TIMES CO. DIGITAL SEEKS AD AGENCY

By: Kathleen Sampey

Company To Focus On Newspaper Heritage



(Adweek) Times Co. Digital (TCD) has issued guidelines to agencies
pitching its $40 million account, illustrating a desire to emphasize
its heritage and to focus heavily on its NYTimes.com brand.



The umbrella unit for six Net brands of The New York Times Co., will
make a decision Feb. 28; a campaign is expected in April. The brands,
which include NYTimes, NYToday.com, WineToday.com and GolfDigest.com,
and possibly Abuzz.com and Boston. com, will be marketed to ‘upscale’
English-speaking adults ages 25-54.



TCD said it hopes to attract potential advertisers and investors to the
sites. It intends to spend $20 million alone on NYTimes, with the
remainder divided among the others.



‘If the winning agency cannot or will not handle the secondary brands,
it is anticipated that they will still be the lead agency in terms of
strategy/planning,’ the guidelines state.



TCD said it wants a brand identity for each site. NYTimes and Abuzz,
which recently launched, will advertise most aggressively in the top 10
domestic markets and in limited international markets.



Sources said four shops remain in contention: DDB Worldwide, FCB
Worldwide, Ogilvy & Mather and Young & Rubicam, all New York. Cliff
Freeman and Partners and Deutsch, both New York, last week decided not
to continue, two weeks after TCD named them finalists.



Cliff Freeman’s Send.com, through which consumers can send such gifts
as wine, conflicts with WineToday, while Deutsch and TCD did not have
great chemistry, said sources. Consultant AAR/Bob Wolf Partners is
overseeing the search, which may affect the status of the shops
recently hired by Abuzz and Boston.com. In December, Abuzz hired Allen
& Gerritsen, Watertown, Mass. Boston. com, The Boston Globe’s Web site,
recently hired Blitz Media, Natick, Mass., and Hill, Holliday, Connors,
Cosmopulos, Boston.



Through the consultant, TCD declined comment.


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(c) Copyright 2000, Editor & Publisher

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