Tickle, SendTec Start Relationship

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Tickle Inc., a matchmaking and social networking Web site, named SendTec Inc., St. Petersburg, FL, its advertising agency of record.

The agency competed with 14 shops including finalists Wunderman San Francisco; Laughlin, Marinaccio & Owens in Arlington, VA; and A. Eicoff & Co. in Chicago. There was no incumbent.

"The mandate is to position them uniquely in the industry, to acquire new customers at or below ad allowable [advertising orders allowable per dollar]," SendTec CEO Paul Soltoff said. SendTec clients include Rhino Linings, Hoveround Corp., AARP, Intuit and Euro-Pro.

Started in 1999 as Emode, Tickle has more than 17 million active members worldwide. ComScore Media Metrix ranks it as a leading site for women.

SendTec's DirectNet Advertising and Creative South units will handle the campaign. Services include consulting, strategic planning, creative development and production, econometrics and media planning and buying.

SendTec will use its iFactz tool to track media offline and online. The media plan covers newspapers, magazines, direct response radio and television, and the Internet.

Such advertising will help Tickle compete better with rival services like Match.com, eHarmony, Date.com, AmericanSingles.com and Yahoo Personals. It will establish a brand with an appropriate value proposition. And it marks the first use of offline advertising.


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