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AGENCY.com Divorces Denmark iTV Unit

AGENCY.com has said it will split with its interactive television division in Denmark, returning that unit to independent operating status as VISIONIK Interactive TV A/S. The decision to decouple the European business from the American business arose from strategic differences, AGENCY.com said.

“The group in Copenhagen is focused on product strategy,” said Tim Larcombe, regional president, iTV for AGENCY.com. “AGENCY.com is principally a services company.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In December 1999, VISIONIK merged with AGENCY.com, serving as a separate business unit that led iTV development efforts for the global marketing consulting firm. Despite the separation two years later, AGENCY.com said it remains committed to iTV as an interactive services channel and will continue to support iTV clients from London and New York.

Larcombe, who had joined AGENCY.com with the acquisition of VISIONIK, will remain with the New York-based interactive shop, continuing to lead the iTV team in the U.S.

VISIONIK Interactive TV A/S will continue its focus on iTV technology and products.

Premium Network Unveils New Pricing Structure

Digital media sales and promotions firm Premium Network has unveiled a new purchasing and ratings system for digital advertising. The new model attempts to address one of interactive marketing’s most oft-expressed problems: the need to offer advertisers a guaranteed share of a target audience, as opposed to measuring advertising effectiveness by impressions and page views.

Called the Premium Buying Matrix, the system allows advertisers to purchase ads on a cost per user (CPU) basis. Efficiencies and effectiveness are achieved by selecting the number of times a unique user will be exposed to a specific marketing message across Premium Network’s demographically targeted sites and portals. Premium Network says it will guarantee an ad’s reach and frequency to the target demographic.

According to Premium Network, the Premium Buying Matrix brings online media buying more in line with traditional media buying, such as print and broadcasting media.

B2BWorks Adds Cahners to Network

B2B digital marketing firm B2BWorks has added industry publisher Cahners Business Information to its ad network. The deal increases B2BWorks’ network of online B2B properties in several sectors, including telecommunications, healthcare, technology, and manufacturing.

“This strengthens our alignment with publishers that marketers know and trust,” says Bill Furlong, B2BWorks’ founder, president and chief executive officer. “Cahners Business Information delivers the top B2B audiences that our customers want to reach.”

The deal will also widen Cahners’ pool of advertisers. “Our sites will benefit from B2BWorks experience and relationships with leading advertisers, as well as their market leadership in key business sectors,” notes Charles Lillis, vice president, Cahners.

The B2BWorks network of publishers includes Advanstar Communications, Primedia Business, PennWell, and VNU eMedia, as well as sites from Hanley-Wood, McGraw Hill, Penton Media, and Thomson Healthcare.

eUniverse to Launch Paid Health Service

Entertainment network eUniverse has acquired diet and fitness services provider Fitness Heaven and begun promoting a Fitness Heaven paid subscription program. eUniverse said the move came in response to an interest in health programs on the part of its users.

“Our audience has shown an interest in diet and fitness programs already,” said Brad Greenspan, chairman and CEO of eUniverse.

The Fitness Heaven subscription features an online diet guide and virtual trainer. The diet service provides several programs based on individual preferences and goals, and translates each into a daily meal plan and even a shopping list. The virtual trainer creates exercise programs that will tone the body, enhance overall fitness or focus on individual body parts.

The service will also provide a medical encyclopedia, exercise videos, and nutritional analysis tools.

Fitness Heaven will be promoted to Web users visiting the eUniverse network, as well as to approximately 40 million newsletter subscribers. eUniverse said it will announce the subscription price point at the time of launch.

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