Execs & Accounts for November 24, 2003

The Coca-Cola Company tapped Starcom/MediaVest Group to handle all media planning and buying for its brands within the United States, an assignment that extends to interactive and is estimated to be worth $350 million in total. Brands include the Coke family of products, Sprite, Nestea and Minute Maid, among others. Media include broadcast, print, outdoor and Internet advertising.

“The consolidation of our media planning and buying responsibilities is designed to allow us to respond quickly to innovative ideas and opportunities, while enhancing efficiencies and accountability,” said David Raines, VP of integrated communications for Coca-Cola North America.

Losers in the interactive arena include Universal McCann Interactive, which handled at least part of the Coca-Cola business. According to Nielsen//NetRatings, Coca-Cola is the thirteenth-biggest user of online media among food and beverage brand advertisers, delivering 31 million ad impressions in August of 2003.

Cable & Wireless America will deliver online streaming video advertising for MSN Video, MSN’s new broadband video player. The company will provide advertisers with content coding, campaign management, streaming delivery, and tracking services. MSN Video will be broadly available this winter across the MSN network.

“We are very excited to be able to support this unique service from MSN,” said Pat Greer, VP of content delivery network services. “As advertisers are now turning more dollars to online advertising, MSN’s new broadband video player will give them a format to reach the growing number of broadband consumers.”

Online furniture retailer FurnitureFind.com is using WebSideStory’s HitBox analytics product to optimize its Web site navigation, paid keyword program and affiliate banners.

Furniturefind.com President Pamela Durkin said, “It gives us insight we never had before and allows us to better understand what works and what doesn’t.”

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