Thursday, April 20, 2006

Physicians visit pharma sites, but don't refer patients there

Physicians visit pharma sites, but don't refer patients there
Although 71% of physicians say they have visited pharma Web sites for information, only 28% said they have referred a patient there, according to a survey of 319 physicians from the MD Net Guide and Oncology Net Guide. The most common reason physicians gave for not referring patients to pharma sites was a concern about biased or narrowly focused information. However, physicians do use the Internet for themselves, with 70% of respondents participating in eCME and 88% considering the Internet an important source of specialty specific information. The survey also showed that doctors most commonly searched online for clinical information (85%), online CME (70%), and drug information (68%). Only 30% of physicians said they searched online for health IT information, according to the survey. 

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Google, Sony Promote 'Da Vinci Code'

Google, Sony Promote 'Da Vinci Code'

Google and Sony Pictures have partnered to promote "The Da Vinci Code," with Google releasing one Da Vinci Code-related puzzle or riddle on users' personalized homepages each day, through May 11, with the last puzzle for contest finalists on May 19, the film's release date, reports CNET. The move is a significant departure for Google: It's the first time that it has done a cross-promotion with the film industry - and it's "the first time...Google is giving marketers access to its formerly sacrosanct home page - well at least the personalized version," as MicroPersuasion's Steve Rubel pointed out last week.

"This is really something new for us and we're looking to do maybe a handful of these a year," Dylan Casey, brand and entertainment manager for Google, told ClickZ. "It's something we're interested in pursuing to see how we can interact with our users and get some feedback as to how Google works as a platform for these types of initiatives."

Agency Big Spaceship worked with Google and Sony on the look and feel of the puzzles and microsite elements.

Participants can enter the contest through the "Da Vinci Code Quest on Google" site, or via Google; they must have a Gmail account and Google Homepage. Each new puzzle will be directly linked to the homepage each day at 1pm EDT, giving new users a reason to visit the page daily.

Once solved, each puzzle introduces a riddle that calls for the player to use Google Search, Google Maps, Google SMS or Google Video. The first 10,000 people who complete all 24 puzzles will be invited to participate in a final 48-hour challenge. The grand prize winner will receive vacations to New York, Paris, London and Rome.

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REPORTS: Family, Friends & Community

REPORTS: Family, Friends & Community

The Internet’s Growing Role in Life’s Major Moments

The internet has become increasingly important to users in their everyday lives. It is also the case that for many of online Americans, the internet has become a crucial source of information at major moments and milestones in their lives.

Our surveys show that 45% of internet users, or about 60 million Americans, say that the internet helped them make big decisions or negotiate their way through major episodes in their lives in the previous two years.

To explore this phenomenon, we fielded the Major Moments Survey in March 2005, that repeated elements of an earlier January 2002 survey. Comparison of the two surveys revealed striking increases in the number of Americans who report that the internet played a crucial or important role in various aspects of their lives. Specifically, we found that over the three-year period, internet use grew by:

  • 54% in the number of adults who said the internet played a major role as they helped another person cope with a major illness. And the number of those who said the internet played a major role as they coped themselves with a major illness increased 40%.
  • 50% in the number who said the internet played a major role as they pursued more training for their careers.
  • 45% in the number who said the internet played a major role as they made major investment or financial decisions.
  • 43% in the number who said the internet played a major role when they looked for a new place to live.
  • 42% in the number who said the internet played a major role as they decided about a school or a college for themselves or their children.
  • 23% in the number who said the internet played a major role when they bought a car.
  • 14% in the number who said the internet played a major role as they switched jobs.
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    McDonald's is using cell phone technology to promote its restaurants,

    McDonald's is using cell phone technology to promote its Tulsa, Okla.-area restaurants, whose up-to-the-minute bells and whistles include wireless Internet, cashless technology, and plasma-screen TVs. As part of the "Mobile Whoa" campaign, through the end of April, customers in northeastern Oklahoma can participate in a mobile scavenger hunt, get a mobile coupon and post photos in a camera phone and Web site picture gallery. The scavenger hunt starts when customers text-message a specific code or register online at a microsite for the promotion. Customers then receive a series of clues via text messages. Besides the coupons for free fries with the purchase of a Big Mac, there's another plus: all customers who submit a photo to the picture gallery will receive a code on their phone to download a free ringtone or wallpaper. The technology for the campaign was designed by Gamut Industries, a mobile marketing company, with media strategy and promotion designed by Moroch Partners.

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    Study Shows Many Don't Understand Search Engines

    Study Shows Many Don't Understand Search Engines
    Media Life
    Ever read a study or look at a poll that makes you wonder where, exactly, they got those people? Sometimes I'm astonished by just how little those of us who don't dwell on the Internet for a living understand about the most basic Web activities. According to a new study from JupiterResearch and iProspect, an SEM firm, more than a third of Web searchers actually believe that the companies appearing at the top of natural search results are necessarily the top firm in their field, either in size or success. Thirty-six percent believed this to be the case, while 39 percent weren't sure, and only 25 percent disagreed that the top results indicated the company was the most prominent in its field. Actually, the results are supposed to reflect the relevance of the query. The engines don't discriminate by size or success.

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    Eisner Invests In Online Video Firm

    Eisner Invests In Online Video Firm
    Michael Eisner is joining forces with the venture capital arm of Time Warner, his former media nemesis when he was head of The Mouse House. Together, he and Time Warner Investments have contributed to a $12.5 million round of funding for Web TV startup Veoh Networks. Veoh calls itself "the first Internet television peer casting network." It creates peer to peer software that helps content publishers and consumers share published content that has been approved by a team of editors, in an attempt to sidestep piracy. Veoh is differentiating itself from the likes of YouTube by not limiting the length of videos, letting content providers choose whether to charge or integrate ads, and allowing viewers to create their own virtual channels. T he company was founded in 2004 by Dmitry Shapiro, a renowned security software developer. Eisner will be joining the company's board of directors. - Read the whole story...


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    YouTube Attracts Marketers

    YouTube Attracts Marketers
    USA Today

    YouTube has finally found a way to make money. Surprise! It's advertising. Nike, Warner Bros., MTV2 and Dimension Films are among the first set of marketers littering the site with commercial clips. Again, this is no surprise given the site's almost unbelievable growth. In December 3 million videos streamed daily. Today: 40 million. For those unfamiliar with YouTube, it's a huge destination for any kind of video content. Users can stream any video uploaded to the site and made available to the public. The most popular clips get shared virally and the number of plays can increase exponentially in a short period of time, which makes it particularly compelling for advertisers. USA Today spoke with a number of marketers, agencies and media buying firms, who highlighted the viral nature of the site and the low cost of entry: it's, um, free.


    For example, Nike recently uploaded a gritty clip of Brazil's FIFA World Football (soccer) Player of the Year Ronaldinho performing various moves with the ball. Since then, the clip has been watched 3 million times, as consumers e-mailed it to each other and posted it on their social networking profiles. YouTube won't disclose the financial details of this and other formal arrangements the site has with marketers, but those companies generally get preferential treatment on the home page, next to their brand image.




    Marketers are into YouTube

    By Laura Petrecca, USA TODAY

    Yet another reason for traditional TV outlets to worry about their relevance:, the hot new outlet for people to post and share homemade videos, has caught the attention of big-name marketers.

    Nike, Warner Bros., MTV2 and Dimension Films are among the firms seeding the site with commercial clips. Now, along with consumer-made videos of newborn babies, weddings and teens pulling pranks, is a short of soccer star Ronaldinho in his new Nike sneakers.

    Part of YouTube's lure is its ease of use. Consumers — and advertisers — can upload clips quickly.

    The site, which is like a virtual photo album that hosts millions of short videos, is simple to search.

    As broadband penetration grows, and consumer appetite for on-demand entertainment swells, video-sharing sites such as YouTube are taking off. In December, when it formally launched, users watched 3 million videos daily. Now, it's about 40 million.

    That buzz has piqued the interest of major marketers, ad agencies and media buying firms.

    "From a brand standpoint, it's become another way to reach consumers," says Barry Lowenthal, president of ad buying company Media Kitchen.

    In a world teeming with cynical consumers and ad-skipping devices such as TiVo, YouTube's edge is that its users actively seek out content. When word-of-mouth built about Nike's gritty Ronaldinho clip, consumers e-mailed the video to friends and embedded it in their profiles on social networking sites. It has been viewed more than 3 million times.

    The price for Nike? Not much. The sneaker maker shot a digital video, then uploaded it for free.

    As YouTube's must-see status swells, some firms want more formal arrangements. At the end of March, E Networks and YouTube struck a deal for the site to feature various E program clips.

    Deep Focus, a marketing firm representing studios such as The Weinstein Co., and MTV2 have both worked with YouTube on promotional opportunities. Weinstein recently ran a trailer for Scary Movie 4 from its Dimension Films division. "Within 24 hours, we had 250,000 views of the trailer," says Deep Focus CEO Ian Schafer. "Within a week, we had a million."

    Deep Focus also placed the worldwide premiere trailer for Clerks II, which Weinstein is releasing with MGM. It was viewed 150,000 times in the first two days, says Schafer.

    YouTube won't disclose financial or other details, but in most cases, those companies get preferential treatment, such as plugs on its home page. Clips that run as part of more formal agreements are usually marked with the logo of the firm that placed them to let viewers know they are promotional.

    Other firms aren't officially working with YouTube but are uploading videos on their own. To hype Superman Returns, Warner Bros. posted video blogs from the movie's director.

    Not all publicity on YouTube is welcomed. Earlier this year, NBC asked the site to pull down pirated clips of a Saturday Night Live skit because of copyright concerns.

    "When alerted by rights-holders about unauthorized videos, we will cooperate with them to remove the links," says YouTube spokeswoman Julie Supan. General Motor's Chevrolet saw firsthand how YouTube exposure can dent a brand's image. It recently launched a contest that let consumers use Chevy-provided images and music to make their own Tahoe commercial. Some people created harsh, anti-SUV messages about global warming, then promptly posted them on YouTube.

    YouTube also asks its community to self-govern for violent or pornographic material and to report offenders.

    To promote Howard Stern's Howard TV video-on-demand channel, iN Demand Networks posted a series of risqué clips. IN Demand Executives felt YouTube still gave them more flexibility than broadcast TV.

    "It's an unfettered environment where Howard fans can meet and celebrate his comedy," says iN Demand head of marketing Sergei Kuharsky.

    Despite potential pitfalls, marketers see opportunities. "It's fantastic from a consumer research standpoint," says Lowenthal. "You can type in a search for 'shopping' and then see (videos) of people showing their shopping habits. It's almost like a global focus group — all for free."

    As it grows, YouTube's challenge is to turn the rising tide of advertiser interest into dollars.

    The company expects to reap ad revenue in the first half of this year but is cautious. To remain relevant, it needs to serve paying advertisers without looking like a sellout to its millions of average users. "We want to be sensitive on how we deal with that," says CEO and co-founder Chad Hurley. "Because we really are a community, we want to build things for our users and not alienate them."

    YouTube is funded by Sequoia Capital, which invested $3.5 million in November, and another $8 million earlier this month.

    Posted 4/17/2006 10:24 PM ET


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    AT&T Signs Akimbo, Reveals Plans For Web TV Service

    AT&T Signs Akimbo, Reveals Plans For Web TV Service
    San Jose Mercury News

    AT&T yesterday announced that it will team with Akimbo to offer TV and movie downloads on its upcoming Web-based television service, set to be released this summer. Called HomeZone, the new AT&T service will launch in California and 12 other states by late summer. The telecom giant believes a Web-linked set top box is the media hub of the future, able to serve all of a customer's entertainment needs. This trend also underlines the massive shift the telecom industry is undergoing, as phone companies branch out into expanded Web services and, now, television.


    AT&T's ambitions don't end there: according to the San Jose Mercury News, the company is also working on building a TV network called Lightspeed that will reach homes through the fiber-optic high-speed connections that it's currently spending billions on developing. HomeZone will include the following: TV from Dish Network, the company's joint-venture satellite TV project; DSL Internet service; downloadable movies from Movielink; TV and movie content from Akimbo; DVR functionality; and photo sharing and radio services from Yahoo.



    AT&T to offer TV, movie downloads


    By Jessie Seyfer

    Mercury News

    AT&T announced Tuesday that it will team up with San Mateo-based Akimbo to allow customers to download movies and shows over the Internet through AT&T's upcoming television service this summer.

    The new AT&T service, called Homezone, is set to start in California and 12 other states by late summer.

    The partnership brings the phone company a step closer to realizing its long-held desire to serve all of a customer's entertainment needs with one, Internet-linked set-top box. It also highlights the massive shift the telecommunications industry has undergone in recent years, as phone companies -- seeing their traditional phone-line sales diminish -- are branching out into television.

    ``The television services that we will be using in coming years will look much different than the service we used over the last 30 years,'' said industry analyst Jeff Kagan. ``Phone companies like AT&T are rushing to offer a competitive television service to allow them to compete with the cable television companies.''

    AT&T's TV ambitions would encroach on some cable providers, which have dominated the pay-TV landscape for decades. On Tuesday, the leader of California's cable trade group derided AT&T's upcoming TV service as ``warmed-over DSL.''

    But Homezone is not AT&T's first foray into television. The company has been offering satellite television service through a partnership with Dish Network since 2003, and is working on building a TV network called Lightspeed that will reach homes through fiber-optic connections over the next few years.

    Homezone will combine several services:

    • Live TV from the Dish Network

    • DSL Internet service

    • Major-studio movies downloadable from Movielink

    • Older TV shows and movies downloadable from Akimbo

    • Digital video recording

    • Caller ID that appears on the television screen; and

    • Photo-sharing and radio services from Yahoo.

    The set-top box will be manufactured by San Jose-based 2Wire. AT&T did not release price information.

    Akimbo brings its library of 10,000 television programs, from both mainstream and niche broadcasters, to the deal. The company, which has 41 employees and is privately funded, has been striking Internet content agreements with broadcasters since its 2004 inception.

    Akimbo now features selected shows from the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, A&E and CNN, among other channels, and its niche offerings run the gamut from Bollywood films to karaoke to coverage of yachting events.

    ``Our goal is to make the archive and libraries of all these content partners available,'' said Akimbo Chief Executive Josh Goldman. ``It's not a replacement for TV. But if you want to watch your favorite Discovery Channel shows, that's the kind of thing we do.''

    Akimbo is also working with Movielink to launch a TV and movie service separate from the Homezone service later in the year.

    Market research suggests customers are still uncertain about whether they're willing to buy television service from their phone company, according to In-Stat. Only 5 percent of satellite or cable-TV subscribers polled by In-Stat said they would be willing to switch to a phone company's service. Fifty-two percent were undecided.

    Dennis Mangers, president of the California Cable and Telecommunications Association, a cable trade group, said Homezone is a cobbled-together product designed to please not customers, but politicians who are trying to figure out whether TV service from a phone company should be regulated the same way as cable TV.

    ``We think Homezone is really a fraud,'' Mangers said. ``AT&T is trying to use Homezone as a product to escape its obligations.''

    Cable companies are required to strike franchise agreements with every city where cable TV is sold. These agreements ensure that cable service is rolled out to poor neighborhoods, which don't bring as much business to cable providers, as well as wealthy ones, which are more likely to buy premium service, Mangers said.

    In California, AT&T has been lobbying for statewide, rather than local, franchise agreements. Mangers said he believes AT&T is trying to get out of bringing quality service to poor communities by offering such customers Homezone instead of the higher-tech Lightspeed service.

    Ken Tysell, AT&T's director of broadband applications, rejected those allegations, calling Homezone a quality product that would ``complement'' Lightspeed service.

    ``We'll offer Homezone everywhere Lightspeed is available, but Homezone will still be an excellent product for those where we haven't deployed it,'' he said.


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    Popular product Websites (from MEDADNEWS March 2006)

    Popular product Websites

    by Med Ad News Staff

    Prescription product Websites have become destinations for the increasing number of consumers and physicians who use the Internet as a resource for health information. Offline advertisements have helped drive this traffic.

    The most popular product Websites are drawing about 2 million visitors annually, and often generate several times the number of responses that an 800-number call center would receive, according to Manhattan Research ( These Websites include ones for cholesterol-reducing drug Lipitor, respiratory product Allegra, psychotherapeutic medicine Zoloft, gastrointestinal drug Nexium, psychotherapeutic product Wellbutrin, sleep-disorder medicine Ambien, and erectile-dysfunction product Viagra. Pfizer Inc. ( markets Lipitor, Zoloft, and Viagra. Sanofi-Aventis ( markets Allegra and Ambien. AstraZeneca ( markets Nexium. GlaxoSmithKline ( markets Wellbutrin.

    These Websites are becoming more popular as consumers and physicians increasingly rely on search engines as a primary means of locating health information online and are using broadband to access more advanced media. Consumers were 30% more likely to begin their online health session with a search engine than by going directly to a known Website. In 2005, for the first time, more consumers used a broadband than a dial-up connection as the number of broadband connections increased 31%. As a result, consumers are spending more time online, and more than 61 million U.S. adults are participating in online video, blogs, or podcasts. The number of consumers using these sources is expected to grow by double digits in 2006.

    Europe lags behind the United States in these trends. Despite the fact that most European physicians are online for more than five hours a week, they have not adopted more advanced professional activities in which U.S. physicians frequently engage. This situation may stem from a lack of offerings rather than a lack of interest.

    European physicians are, however, using the Internet to find out information about pharmaceutical companies. According to Manhattan Research, the top corporate sites visited by European physicians are Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Novartis (, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson (, Sanofi-Aventis, Merck & Co. (, Roche (, Bayer (, Eli Lilly and Co. (, and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. ( Although these results varied by country, 49% of European physicians who use the Internet for professional purposes have visited a corporate pharmaceutical site. Physicians are using the Internet to contact pharmaceutical companies directly. Fewer than 25% of European physicians report e-mailing with their patients, but nearly one-third of them report an e-mail relationship with a pharmaceutical company. This activity represents an opportunity for pharmaceutical marketers.

    Total Internet use and professional activities conducted online are increasing among European physicians. About 86% of European physicians report having an Internet connection in their offices, and 84% use the Internet daily for some purpose. A majority of this time is spent on researching topics related to their job. Resources used in these endeavors are online journals, literature databases, clinical trial information, and prescription drug facts.

    According to Manhattan Research, almost one in three European physicians has a hand-held mobile device. As devices evolve, the opportunity to use them while caring for a patient will increase.

    Company looks to Latin America

    Sanofi-Aventis signed a three-year software and services contract with Dendrite International Inc. to provide a sales-force management system for the company’s operations in Latin America, including Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, and Argentina. Company executives selected Dendrite in part because of its presence in these markets and its ability to offer products in local languages.

    More than 2,900 Sanofi-Aventis sales representatives, district managers, and home office users in the region will deploy the Dendrite product, VisiForce, which will allow them to collect, analyze, and disseminate business data from multiple sources. VisiForce can be used on personal digital assistants and laptops. Dendrite executives say Latin America is an area that is growing more popular with their customers.

    "We are pleased that one of our longest standing customers has chosen to expand its relationship with us," says Natasha Giordano, senior VP, global accounts, Dendrite ( "There is growing demand for solutions specific to Latin America, and Dendrite is at the forefront of providing solutions that meet the needs of the region."

    As part of the agreement, Dendrite will provide Sanofi-Aventis ( with deployment and implementation services, help desk and data center services, customer operations and account management services, and hardware and asset management support.

    Patient friendly Actemra Website

    Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. has made the Website for Actemra more user friendly and easier to understand in response to a trend toward more patient-oriented medicine. The Website can enable patients to make their own decisions, and allow health-care professionals to help them. Chugai officials say the Website could promote communication between patients and health-care professionals and contribute to improved patient compliance and the proper use of the product.

    Actemra is composed of tocilizumab and was approved in Japan in April 2005 for the treatment of Castleman’s disease, a rare lymphoproliferative disease characterized by symptoms such as systemic lymphadenopathy, fever, general fatigue, weight loss, anemia, splenomegaly, and hepatomegaly. The information Website,, includes descriptions of the pathology and symptoms of Castleman’s disease in an outline, as well as product side effects and efficacy. A treatment reminder for patients and post-marketing surveillance facts for health-care professionals are provided.

    Chugai officials chose to make an information Website for Actemra because the product is the first approved drug for Castleman’s disease. The population of patients is just about 100 who are refractory to conventional therapies and for whom surgical operations are not indicated. Chugai is collecting information on efficacy and safety with long-term use from all patients using Actemra. By updating the safety information obtained from post-marketing surveillance, Chugai officials expect to be able to disclose appropriate findings in a timely manner. Chugai is owned by Roche (

    Companies help fund IBD Website

    Money from several pharmaceutical companies has enabled a nonprofit to launch a Website that provides information to patients and caregivers about inflammatory bowel disease. The Foundation for Clinical Research in Inflammatory Bowel Disease published the Website, Abbott Laboratories, Centocor Inc., Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals, Salix Pharmaceuticals Inc., and Shire USA Pharmaceuticals Inc. provided unrestricted educational grants that fund

    Inflammatory bowel disease affects more than 1 million Americans, and is chronic, lifelong, and has no known cause or cure. The patient education section of includes an overview of inflammatory bowel disease and the medicines used to treat the disease.

    Several of the products listed on are marketed by the companies funding the Website. These medicines are Asacol, which is marketed by Procter & Gamble (, Pentasa, which is marketed by Shire (, Colazal, which is marketed by Salix (, and Remicade, which is marketed by Centocor ( Johnson & Johnson ( owns Centocor. The Website mentions Humira, which is marketed by Abbott ( and is in Phase III trials for the treatment of Crohn’s disease. Other products that appear on the Website are Neoral and Sandimmune, which are marketed by Novartis (, Prograf, which is marketed by Astellas Pharma Inc. (, Cipro, which is marketed by Schering-Plough Corp. (, and Azulfidine, Deltasone, and Flagyl, which are marketed by Pfizer Inc. (

    In addition to descriptions of the medicines, the patient section of provides transcripts of the foundation’s Advances in Inflammatory Bowel Disease patient education programs and an "Ask the Specialist" section with answers to questions that inflammatory bowel disease patients and their caregivers may have. The site will include information about clinical trials and how patients can participate.

    "We want patients and their caregivers to be able to access the best information available from the leading authorities on IBD," says Jane Present, co-founder and executive director, Foundation for Clinical Research in Inflammatory Bowel Disease ( "That’s why we worked with members of our scientific advisory committee, which includes IBD specialists and thought leaders from the country’s leading institutions, to develop the content for"

    A section of the Website for clinicians contains opportunities available through the Foundation for Clinical Research in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. The foundation is trying to enhance the medications available to treat inflammatory bowel disease and encourage young gastroenterologists to pursue clinical careers in treating this condition.

    Company upgrades sales software

    Alliant Pharmaceuticals Inc. has selected Synergistix Data Solutions to provide automated sales systems for the pediatric specialty pharmaceutical company. Synergistix provides sales-force automation solutions within the pharmaceutical industry.

    Alliant is using Synergistix’s ( Call Activity Tracking System for automating, managing, and monitoring its sales force to help the company comply with federal regulations. The Call Activity Tracking System allows sales representatives and managers to deal with issues arising from the Prescription Drug Marketing Act by capturing field-based data.

    Sales representatives can use the software for managing contacts, planning calls, obtaining information on market share and prescribing habits, tracking calls and sample disbursement, and ordering. Managers receive Web-based reporting capabilities and daily management tools for monitoring sales activity.

    Mark Pugh, president, Alliant (, says the software has helped the company’s sales force. "Productivity is vital for an organization like ours, and the CATS software has proven to be an effective support enabling our sales staff to increase the speed and overall productivity as they manage their day-to-day activities," Mr. Pugh says.


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    English-speaking minority groups lead Internet adoption in U.S.


    English-speaking minority groups lead Internet adoption in U.S.

    English-speaking minority groups are leading Internet and communications technology use, according to a white paper from the U.S. Internet Industry Association (USIIA). More than 90% of English-speaking Asian-Americans and 80% of English-speaking Hispanics regularly use IP and broadband services, which significantly outpaces use among whites, according to the study. People in these groups are also among the highest subscribers to all Internet services, especially bundled services. According to the USIIA, the results dispute widely accepted perceptions that racial minorities are "second-tier" Internet users. Instead, the study showed that adoption rates depend more on factors such as education, income, geographic location, age, and English proficiency. An eMarketer report earlier this week showed that 35% of all Hispanic Internet users are 24 and younger.




    Minorities Leading Users of Internet Technologies

    PR Newswire via NewsEdge Corporation :

    WASHINGTON, April 17 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study released by the US Internet Industry Association disputes widely accepted perceptions of minorities as second-tier Internet users. In fact, it shows English-speaking minority groups to be leading the nation in the adoption of modern communications technology.

    Research presented by David P. McClure, president and CEO of the USIIA, found that the rapidly evolving role of the Internet in American society is much more inclusive than previously imagined. The Internet has moved from "being a tool of the intellectual and technological elite to a tool used extensively by all segments of the US population, even by some once perceived as disenfranchised and disconnected." Among the study's findings:

        *  Ethnic minorities are among the heaviest subscribers to all IP services
           (especially bundled services), making them a key target group for
           service providers.
        *  The "racial" digital divide is rapidly closing as ethnic minorities
           embrace both broadband Internet and video services.  Differences in
           adoption and utilization rates for IP services are more dependent on
           education, income, geographic location, age and fluency in English than
           on ethnic background.
        *  More than 90% of English-speaking Asian-Americans and 80% of English-
           speaking Hispanics regularly use IP and broadband services,
           significantly out-pacing white Americans.

    "The evidence of these trends differs from conventional wisdom, and has significant implications for the public policy debates surrounding franchise reform for video services, and the glibly-named but misunderstood 'Network Neutrality,'" says McClure. He points out it is critical that policy makers move cautiously before committing to courses of action that could possibly damage rather than enhance the way and pace at which new technologies can serve all segments of the population.

    Anti-"Redlining" caveats and network deployment requirements are cited as two examples of misguided policies based on the erroneous assumption that service providers would bypass ethnic or low-income neighborhoods to concentrate on more affluent white areas. McClure writes, "It is important that public policy initiatives reinforce and support ways to increase investment in IP and broadband services, in order to increase customer choice."

    The USIIA was formed in 1994 and has become the primary trade association for companies engaged in Internet commerce, content and connectivity. McClure has an educational background in technology, education and business, and has dealt extensively with issues concerning the Internet, computing, aerospace and environmental services. He is widely published on technical and business topics and is the author of more than 20 white papers on Internet and Broadband policy, governance and economics.

    A copy of the "Broadband Segmentation" White Paper may be found at

    SOURCE US Internet Industry Association

    CONTACT: Hillary Maxwell, +1-202-572-6205,, for the US Internet Industry Association

    <<PR Newswire -- 04/18/06>>



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    Online Advertising Still Growing Strong

    Online Advertising Still Growing Strong

    APRIL 19, 2006

    Good news! A pair of new reports indicate that online advertising continued to grow in the first quarter of 2006.

    According to new Nielsen//NetRatings AdRelevance tracking data, marketers bought 185 billion display ad impressions in the month of March. That is nearly twice as many as the 97 billion that were bought in March 2005 and 31% more than February's 141 billion.

    Confirming this t rend, the results of a survey from Deutsche Bank and MediaPost, and conducted by InsightExpress, found that, of the media executives interviewed for the survey, 72% said their clients spent more on Internet advertising in the first quarter — and 41 % of them saw increases of more than 10%. Only 6% reported a spending decline, while 18% saw no change in spending.

    The survey showed that online ad prices are rising, too.

    A majority of responents to the survey (55%) said that the cost-per-thousand impressions for premium inventory was more in 2006, and 15% reported increases higher than 10%. Half the respondents also said pricing for run-of-network inventory had increased, with 9% reporting price increases of more than 10%.

    The unsurprising conclusion? Advertisers are spending more on online ads — and online ads are costing more.

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    Tuesday, April 18, 2006

    Elsevier's International Medical News Group (IMNG) Announces the Launch of Stat! The Podcast of Clinical Neurology News

    Elsevier’s International Medical News Group (IMNG) Announces the Launch of Stat! The Podcast of Clinical Neurology News


    Morristown, NJ, January 20, 2006 – IMNG, the leading publisher of specialty-specific medical newspapers for physicians, offers a new medium for delivering the news of medicine.  “STAT!”, the weekly medical news podcast, offers articles from IMNG’s medical specialty newspapers presented in an entertaining and accessible audio format.  With content tailored for specialty physicians and narrated by W. Campbell Douglass, MD, of Flow Productions, each STAT! podcast is loaded with over 20 minutes of compelling clinical information for physicians.  “We are extremely excited to be working with IMNG in this new medium for providing professionals with customized medical news,” Douglass said.


    Alan Imhoff, President of IMNG, states “IMNG is the global leader in medical news, and we are committed to providing our content in formats beyond print. Podcasts are an important new platform for medical news, enabling busy practitioners to access the information that they need from a mobile device such as an mp3 player, or from their desktop or laptop computer.  We recognize physicians want choice and control over how they access information.  We are offering them news they want, when they want it, and in the format they want.”


    Advertising spots are available on STAT!, with sponsorship available by physician specialty.  Neurology is the first specialty podcast series, launching in January 2006 with sole advertising sponsorship provided by Ortho-McNeil Neurologics, Inc.  STAT! podcasts are hosted on and available to physicians via IMNG publication websites. 




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    Submit Your CNet Video

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    CNET Launches VOD CNET TV

    CNET Launches VOD CNET TV

    CNET First Look from the Labs NET has launched its video-on-demand CNET TV, which will distribute CNET video content, such as "First Look From the Labs," to TV and online, writes BtoB Online. Initially, its distribution partners are Cox Communications, TiVo and TVN Entertainment. Online, the content will be programmable based on topic or by selecting a favorite "channel." CNET TV will also cover events such as the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Best Buy Enterprises will be the service's first advertising sponsor, reports Reuters.
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    JibJab Launches JokeBox Social Network

    JibJab Launches JokeBox Social Network

    JibJab JokeBoxThe creators of JibJab have launched a comedy social network - JokeBox, which has been in private beta for three months, writes MediaPost. Some 40,000 members have already registered and posted more than 25,000 written jokes, photos, audio and video files - and provided personal information and content preferences. Bud Light is sponsoring the site with streaming banners, and JibJab-created shorts on JokeBox feature pre-roll advertising from Benadryl and the Suburban Auto Group Ford/Chevy car dealership, among others.
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    Women more likely than men to get Rx info from pharma Web sites

    Women more likely than men to get Rx info from pharma Web sites 
    Twenty-two percent of survey respondents say they learn about medications from pharma-sponsored Web sites, according to a survey of 1,000 consumers who take medication on a regular basis. Women are more likely than men to turn to pharma-sponsored sites (26% vs. 18%) and online medical information in general (54% vs. 43%), according to the Accenture survey. Eighty-three percent of respondents said they always or sometimes trust the information pharmas provide about medications. However, only 60% said they always or sometimes trust pharma ads. Although 61% of respondents said physicians are their most trusted source for medical information, 13% said online medical sites are their most trusted source. More than half--59%--of respondents said they ask their physicians about medications they've learned about online or elsewhere.
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    DuPont Makes WOMMA Ethics Code Mandatory

    DuPont Makes WOMMA Ethics Code Mandatory

    In a major milestone for the word of mouth industry, DuPont ( has become the first Fortune 100 marketer to require its employees and vendors worldwide to follow WOMMA's Code of Ethics. Issued in a statement from the company's Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer, the full endorsement specifically indicated that DuPont will only engage word of mouth marketing services providers that adhere to WOMMA's Code of Ethics. 
    WOMMA congratulates DuPont for stepping forward and providing leadership on this issue. By working only with honest vendors, word of mouth marketing will continue to flourish and deceptive stealth marketers will find their services no longer required
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    Novogyne Pharmaceuticals launches personalized e-newsletter

    Novogyne Pharmaceuticals launches personalized e-newsletter 
    Novogyne Pharmaceuticals has launched a customized e-newsletter for menopausal women. Consumers can sign up for the newsletter, Making Sense of Menopause, on, a branded Web site for the estrogen patch Vivelle-Dot. Using answers to a short questionnaire, the newsletter content is tailored to whether the reader has had a hysterectomy or is using hormone therapy. According to Novogyne, the newsletter is part of its newly launched Web site, which provides menopause information and resources to help consumers understand the risks and benefits of the Vivelle-Dot patch. Content is also available via downloadable brochures and a video that reviews various treatment options. Users can sign up to receive a nonmedicated sample of the Vivelle-Dot patch. Novogyne is a joint venture between Novartis and Noven. 


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    Research program to provide Hispanic, Asian lymphoma education

    Research program to provide Hispanic, Asian lymphoma education

    A new educational initiative from the Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) aims to provide lymphoma education to underserved multicultural populations. The LAMP (Lymphoma Awareness for Multicultural Populations) initiative includes a multilingual, interactive Web site with information in Spanish and Chinese. The program aims to increase awareness, educational activities, and access to materials and services in these populations and increase target populations' access to materials by creating an interactive, multilingual LAMP Web site as an extension of LRF's Web site, Studies show health disparities in both the Hispanic and Asian populations. For example, according to the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, Hispanics are less likely than majority populations to receive or use needed medications. Also, the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations says that compared to other racial and ethnic groups, Asians are least likely to report having a personal doctor. The first searchable online database of Asian-language cancer materials was launched last month.

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    MySpace tops Hotmail for ad impressions, marketers still wary

    MySpace tops Hotmail for ad impressions, marketers still wary
    With 15.6% of impressions, social networking site MySpace had more online ad impressions in March 2006 than MSN Hotmail, which had 10% of impressions, according to Nielsen//NetRatings AdRelevance data. Despite MySpace's growing popularity, marketers are still wary of the site because of the lack of control over the content, reports MediaPost. Only 9% of the media buyers and planners in a MediaPost/Deutsche Bank survey said they are currently buying ads on MySpace or other social networking sites. Overall, e-mail sites accounted for 42.6% of display ads, the most popular of which was Yahoo! Mail, with 30.3% of all online ad impressions, up from last year's 7.8%. Marketers purchased 185 billion display ads in March 2006, nearly twice as many as the year before and 31% more than the 141 billion purchased in February 2006, reports MediaPost.
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    Tool enables pharma to evaluate pancreatic cancer market

    Tool enables pharma to evaluate pancreatic cancer market
    Online medical marketing intelligence firm MedPanel, whose clients include nine of the world's 10 largest pharmaceutical companies, has released Profiles in Pancreatic Cancer, the third in its 2005-2006 Profiles in Oncology series. The series aims to help companies evaluate the clinical and commercial markets in a certain therapeutic category. The newest study offers analysis of the treatment of the advanced- and metastatic-patient population. The studies, which are released quarterly, include best practices, key outcome measures, unmet medical needs, and the future direction of treatment. Profiles in Oncology clients include Eli Lilly, Novartis, Roche, and GlaxoSmithKline, according to the Web site. Go to to learn more.
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    NitroMed using targeted, grassroots campaign to promote BiDil


    NitroMed using targeted, grassroots campaign to promote BiDil

    NitroMed is using grassroots marketing techniques, such as handing out information at African American churches and health fairs, to market the drug BiDil, reports the Associated Press (AP). Last summer, the heart-failure drug became the first drug approved for a specific racial group. Since then, NitroMed has not launched a mass marketing campaign for BiDil, but has stuck to narrowly targeted marketing that matches the specific market for which the drug is intended, according to AP. NitroMed is also concentrating its sales force in 144 U.S. metropolitan areas with large African American populations. According to AP, as drugs get more targeted, so will DTC campaigns.



    AP Online via NewsEdge Corporation :

    LEXINGTON, Mass._After services at a predominantly black church in Atlanta, parishioners in their Sunday best roll up their sleeves to get their blood pressure checked at a health screening where they learn about symptoms of heart failure and a new drug approved only for use in blacks.

    At another black church in Detroit and a black health fair in Chicago, participants pick up pamphlets about the drug BiDil that are filled with patients' smiling black faces _ not the usual sea of white faces with just a smattering of minorities.

    In the nine months since BiDil became the first drug approved for a specific racial group, NitroMed Inc. has been sticking with narrowly targeted, homespun-style pitches as it tries to turn around disappointing initial sales that led two top executives to resign last month.

    There's no plan to abandon NitroMed's grassroots-style marketing in favor of mass-media ad campaigns that accompany many drug launches. Meanwhile, NitroMed's sales force is focusing only on 144 U.S. metropolitan areas that have large black populations.

    Such targeted marketing approaches are expected to become more common as technology continues to advance so treatments are more frequently tailored to individuals' genetic make-ups.

    "In a sense, BiDil is a trial balloon for personalized medicine," said B.J. Jones, NitroMed's vice president of marketing.

    In the near future, drug makers could get medications initially approved for a single racial group _ then eventually seek even more narrow clearance for use among people with specific gene types. NitroMed said last month that researchers have identified gene variations that may determine which patients are most likely to benefit from BiDil _ variations that aren't exclusive to blacks, meaning the drug might someday be approved for people of other races as well.

    "Race is only a surrogate for ultimately looking at one's particular genes and proteins," said Dr. Flora Sam, a Boston Medical Center cardiologist who has prescribed BiDil.

    That could have big implications for drug marketing in an era of personalized medicine.

    "The more specialized the medicine gets, the smaller and smaller the target audience for a drug gets," said Nancy Barlow, president of Xchange, a firm specializing in highly targeted drug marketing.

    While mass media campaigns aren't likely to disappear, industry experts say so-called "opt-in" marketing _ in which patients respond to more-direct pitches via e-mail or at seminars _ could become more common with personalized medicine, along with community events like those promoting BiDil.

    "It's going to require a different approach _ more technology-based, one-to-one marketing, where you really do get to speak to individuals one-on-one," said Sheri Rosenblatt of ad agency FCB HealthCare, whose clients include large drug companies.

    The Rev. Cecelia GreeneBarr dislikes mass-media drug ads, so when an acquaintance who is also a BiDil sales representative asked her about hosting a session at her church, Trinity African Methodist Episcopal Church in Detroit, she signed up.

    A NitroMed medical liaison discussed heart health and BiDil with two-dozen parishioners at what was billed as "Dinner with the Doctor," also featuring a low-fat meal.

    "It was not a hard-core pitch at all," said GreeneBarr. "It was 90 percent educational. The people walked away with more than they would ever get from a commercial.

    "When you see a TV commercial for a drug, it's not informational except for the blurb at the end about who shouldn't be taking it. A commercial is just pushing a drug, they're not pushing the educational piece."

    The researchers who developed BiDil didn't start out looking for a drug that worked better for a particular racial group. After reviewing earlier studies indicating black participants in clinical trials benefited more from taking the drug than those of other races, NitroMed began its own study involving only blacks.

    That study revealed a 43 percent reduction in deaths among black patients taking BiDil along with standard heart failure drugs, compared with those receiving standard therapy and a placebo.

    So far, BiDil sales have fallen short of expectations, and NitroMed's chief executive officer and chief financial officer resigned March 21. Nine days later, the Lexington-based company announced plans to cut 30 research and development positions from its 100-person staff.

    Initial BiDil sales came in at $4.5 million in last year's final six months from 14,000 prescriptions, behind some analysts' initial projections of around $200 million in annual sales next year.

    Analysts and NitroMed officials agree the main problem is difficulty persuading pharmacy benefit plans to approve low patient co-payments for BiDil of around $20 a month, rather than the current $50 a month most plans charge.

    To turn sales around, the company is focusing on increasing that insurance reimbursement by trying to convince health plans that BiDil offers easier dosing and greater health benefits than taking two older generic drugs. BiDil is a combination of those two drugs, which are approved for high blood pressure and heart pain but not for heart failure. The two together can increase the blood's level of nitric oxide, which is found in lower amounts in blacks and which has several roles in heart health.

    NitroMed also has partnerships with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Association of Black Cardiologists to sponsor health screenings and reach more of the estimated 750,000 American blacks suffering from heart failure.

    The first BiDil ads aren't expected until this summer, and those will run only in black media, including radio stations and community newspapers.

    NitroMed also hopes to market a once- or twice-a-day version of BiDil, rather than the current three-tablets-a-day formulation.

    "We think the product has great growth potential," Jerry Karabelas, NitroMed's new interim CEO, told analysts the day after his appointment.

    Liana Moussatos, an analyst with Pacific Growth Equities, said a once-a-day formulation could prove a strong selling point and lead NitroMed to launch a mass-media campaign for BiDil.

    Even if that doesn't happen, she believes NitroMed will get past its initial missteps and eventually see BiDil sales balloon.

    "It's the classic things early in a launch that you have to go through," she said. "They're pioneers in a new market, and there is a learning curve."


    On the Net:

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    Web Site Rates Health Care Journalism

    Web Site Rates Health Care Journalism

    By GREGG AAMOT, Associated Press WriterMon Apr 17, 3:13 AM ET

    Newspaper and magazine health coverage will be reviewed online at a new Web site beginning Monday.

    Access to the site and its findings, , is free and open to consumers. It was created by University of Minnesota journalism professor Gary Schwitzer, who fashioned the site after similar efforts in Australia and Canada.

    "For consumers, we hope it will help them improve their critical thinking about claims in health care," said Schwitzer, who directs a graduate program in health care journalism.

    The reviewers will monitor top newspapers, magazines and other media outlets, including The Associated Press, and rate their coverage of health issues. Articles will be rated on a scale of one to five stars, and the reviewers also will post comments.

    While Schwitzer says he thinks the quality of health care journalism is improving, it still sometimes falls short. Stories sometimes fail to spell out such things as the availability of a new treatment or the strength of the evidence behind a new study, he said.

    A team of 20 reviewers from universities and clinics across the country will write the critiques.

    The site could be "very helpful" in improving the information the public receives on developments in health and medicine, said Cristine Russell, a former Washington Post health reporter who is now a journalism fellow at the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University.

    And it could encourage journalists to do a better job and be more skeptical about the reliability of information that comes to them, she said.

    A preview of the site included a review of a March 13 Washington Post article about studies showing that B vitamins don't cut the risk for heart attacks or strokes.

    Reviewers gave the article four stars, saying it "was factually correct" but "missed a golden opportunity to educate consumers about the difference between a disease outcome and a surrogate marker of the disease."

    Russell said the critics should keep in mind these are news stories, not peer-reviewed articles for medical journals, and "I do think they have to be careful not to fall into medical or health jargon or they are going to lose their audience."

    She said the number of health care professionals on the panel might result in unrealistic expectations about how much a news story can accomplish, and she hopes the site doesn't "end up being another media-bashing exercise."

    The Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making, a nonprofit that helps patients choose treatments for various medical conditions, is a partner in the project.

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    Monday, April 17, 2006

    Survey: E-mail marketers should make deliverability a priority

    Survey: E-mail marketers should make deliverability a priority
    A recent survey found that although 82% of e-mail marketers find deliverability to be a challenge, only 10% say it is a top priority in 2006. Instead, marketers are focused on improving open and click rates and growing their lists, according to the survey. Modifying your e-mail template can help remove elements that may trigger filters, such as bad coding and oversized images, according to EmailLabs, which conducted the survey. Of more than 400 e-mail professionals surveyed, eight out of 10 say getting e-mail messages delivered is a challenge for their company. Half of respondents reported that e-mail filters were the biggest hurdle to successfully delivering messages.
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    Med journal streams into the 21st century with Web videos

    Med journal streams into the 21st century with Web videos

    The New England Journal of Medicine's (NEJM) Web site is streaming into the 21st century by offering peer-reviewed educational videos that aim to teach procedures and specialized physical examinations. The first series of videos aim to help students, trainees, and younger physicians learn procedural techniques. The five- to eight-minute videos will be available both in a downloadable file and a version compatible with handheld devices. The videos will also be accompanied by a printable summary. They are currently available for free, but will be limited to subscribers after an introductory period. The first video covers arterial line placement and is available in the April 13 online issue. Go to the NEJM Web site to see the video. 

    Click here for more:

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    21 Million Hispanic Internet Users by 2010

    Hispanic online use growing, especially among younger people

    When it comes to marketing to Hispanics online, the youth market is especially potent, according to a report from eMarketer. That's because among online Hispanics, young people are an especially large demographic, with people 24 and younger representing 35% of all Hispanic Internet users. The report estimates that in 2005 there were 9.1 million Hispanic Internet users under 35 and predicts that this will rise to 12.1 million by 2010. Overall, the number of Hispanic Internet users is expected to approach that of African American users within the next four years, reaching nearly 21 million by 2010, according to the report. There were 15.7 million Hispanic Internet users in 2005 and that number is projected to reach 16.7 million this year.  


    21 Million Hispanic Internet Users by 2010

    Market Wire via NewsEdge Corporation :

    NEW YORK, NY, April 13 / MARKET WIRE/ --

    The number of Hispanic Internet users is growing at a steady pace, fueled mainly by Hispanic youth.

    eMarketer's new report "Hispanic Youth Online: Language and Culture Define Usage" estimates that there were 15.7 million Hispanic Internet users in the US in 2005, rising to 16.7 million in 2006. The number of users is expected to grow 33% over the next five years, reaching 20.9 million in 2010.

    The Hispanic online population is overwhelmingly young: 58% are under 35, according to eMarketer.

    "In many respects, the Hispanic youth online market feels like the greater youth market," said Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the report. "But there's an added dimension that sets them apart. Their cultural heritage and language choices make for multiple identities, online and offline. Marketers need to remember those things in order to effectively reach this exciting demographic group."

    One of the key debates is regarding language choice. While Hispanic youth often prefer to speak in English and consume English-language media, they still value the Spanish language and desire relevant Spanish-language content online.

    "There is and will continue to be demand for Spanish-language sites," said Ms. Williamson. "But the onus will be on them to stay relevant and offer material and experiences that Hispanic youth cannot get elsewhere."

    eMarketer's "Hispanic Youth Online: Language and Culture Define Usage" report answers these key questions:

    --  How many Hispanic Americans are online?
    --  How does the young age of the Hispanic population impact online
        attitudes and activities?
    --  What language should be used: Spanish, English or both?
    --  What factors will drive growth in Hispanic online ad spending this
    --  And many more...
    Click to for more information on eMarketer's "Hispanic Youth Online: Language and Culture Define Usage" report.

    About eMarketer

    eMarketer is "the First Place to Look" for market research information related to e-business, online marketing and emerging technologies. eMarketer aggregates and analyzes e-business research from over 1,700 sources and brings it together in analyst reports and the "eStat Database" -- the most comprehensive compilation of up-to-date e-business and online marketing statistics in the world. For more information, visit


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