI 1Q06 M&A value

Click to

According to JEGI (pdf file), the key drivers of growth in media M&A are "major strategic companies, with strong balance sheets, pursuing growth through acquisitions; private equity firms that still have large investable cash positions; bank financing that is available to acquirers at attractive lending multiples; a strong U.S. economy, with a promising outlook; strong continuing growth in the online media and interactive marketing sectors."

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Anne's Blog: Two New Studies Show Google Clicks Don't Convert as Well

Anne's Blog: Two New Studies Show Google Clicks Don't Convert as Well

Funny, the biggest Net marketing trend these days I hear when interviewing people is Google hate. "Everyone loves them, they have the best brand in the world, but really they stink!" is a typical rant. I think most of it is due to human nature more than any research.

You know: Google is massive, Google is insanely powerful, Google and Bill Gates both have a "G" in their names... Jealously and fear are very powerful.

Last week, not one but two separate research studies were released revealing "Ta da!" that Google clicks are not quite up to snuff compared to other search engines. (Links to more info below.)

First BIGresearch released a study with the key finding, "Yahoo Tops Search Engines for Influence to Purchase." (Note: These folks mainly study the consumer marketing world, not B-to-B.)

The next day, Web analytics firm WebSideStory released a study showing the following conversion stats across their many clients:

AOL traffic 6.17%
MSN traffic 6.03%
Yahoo traffic 4.07%
Google traffic 3.83

However dramatic this data, you should also realize (as I do) that the average marketer is often buying up to tens of thousands more keywords from Google than they are, in particular, from AOL or MSN so of course conversions would be lower. Broader terms equals lower conversions (but often cheaper CPC and better ROI).

Also, whether or not clicks from Google's non-search AdSense network are included is not noted. If they are (and I bet they are), lower conversions would make sense as contextual ads almost invariably pull lower conversions than search ads. Duh.

OK, while I'm not the biggest Google fan in the world (it's hard to unwaveringly adore a company that holds massive power over your bottom line -- as Google does for those of us who rely to some degree on search traffic) I suspect this anti-Google research is in some part a very human backlash against its gargantuan-ness.

My recommendations in response to these studies?

#1. If you're focusing ONLY on Google get thyself onto additional mainstream search engines, niche engines, and/or shopping engines. As we've documented for two years now in our Search Marketing Benchmark Guide, a sizeable portion of the online marketplace doesn't use Google, or only Google.

A smart direct response marketer would never mail only one list unremittingly. Why focus on a single search engine?

#2. If you are lumping in contextual ads with your search ad buy, as far too many marketers are, split these campaigns and track them separately.

Contextual ads which appear on non-search-results pages can get strikingly different conversion rates than search ads. Your clicks are in a profoundly different psychographic. Just because a campaign has the "Google" name on it (i.e. AdSense) doesn't mean it's going to perform as well as listings that actually appear on Google will.

#3. Search optimization (SEO) is generally far less expensive than an aggressive paid search campaign to get the same amount of traffic. Plus, the effects are longer lasting, and conversions are frequently in the same range (or even higher) than paid ads on engines.

This year marketers will spend roughly 1/8th of their search budgets on SEO, and 7/8th on paid search ads. That's really stupid. (Lemmings, cliff ... you get the picture.)

#4. Don't use any search engine's complimentary tool service to track your conversions. Why would you give someone who sells you ads all the data they need to decide if they should put the price up higher?

It astonishes me that marketers who would never publicly reveal their conversion data will hand over the keys to the data castle in exchange for a little comp software. Google may be an awfully nice brand, with awfully nice people, but this is business, remember?

Since when do you allow an ad rep inside your books?

Anyway, rant over. Here's a link to my other Blog over at ContentBiz where I first discussed this data last week and gave links to studies:

Anne Holland - Publisher

P.S. As always, our Case Studies and articles are open access for about 10 days. Then they go into SherpaLibrary where you can research for a small fee. The links always remain the same.


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Moviemaker Turns To Unconventional Marketing Methods



Moviemaker Turns To Unconventional Marketing Methods

NY Times


Like almost every other marketer, moviemakers are experimenting with new ways to get consumers to pay attention to their products. Instead of relying on traditional advertising on TV and in newspapers, as film studios have done for decades, at least one film company is starting to think out of the marketing box. To introduce its new movie "Take the Lead," a story about a professional dancer who volunteers to teach all the right moves to New York City schoolchildren, New Line Cinema wants fans to create unofficial mash-ups--mixed versions of music from the movie made from material available on the film's official Web site. New Line is also providing a variety of blogs, online social communities and Web sites with mash-ups of music and images from "Take the Lead" produced by professional DJs and VJs, which supplement the trailers for the movie being shown in theaters. The DJs are also playing the mash-ups they produced during live events at clubs where they work. "New Line is kind of pushing the envelope," said Steve Ellis, chief executive at Pump Audio in Tivoli, N.Y., which is providing the technology for the do-it-yourself online mash-ups. The goal is to encourage consumers "to make a proactive decision to engage with this content," he added, "instead of bombarding them with ads."





April 6, 2006

Going Unconventional to Market Movies


A MOVIE opening tomorrow, "Take the Lead," has an appropriate title, and not just because it is about dancing.

The studio releasing the film, New Line Cinema, wants to take the lead in finding alternative ways to market movies beyond traditional methods like advertising on television and in newspapers. It is a search that is also preoccupying the rest of Hollywood, anxious to reverse a slump in ticket sales.

For "Take the Lead" — a romantic drama about a professional dancer who volunteers to teach all the right moves to New York City schoolchildren — New Line is sponsoring such unusual marketing initiatives as a chance for computer users to create unofficial mash-ups. Those are mixed versions of music from the movie, using material available on the film's official Web site (

New Line is also providing a variety of blogs, online social communities and Web sites with mash-ups of music and images from "Take the Lead" produced by professional D.J.'s and V.J.'s, which supplement the trailers for the movie being shown in theaters. The D.J.'s are also playing the mash-ups they produced during live events at clubs where they work.

Among the online sites where the mash-up trailers can be watched are Google Video (, iFilm (, MySpace (, TagWorld ( and YouTube (

New Line, which is part of Time Warner, has also marshaled a phalanx of promotional partners for "Take the Lead," including the Bloomingdale's division of Federated Department Stores, Circuit City, the Carl's Jr. and Hardee's fast-food chains owned by CKE Restaurants and Sally Beauty, a retailer of hair care and beauty supplies. The promotions include sweepstakes, merchandise giveaways and even a dance contest to be held at local chapters of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

"New Line is kind of pushing the envelope," said Steve Ellis, chief executive at Pump Audio in Tivoli, N.Y., which is providing the technology for the do-it-yourself online mash-ups.

The goal is to encourage consumers "to make a proactive decision to engage with this content," he added, "instead of bombarding them with ads."

The unconventional marketing ideas for "Take the Lead," which features Antonio Banderas and Alfre Woodard, are indicative of how serious studios are about finding new methods to woo moviegoers back into theaters.

In another example of the trend, a New Line competitor, Lionsgate, is co-producer of a coming film, "Akeelah and the Bee," with Starbucks Coffee, which is sponsoring screenings for its employees and promoting the movie in stores with ads on cardboard cup sleeves.

Through last weekend, revenue from movie ticket sales this year had risen less than 1 percent over the same period a year ago, according to data from Exhibitor Relations, which tracks box-office results, while the number of tickets sold had fallen 2 percent.

Those mediocre results came after a disappointing 2005, when revenue declined 5.2 percent, to $9 billion, from $9.5 billion, the National Association of Theater Owners reported. New Line had its share of flops last year, including "Son of the Mask" and "The New World."

To market "Take the Lead" effectively to its intended audience of younger moviegoers, "you can't force-feed them" with traditional top-down advertising, said Russell Schwartz, president for domestic marketing at New Line in New York.

Rather, "it's all about giving these kids our trailers, our songs, and letting them take control," he added. "Our assets become their assets, and that's how they become fans of the movie."

There are risks to that approach, Mr. Schwartz acknowledged, particularly since it yields results that are "not as trackable or researchable" as those for campaigns in mainstay media like television or print.

"The methodologies we have in place are not that valid anymore," he added. "But it is a new world, and we have to be brave about it." One benefit to shifting more of a movie's marketing budget to the new media is that "the Internet is not that costly," Mr. Schwartz said, adding that $1 million or $2 million is a significant amount to spend online.

Mr. Schwartz declined to discuss the marketing budget for "Take the Lead," a fictionalized version of the story told in "Mad Hot Ballroom," a popular documentary released last year by the Paramount Classics unit of Paramount Pictures, owned by Viacom. The budget is estimated to be around the average spent by a studio to publicize a release, which is about $40 million.

"The nice thing about the advertising is that it's using stuff that's originating in the movie," said Liz Friedlander, the director of "Take the Lead," who for the last decade has directed video clips for musical acts like Blink-182 as well as commercials for advertisers like McDonald's and Target.

"I definitely have strong opinions" about the advertising for the film, Ms. Friedlander said, "because I've had success in that medium and I've had failure in that medium, and I've learned from both."

Ms. Friedlander said she approved of the nontraditional steps New Line was taking because they "let people know it's a different ride" from what they might be expecting if they were familiar with "Mad Hot Ballroom" or fictional films about teachers like "To Sir, With Love."

Jan Roberts, public relations director at Sally Beauty, a national chain of 2,100 stores, said that movie studios frequently ask her company to sponsor coming releases.

"But we're very particular," Ms. Roberts said, adding that the "Take the Lead" sponsorship was appealing because "it has all the bells and whistles" in the form of the new-media elements.

"We're trying to resonate with the teen market and increase our cool factor," Ms. Roberts said. "Everyone wants to be cool."

The promotion between Sally Beauty, based in Denton, Tex., and "Take the Lead" includes posters in stores and the distribution of 220,000 booklets titled "Prep for Prom," which include coupons and information about a sweepstakes on the company's Web site (sallybeauty .com).

The relationship between a movie about dancing and prom season, a busy time for Sally Beauty, was also a draw, Ms. Roberts said.

In the two weeks that the promotion has been in the marketplace, she added, "we're seeing a very positive trend in both redemption of coupons and sales."


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Study shows only eight out of 100 pharma brands send welcome e-mails to consumers



ePharm5 exclusive: Study shows only eight out of 100 pharma brands send welcome e-mails to consumers


Only eight of the top 100 best-selling prescription products sent a welcome or enrollment e-mail to consumers who signed up for an online pharma program, according to Chicago-based consulting agency WHITTMANHART. Not sending a welcome e-mail when a consumer signs up is a missed opportunity for pharma, according to WHITTMANHART senior strategy manager Denine Harper. "The welcome e-mail is one of the most important e-mails a company can send, but it is one of the most neglected," says David Henry, WHITTMANHART senior strategy manager.





Exclusive pharma study: Only eight of the top 100 products sent welcome e-mails to online enrolless


WHITTMANHART performed a comprehensive study of the top 100 prescription products in the United States and followed their e-mail programs for seven months. This study reviewed Web sites, e-mail, loyalty, and HCP programs of the nation's top pharma brands.   Only eight of the top 100 best-selling prescription products sent a welcome or enrollment e-mail to consumers who signed up for an online program, according to a WHITTMANHART study of pharma e-mails.


Not sending a welcome e-mail when a consumer signs up is a missed opportunity for pharma, according to WHITTMANHART senior strategy manager Denine Harper. A proper welcome sets the stage and tone of the entire online program and gives a first impression of the brand.


"The welcome e-mail is one of the most important e-mails a company can send, but it is one of the most neglected," says David Henry, WHITTMANHART senior strategy manager.

Harper agrees, saying most brand marketers don't think of the welcome e-mail as a key tool. However, "it's so important--it needs to hit the top of the priority list," she says.

Getting a welcome e-mail out to the consumer as soon as possible engages them right away, says Harper. Sending it immediately is best, but at the very least, it should be sent within five days of registration. The e-mail should touch the consumer while the brand is still fresh in their minds. Harper and Henry also agree that an auto response doesn't really qualify as a welcome e-mail. However, an auto response is better than nothing.


A good welcome e-mail uses HTML, not text, because HTML messages are more aesthetically pleasing and can better communicate the brand value. Yet of the eight pharma brands that sent a welcome or enrollment e-mail, four were text-based, according to the study.


Here are some other welcome e-mail best practices:

  • "Engage, engage, engage," says Harper. Provide relevant brand information and always include links back to your Web site to encourage further interaction on the site.
  • Say thank you and use personalization by addressing them by name or incorporating some of their indicated preferences.
  • Always ask consumers to add the "from" address into their address books to keep the e-mails out of the spam or junk folder and into the inbox. "It's an almost sure path straight to their inbox every time," says Henry.
  • Set expectations about future e-mails up front and stick with it. The consumer should know what kinds of e-mails they will be getting in the future and how often.
  • If you have a static, but high-quality, HTML welcome e-mail, change the content every few months to keep it fresh, current and relevant to the Web site.
  • Ensure that you're complying with all legislation, especially CAN-SPAM. Make sure consumers have a functional way to unsubscribe and the e-mail has a physical 'from' address.
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Google Lets Local Businessses Buy Display Ads


Move Directly Challenges Local Yellow-Pages Companies

March 31, 2006


By Kris Oser

NEW YORK ( -- Google yesterday unveiled a paid service for local advertisers that lets them place display ads for their businesses within the map that appears along with local search results.

Click to see larger image.

Google's new advertising feature pits it against local yellow-pages providers.

The service pits Google against traditional local directory purveyors like yellow-pages providers as well as rivals like Yahoo Local. The move is potentially lucrative for Google. Local search represents less than 10% of marketers' search budget now, but is expected to rise rapidly to encompass one in five paid-search dollars, according to market research firm eMarketer. By 2010, local search ad spending is expected to reach more than $6 billion, according to consulting firm Kelsey Group.

White flags, red flags
When a user asks for information about a certain business, such as "New York Pizza," results appear containing red icons of the businesses listed bordered by a map of the area on the right of the page. With the new service, the maps now include white icons as well. When the user clicks on one of the white icons, which can be in the shape of, say, a flower or a coffee cup, a bubble appears containing the name and address of the business, along with the telephone number and a graphical representation of a logo or a photo.

The service, which is part of Google's AdWords program, charges advertisers on an auction-based, cost-per-click basis. Google already lists basic information about local businesses for free in Google Local.

Other than flagging the new service within its AdWords offering, Google is not planning to market it. “One of the nice things about being Google is that people tend to find out about it quickly,” said Dominic Preuss, product manager, local advertising, Google.

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American Express, Mediavest Dismantle TV Silos

April 04, 2006

By Matthew Creamer

NEW YORK ( -- Video is killing TV. As a proliferation of digital channels makes content long limited to your boob tube available on a range of devices from your iPod to your laptop, the ad industry is undergoing a semantic shift that’s ousting broadcast TV as its central organizing principle.

Changing TV buying
In its place, a more flexible notion of video is emerging, one that is rendering obsolete many industry silos, forcing the rearrangement of TV and Internet buying, planning and selling units, and bringing newbie digital types into ever closer proximity to grizzled broadcast buyers.

In what may be the biggest bellwether for this shift, Publicis Groupe’s MediaVest, which buys for giants like Procter & Gamble Co., announced this month that it’s rechristening its TV-buying teams as “video investment and activation units.” That reorganization, which puts digital experts alongside its broadcast buyers, is one of the most decisive acknowledgments of the zeitgeist -- even in an era of big statements and bold claims, where every ad agency is trying to structure itself to produce more digital content and escape the box of the 30-second-spot.

On the marketer side, American Express Co. is lumping TV into a rather unglamorous-sounding category called “rolling video stock,” which also includes cinema, pre-roll online video, podcasts. Yes, there’s a great deal of talk about “video-neutrality” -- and the AmEx nomenclature may have some worried about a day when it’s all ones and zeroes -- but this isn’t just ivory-tower palaver.

Being 'video-neutral'
Changing the terms of discourse, after all, acknowledges a changing reality, not only in how agencies are organized but also in how the work of reaching consumers has been upended. “Broadcast is not dying; broadcast still works,” said Donna Speciale, president-U.S. broadcast and programming at MediaVest. “But we have to follow the consumer to where he or she is getting content and that means being video-neutral.”

“Whenever I hear the word ‘broadcast,’ I try to dump it,” said David Rolfe, senior VP-director of branded production at Omnicom Group’s DDB, Chicago, one of the many Madison Avenue giants trying to broaden its palette. “It’s a grotesque anachronism that implies the model where we’re just feeding viewers whatever we want them to have.”

Sure, we’ve known for years that the era of interruption marketing is giving way to one of consumer control, wresting power away from the traditional content-providers who, before the rise of cable TV and the Internet, had a guaranteed captive audience of tens of millions. So if media fragmentation and consumer control is nothing new, what is?

Digital bandwagon
What’s different these days is that the media companies, having shaken off their post-dot-com bust hangover, are jumping back on the digital bandwagon. You’ve got ABC and NBC distributing hit TV shows like “Lost,” “Desperate Housewives” and “The Office” on iTunes and CBS broadcasting the NCAA basketball tournament over the Internet. And, as the upfront season approaches, every company is buffing up its digital strategy. Observers expect more and more layered video deals that add to broadcast, especially platforms like broadband and video on demand.

The heightened activity on the part of media sellers of the last year is what led MediaVest, which seven years ago was rebranded from TeleVest to reflect the reality of the media world beyond TV, to make its change when it did.

“We’ve been thinking about this for at least a year, but we didn’t have the media partners to do it,” said Brian Terkelsen, senior VP-director of entertainment marketing at MediaVest, whose unit reports to Ms. Speciale. “It’s as if they woke up from deep sleep and ... running the New York City marathon right now. They’re not even cutting their teeth on a 10K.”

Creative agencies instrumental
The creative agencies will be instrumental in pushing that innovation further, as they work to devise commercial messaging forms for the dimensions of a video-neutral world -- not just chopping up a 30-second spot and cramming it into a two-inch screen.

Since joining DDB last year, Mr. Rolfe has been working to do just that. For instance, he’s been trying to breathe some interactive, non-TV life into the Ted Ferguson idea for Anheuser-Busch’s Bud Light with online work and with various events, a documentary and even a comedy show -- all ways of meeting consumers on their own terms.

“Marketers have long thought they have that control to dictate when and where they’d reach viewers,” he said. “They just can’t assume that anymore.”

~ ~ ~
Abbey Klaassen contributed to this report.



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The DTC Dashboard

The DTC Dashboard is a series of key charts designed to provide a snapshot of the state of the DTC industry. Compilation and analysis by Christine Franklin of DTC Perspectives, Inc. The 2005 year saw DTC spending up 7% to $4.8 billion, with disease education as a marked focal point of the increased spending. New brands contributed largely to the increase as well, offsetting declines from major players such as Pfizer and Novartis.

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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

DDMAC Advocates Separate Style For Disease / Brand Ads

DDMAC Advocates Separate Style For Disease / Brand Ads

(from DTC Insights, April 2006)


The FDA is revising 2004’s draft guidance on help seeking and disease awareness ads to incorporate industry comments, and is looking closely at how these ads incorporate “presentational elements” from the corresponding branded ads. Thomas Abrams, director of DDMAC, cautioned marketers about “seeing how close they can get” to having a disease-awareness and a product ad follow a similar style and format.


“When this happens, it results in a violative or problematic advertisement,” Abrams said at a Drug Information Association event in New York. “Keep these things separate.” Abrams said what’s best for patients should be the guiding factor in disease education and branded ads, and marketers should strive to do “the right thing.” The right thing is to “not have promotion without risk information by looking for a loophole.” The challenge is to create unbranded communications that also impact the brand. Otherwise the shift to disease education may not endure.



* The budget shift into disease ed (spending up 78% in 2005) has generated a positive response. Expect the FDA to closely monitor the disease ads for possible links to


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Third Screen Media to launch MADX Agency / Klipmart introduces new online video unit

Third Screen Media to launch MADX/Agency

Apr 5, 2006

Boston—Third Screen Media said it will launch MADX/Agency, a software product suite that links advertisers, publishers and wireless carriers together on a common advertising platform. The software will provide advertisers and agencies access to mobile advertising inventory and campaign management. Features include audience planning, targeting, delivery and reporting. The software is set to be rolled out in the next few weeks.


Klipmart introduces new online video unit

Apr 5, 2006
New York—Klipmart Corp. announced a new online ad format, featuring six panels of simultaneously streaming online video ads. The ad unit is being used by Amp’d to promote a new line of mobile phones.  Within the ad unit, users can click on any of the videos to view them on a larger screen with sound and music. The ad first presents a 3-D tour of various Amp’d models with “Amp’d Live” as a menu option. Clicking on “Amp’d Live” presents the six streaming video panels. The ad unit will run for a month on sites including,, CNET, Fox Sports, Maxim and Yahoo!



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Pretty Cool Site: Adidas


Adidas has launched a Web site to promote the "Pistol Pete" Maravich apparel line. The site reads like a scrapbook and provides a way to learn more about basketball player Maravich (I had no idea who he was) and the clothing line. The sneakers, T-shirts and hats offered are old school, but I learned more about the man than the apparel. For instance, Maravich is known as "Pistol Pete" because of the technique he used to shoot the ball--out of the hip. The site has a section devoted to photo clips that showcase Pistol Pete's style of play (complete with the short shorts). In addition, users can upload their own photos and send them to friends through a viral "All Star Generator." Carat Fusion created the site.


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Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Mission Statement

Showcasing the excellence and diversity of the nation's premier research university, UCTV embraces the core missions of the University of California -- teaching, research, and public service -- through quality, in-depth television that informs, educates, and enriches the lives of people around the globe.

The University of California television channel (UCTV) creates a place where the general public can become part of the multitude of activities that constitute the life of a research university: the excitement of discovering new ideas and knowledge; unmeditated dialogue on major intellectual and civic issues; the exploration of scientific concepts and research; medical breakthroughs and practical health information; and the presentation of poetry, drama, music and other visual and performing arts.

The statewide campuses, national labs, and other institutions of the University of California produce programming for UCTV. The program schedule provides blocks of time for thematic purposes (science, health, arts, public affairs, humanities) and for individual campuses. Programs include documentaries, lectures, interviews, research symposia, artistic performances, and more formal educational material that crosses a variety of disciplines. UCTV also reaches beyond the University, establishing partnerships with prestigious community organizations to capture and create programming of value and interest to a wide range of viewers.

UCTV Goals:

  • Increase public knowledge of research developments and appreciation for their impact on everyday life
  • Provide the general public with timely and in-depth information on a variety of subjects
  • Disseminate academic content to general and specialized audiences, including career professional development in areas such as engineering and the health professions
  • Partner with community-based institutions to expand programming content
  • Continue to be on the cutting-edge of the merging television, personal computers, telecommunications, and the Internet

UCTV Overview

Welcome to UCTV, launched by the University of California to provide the public with informational, educational and enrichment programming that draws upon the vast intellectual, scientific and creative talents of the University of California.

UCTV delivers documentaries, faculty lectures, cutting-edge research symposiums and artistic performances from each of the ten UC campuses: UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Los Angeles, UC Merced, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, UC San Francisco, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Santa Cruz.

UCTV programs are broadcast live and on-demand twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week at this site using the latest in Web-delivery technology. UCTV is also available to almost 12 million homes nationwide on Echostar Satellite's DISH Network, channel 9412, and on cable in parts of California.

Every week, UCTV airs approximately 25 hours of original programming, with a different thematic focus each night. The prime time line-up of featured programming is arranged as follows:

Monday - Health and Medicine
Tuesday - Science
Wednesday - Public Affairs
Thursday - Variety
Friday - Humanities
Saturday - Arts and Music

These 3-hour blocks of thematic programming are repeated several times throughout the week, so viewers have multiple opportunities to see a program, whenever is most convenient for their own schedule. To view the complete programming schedule for UCTV, click here (please note that you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this file).


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Breast cancer patients benefit from online support

Breast cancer patients benefit from online support groups


Online support groups provide emotional benefits to women with breast cancer, HealthDay/Yahoo! News reports. According to a study conducted at the Center of Excellence in Cancer Communications Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, feel-good communication online with other cancer patients was associated with improved emotional well-being and reduced negative mood in follow-up surveys. In an analysis of messages written by 66 breast cancer patients participating in an online support group, words that were suggestive of learning or understanding, such as "aware," "feels," "know," and "understand," were predominant in the communication. In an earlier report on Yahoo! Health, a study found that black American women are 19% more likely than white women to die of breast cancer, and a second study in the March 20 Journal of Clinical Oncology found that minority women in the United States are half as likely as white women to receive recommended postsurgical drug treatment for breast cancer. This may partially explain why black women are more likely to die from breast cancer, the researchers said.




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Web site created for new psoriasis treatment Taclonex

Web site created for new psoriasis treatment Taclonex


Warner Chilcott has launched to promote the new psoriasis treatment Taclonex. The site is divided into four sections: Understanding Psoriasis, About Taclonex, FAQs, and Prescription Assistance. The homepage features an expanding menu that exposes multiple topics when the mouse is rolled over a category heading. In addition to content about psoriasis and the drug, there are photos showing patients' skin before and after using Taclonex. The site also includes printable coupons for a rebate and a free sample. Taclonex received FDA approval January 9 and is made by LEO Pharma and marketed by Warner Chilcott, according to



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Study: More than 65% of Web video viewers also watch ads



Study: More than 65% of Web video viewers also watch ads


Online video watching is growing in popularity, with 39% of those with home Internet access watching at least once per week, reports a new study by the Online Publishers Association (OPA). More than half of these video viewers--66%--have watched online video ads, and 44% of those have taken action on what they've seen. Of those who have taken action, 31% have checked out a Web site, 14% have asked for more information, and 10% have forwarded the video ad to friends or family. According to the report, video ad watchers prefer short ads, but 39% reported they would watch ads lasting longer than 30 seconds. The study surveyed 1,241 Internet users aged 12 to 64 and is representative of the U.S. online population, according to OPA. When using online video, pharmas should avoid repurposing content from other sources and instead should develop original content for the Web, according to an Avenue a/Razorfish analysis. 


* * *




Online Video Achieving Mass Appeal with News Leading the Way, According to Online Publishers Association Study; One-in-Four Internet Users Access Video Weekly; Video Advertisements Drive Specific Actions

Business Wire via NewsEdge Corporation :

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 29, 2006--According to a study released today by the Online Publishers Association (OPA), video viewing online has reached the point where it is a routine practice for many Internet users. "From Early Adoption to Common Practice: A Primer on Online Video Viewing" is the first OPA study to look at how the U.S. online population perceives video and video advertising.

The wide acceptance of online video is one of a number of compelling findings from the OPA study, which was conducted in partnership with Frank N. Magid Associates, Inc. Other headlines include:

-- News Leads: While humor gets the buzz, news/current events is the most frequently viewed online video category.

-- From Ads to Action: The vast majority of video viewers have seen video ads and many are being driven to take action.

-- Specific Destinations Popular. Visiting specific Web sites is a very popular way to find online video; general surfing is nearly as common.

Full results of the study can be found at:

"The OPA study makes it clear that online video viewing has become commonplace and that consumers often go to specific sites directly to watch video," said Pam Horan, OPA vice president of marketing and membership. "The video viewing boom has been propelled by rapidly expanding video content and consumers' increased reliance on the Web for news and entertainment. And while humorous videos seem to get the buzz, it's hard news that is most frequently watched by Web users."

The OPA video study found that 24 percent of Internet users access video at least once a week, while 46 percent watch video at least once a month. News leads the way in frequency of viewing, with 27 percent of online video viewers watching at least once a week, followed closely by funny videos (26 percent watch at least once a week). Online video viewing is very common at home (39 percent of those with home Internet access watch at least once a week) compared to 19% of those who watch at least once a week at work.

When it comes to finding the videos they watch, Internet users often rely on a handful of specific sites. Half of all video viewers go to a specific Web site to find video, and a strong majority of video viewers (58 percent) say they rely on two to five sites. Another popular way to find video is through random surfing, which is done by 48 percent of video viewers.

The OPA study found that online video advertising is being viewed regularly and leads to specific actions. Sixty-six percent of video viewers have watched online video ads, and 44 percent of those have taken action on what they've seen. Visiting a Web site ranks highest at 31 percent, while eight percent are actually driven to make a purchase. Video ad watchers generally prefer short ads, however 39 percent said they would watch ads lasting longer than 30 seconds.

Horan continued, "The OPA study makes it clear that online video ads are having a real impact. Viewers are taking action on what they watch, presenting very interesting and potentially powerful new opportunities for advertisers."

"From Early Adoption to Common Practice: A Primer on Online Video Viewing" was conducted in February, 2006 by the OPA, in partnership with Frank N. Magid Associates, Inc. The study's sample of 1,241 Internet users age 12 to 64 is representative of the U.S. online population.

About the Online Publishers Association

Founded in June 2001, the Online Publishers Association is an industry trade organization whose mission is to advance the interests of high-quality online publishers before the advertising community, the press, the government and the public. Members of OPA represent the standards in Internet publishing with respect to editorial quality and integrity, credibility and accountability. OPA member sites have a combined, unduplicated reach of 109.5 million visitors, or 65 percent of the total U.S. Internet audience (Source: comScore Media Metrix, July 2005 combined home/work/university data). For more information, go to

About Frank N. Magid Associates

Founded in 1957, Frank N. Magid Associates provides research-driven, strategic media counsel on the evolving consumer mindset for clients in 37 countries. The company helps businesses that are struggling to make sense of a constantly evolving marketplace connect with an increasingly elusive, splintered consumer who is seemingly hidden behind an expansive array of technologies. Magid provides businesses not only with an understanding of the attitudes, opinions and actions of today's technology-saturated consumers - but offers research-driven strategic advice on how to successfully brand, advertise, market and design their products and services. For more information, please visit Magid on the Web at


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