Ford Moves to Standardize Online, Offline Images

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Ford Motor Co. yesterday announced a mid-six-figure deal with software maker Iterated Systems Inc. to automate and standardize the production of brand images across Ford Web sites, brochures, advertising and sales materials.

The Web-based software is designed to help product managers at the world's No. 2 automaker quickly retrieve brand-correct images of the latest car models. More critically, this deal is part of a push to have uniform images on Ford sites and print advertising.

"We are using the Internet to reduce costs," said William George, public affairs manager at the Detroit automaker's Ford division. "MediaBin will allow us to save money by maintaining our images in one central, easy-to-use location and eliminate the need for re-shooting images of our products."

Before MediaBin, Ford stored millions of images on CD-ROMs and in electronic catalogs. But this vast database was difficult to update in real-time as and when new models were developed, a key hindrance for communications with dealers and the public.

Atlanta-based Iterated will officially launch the MediaBin product by end of April. The product is not exclusive to Ford, but has been extensively customized for the auto maker, said Burt Smith, vice president of marketing.

"For companies like Ford, speed is critical," Smith said. "If it can get those images into the marketplace quicker, that can translate into garnering earlier market share because it got the product [image] out there a little sooner than the competition."

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