Worth Interactive Promotes Portal for the Wealthy

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Worth Interactive is in the midst of a multi-pronged $1 million prospecting campaign aimed at a group company executives believe is an underserved market online -- the wealthy.

The campaign, which runs until the end of the year, includes banner ads on nytimes.com, CNBC.com, TheStreet.com and CBS.MarketWatch.com.

"Our media buy reflects the broad range of cultural interests [of high-net-worth individuals] beyond the financial outlets as we test sites such as Salon.com, PBS, WineToday.com, AOL and Luxuryfinder.com," said Steve Cousineau, chief marketing officer at Worth Interactive.

Worth.com also is working with three e-mail companies -- TargitDirect, PostMasterDirect and Mail.com -- to create a campaign that will reach more than 600,000 individuals with high net worths. Initial e-mail tests were positive in terms of increasing site visits, but executives declined to elaborate.

Also as part of the effort, the company's Worth magazine will develop offline and online programs targeting subscribers.

Worth.com targets more than 24 million people in the United States with assets of $500,000 or more. Although there are many places on the Web where people can buy airline tickets or jewelry, or learn how to manage their portfolios, Jule Fenster, executive vice president at Worth Interactive, believes high-net-worth individuals are underserved on the Internet.

"There's no place that deals with all of their interests -- how to manage their money, live well with their money and give back to their society," Fenster said. "The Web allows for self-directed searching and the ability to find answers that relate directly to the searcher's life.

"It's a tool to help them learn. And we're providing the information. We're looking for functionality that allows people to take action in what they read about. It's about living meaningful and responsible lives."

Worth.com provides services in three core content areas:

• Wealth offers investors the tools and information they need to manage their finances.

• Living is a comprehensive resource for travel, dining, entertainment and culture.

• Giving educates high-net-worth individuals on how to give, where to give, tax and estate planning, and the legal requirements and tax implications of giving. It also provides an online giving function through a partnership with 4charity.com, a Web site with an online donation function that includes a searchable database of more than 738,000 nonprofit organizations.

Worth highlighted its Giving section by sponsoring the online giving section of nytimes.com last month. Worth also took out a half-page ad in The New York Times Nov. 19 special section on giving.

The promotion followed a merger with charitable-giving portal Givenation.com to create what both parties hope will be "the leading charitable resource on the Internet."

"We know that high-net-worth individuals are heavy Net users and that they turn to the Web for all sorts of information and interactive resources," Fenster said. "We're trying to provide a full view of what a high-net-worth person's interests and lifestyle are all about -- it's not just their portfolios."

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