Mailblocks Taps Carat Interactive

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Mailblocks Inc., a new e-mail service that claims to filter out spam, named Aegis PLC's Carat Interactive, San Francisco, as its interactive agency of record.


The agency won the account in a shootout with Avenue A, Seattle. The start-up had no incumbent.


"We're lighting the kindling that starts the fire," said Sarah Fay, Boston-based president of Carat Interactive. "They have a unique message, and we're starting out at square one to build a high-volume subscriber universe in a short amount of time."


San Francisco shop BigMouth was named creative agency of record for Mailblocks. Krause Taylor Associates handles public relations, and market researcher Dynamic Logic will measure campaign effectiveness. The DoubleClick DART ad tracking system will be used.


Billings on the account were not disclosed. Carat also has Palm, Jenny Craig, RadioShack, Philips Electronics and Vonage accounts. Billings last year were $100 million.


Carat's plan calls for strategy, media buying and planning, affiliate marketing, database marketing to grow an opt-in e-mail list, e-mails for building membership, tracking and search engine optimization.


"Over the next two months we'll be delivering over 250 million impressions across content, search engine and affiliate networks," said Molly Parsley, marketing and PR manager at Carat Interactive.


Special care is needed with all outbound marketing.


"We have to be careful in our marketing strategies not to appear as spammers or have intrusive e-mails because our target has an aversion to that," Fay said. "There'll be no pop-ups, too."


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