Josh Himwich, director of e-commerce operations and user experience for Diapers.com, discusses how PowerReviews' SEO software helped drive traffic to the e-commerce site
Digital marketing firm Moosylvania has introduced MealChime.com, a new restaurant search site. Domino's Pizza, McDonald's and Hardee's all have signed up as advertising partners for the new site, which will initially serve the St. Louis market.
College students returning to campus this fall face a serious economic downturn, and for those preparing to graduate and enter the working world, debt accrued from student loans and credit card use will likely be a major worry.
The Pennsylvania Attorney General has sued two mortgage companies for violating the state's do-not-call laws. Charles A. Ruppersberger IV, doing business as Direct Leadsource, and Justin Harford, doing business as Golden Apple Mortgage, Foote's Inc. and New Equity LLC, were the defendants.
ComScore said Tuesday that it will begin providing online ad networks both potential audience reach and actual reach.
United Parcel Service (UPS) has plans to open two $180 million transport hubs in China, according to recent Reuters reports. The company has doubled its head count in China over the past 18 months to around 5,300, but expects that number to increase by at least 1,000 annually over the next 3 to 4 years.
At last week's Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, the Direct Lions Grand Prix was awarded to Mumbai's JWT India, for the Times of India entry. The campaign Web site registered more than 1.3 million hits and more than 1 million YouTube downloads.
Current USA, a subsidiary of Taylor Corp. that finalized an agreement on April 3 to buy Lillian Vernon for $15.8 million, has begun mailing the Lillian Vernon catalog again. About 600,000 catalogs were sent to the Lillian Vernon house file this week. Another mailing is expected in June.
This summer, eBay plans to help launch WorldofGood.com, a marketplace for buying fair-trade products, to the public, in partnership with fair-trade company World of Good, Inc.
NBC Universal Digital Media has kicked off the Digital Health Network, which will distribute premium health video. The goal is to create an informative viewing experience for users looking for health information online.
MRM Worldwide has acquired digital strategy agency Starsky, one of the largest agencies of any discipline in Sweden, and merged it with its operation in Stockholm. The new entity is now known as MRM Starsky Worldwide. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Alterian has announced plans to acquire Mediasurface, a Web content software company. Alterian's objective is to expand the online execution capabilities of its platform to encompass Web sites, corporate intranets, extranets and social media channels. Terms were not disclosed.
Gerald Bernard Baldwin, a 23-year veteran of Young & Rubicam, died May 10 from prostate cancer. He leaves behind his wife, three sons and four grandchildren. Baldwin was known for championing the development of cable TV, DRTV, bartersyndication, unwired radio and TV networksand infomercials.
American Diabetes Wholesale, a discount provider of diabetic supplies, has launched an affiliate program on the Performics network. MoreVisibility will help the nonprofit launch and manage the affiliate program.
Microsoft's directors met April 30 to discuss its possible bid to purchase online search giant Yahoo. There were speculations the company would offer a higher bid than the original $44.6 billion one. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer threatened to start a proxy fight to oust Yahoo's board if the two companies did not reach a negotiated deal by April 26. However, that deadline has passed with no action. On May 1, Ballmer reportedly told staff a decision on whether to lead a hostile takeover or raise the bid would be announced soon.
FTD Group Inc., the online floral delivery business, was acquired for $456 million by United Online Inc., which owns social networking site Classmates.com and customer loyalty site MyPoints.com. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.
On May 2, Amazon filed a complaint in New York Supreme Court objecting to the state law approved by Gov. David A. Paterson last week, which requires out-of-state online retailers to collect taxes on everything sold in the state if it has agents or affiliates in New York. Amazon, which has thousands of affiliates with New York addresses, is contesting the constitutionality of the law.
Americans reported $240 million in online fraud losses in 2007 to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, an increase of $40 million from 2006, according to the FBI's National White Collar Crime Center. Credit-card fraud accounted for 6.3%, check fraud accounted for 6%, computer fraud accounted for 5.3%, and identity theft accounted for 2.9% of all complaints filed.
Former employees of AB&C Group, the fulfillment arm of recently shuttered BlueSky Brands Inc., have filed legal complaints against the companies for failure to compensate workers. Attorney Paul Taylor has filed a civil action suit in Jefferson County, WV against AB&C, BlueSky and the private equity firm Reliant Equity Investors, which owns BlueSky. Robert Pulciani, CEO of BlueSky; Thomas Darden Jr., managing director of Reliant Equity; and Philip Wax, CFO of AB&C, were also named in the suit. Neither any named parties nor any other representatives from BlueSky could be reached.
Hallmark Flowers, a subsidiary of Kansas City, MO-based Hallmark Cards, plans to shut down its 7-year-old direct-to-consumer flowers and gifts business by the end of April. Nearly 100 employees will be affected by the decision, which came after an internal analysis of Hallmark's business determined that operational investments required may not be recouped. Hallmark.com will continue to sell premium e-cards, paper cards, print-on-demand cards, digital greetings, and stationery products; the site also offers free e-cards, company details, and information about Hallmark Gold Crown stores.
Federal Trade Commission chairman Deborah Platt Majoras has announced that she will leave her post at the end of this month. Majoras was appointed by President Bush and sworn into office in 2004.
Marchex Inc. and Citysearch, an operating business of IAC, announced a strategic partnership that provides Citysearch with a new distribution channel for both its content and advertisers and provides Marchex with extensive content for its local network.
BSocial Networks Inc. is launching Market Lodge 2.0, an e-commerce software product that allows ads to stream into the user recommendations section of social networking sites. It estimates that it will reach 50 million users.
24/7 Real Media Inc. and Petry Media Corporation announced a multi-faceted partnership to provide targeted ad serving to Digerati iSales network of more than 300 TV station Web sites.
Pitney Bowes has acquired Toronto-based direct marketing company Bluetree for an undisclosed amount. Pitney Bowes plans to use Bluetree to capitalize on an anticipated turn, among Canadian marketers, to non-telemarketing channels following the establishment of a do-not-call list in Canada expected this summer.
Speculation that gifts cataloger Red Envelope may shutter gained more clout last week as the nine-year-old company reported a loss of $4.3 million, compared with a net income of $5.3 million for the same period last year. Order shipments during the third quarter dropped about 20% compared with last year. CEO John Pound said in a statement that Red Envelope "is evaluating various options for addressing these challenges immediately."
The Alliant Group has launched a multichannel database marketing infrastructure for Charter Communications. The database facilitates outbound direct mail, telemarketing, and e-mail marketing communications to customers and prospects across all three Charter divisions.
Nonprofit marketing technology provider Convio, Inc. has partnered with ThePort Network to launch a social media suite that will allow Convio clients to build branded social media communities such as branded blogs and social networks into existing Web sites.
Yahoo grew membership of its Newspaper Consortium with the addition of four publishers, including Shaw Newspapers, the Times Publishing Co. and the Columbian Publishing Co., raising its total to 634 newspapers in the US. Yahoo provides search, graphical and classified advertising to its newspaper partners.
VideoEgg, an online video company, has launched an ad network that uses a cost-per-engagement model. The AdFrames Brand Response Network distributes video or rich media through an expandable ad unit that can be formatted to fit any page, widget or online game. Microsoft has signed on as an advertiser. Engagement begins when users roll over ads.
Valassis reported net earnings of $20.6 million, up 197.3% from $6.9 million in the prior year, primarily because of its $1.2 billion acquisition of shared mail ser¬vice Advo last March. Revenue rose 131% to $661.5 million for the quarter ended December 31, over $296.4 million last year.
The Federal Trade Commission amended its interpretation of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998, which regulates Internet marketing to children younger than 13. It said that Web site operators should obtain parents' consent before letting users under age 13 send an e-card that includes the senders' e-mail addresses or first and last names. This guideline has implications for viral marketing efforts aimed at the tween community.
The US Postal Service and the Postal Customer Councils are sponsoring symposiums next month to help mailers prepare for new Intelligent Mail barcode requirements set for January 2009. Mailers will be required to use Intelligent Mail barcodes to take advantage of automation prices for letters and flats.
EcoEnvelopes, developers of reusable envelopes, received a national customer ruling from the US Postal Service, a designation that signifies the design will withstand transport through the US mailstream. This is the first NCR awarded to a reusable envelope and indicates growing interest for reducing waste materials when sending postal mail.
Nokia has launched a global ad network for mobile sites of more than 70 major publishers including Discovery, Hearst, Reuters and Sprint, as well as brand marketers including BMW and Paramount. The cell phone company is leveraging the analytics technology of its October 2007 acquisition Enpocket for the project. The company says that the Nokia Media Network is yielding click-through rates averaging 10%.
Urban Brands Inc. has hired ATG Commerce to relaunch Web stores for its Ashley Stewart and Marianne brands. AshleyStewart.com will launch this spring with an updated merchandising ability and personalized browsing and buying experience. The Marianne launch date is not yet set.
The Los Angeles Times has introduced a standalone print weekly, based on the success of Metromix Los Angeles, an online local culture portal launched last summer. The Web site and print paper launch are both attempts for the publication to reach a younger audience. Initial circulation is estimated at 100,000.
Beginning today, HarperCollins is posting free electronic editions of some of its books on its Web site. Rather than allowing users to download or print books, the program will allow users log in and browse books. The service will be available for one month.
OgilvyOne last week entered into a marketing partnership with mobile data services provider Acision. The company said that it wants to grow client interest in the channel. OgilvyOne has plans to leverage Acision's mobile platform, used by more than 300 network operators, with its CRM and data capabilities.
Marketing holding company Havas experienced record growth in 2007, with a 7.1% increase for the full year and a 9.8% increase in Q4 alone for business. Strong growth was also reported for all group businesses, with Euro RSCG up 5.5% and Havas Media up 19.1%.
OmniMedicalSearch.com has launched a health and medical forum search engine across more than 120 different online forums. The health and medical forum search engine was developed through the Google Custom Search product.
Medical online newsletter outlet Intellisphere has acquired the Princeton, NJ-based division of Ascend Health. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Titles acquired include American Journal of Managed Care, Cardiology Review, Pharmacy Times, Resident and Staff Physician and Surgical Rounds.
Art Technology Group Inc. has completed its acquisition of CleverSet in a $9 million cash transaction. CleverSet's automated personalization engines for e-commerce clients are expected to expand ATG's eStara e-commerce optimization services.
Hispanic-focused content provider Batanga purchased online ad network HispanoClick, which claims to have a monthly reach of 5.6 million unique Latino users, last week. Terms were not disclosed. HispanoClick's network has more than 800 Hispanic publishers. Advertisers include Verizon Wireless, Kraft, Mazola, the US Army and Western Union.
MeritDirect has partnered with data services provider Genalytics to provide its customers with predictive modeling tools for their direct marketing campaigns.
The Wall Street Journal launched a mobile application for Windows Mobile phone users to access WSJ.com, MarketWatch.com and Barrons.com. Created through a partnership with Action Engine Corp. the service allows consumers to read news, manage a personal stock portfolio, track the market, watch videos and listen to streaming podcasts. Windows Mobile is an advertiser on the service.
AOL and Zed, a mobile value-added player, have announced a partnership to promote their mobile products on their respective European and US mobile and Internet sites. Under the agreement, Zed's products will be promoted within AOL's WAP portal in the US as well as within AOL's desktop destinations in Europe.
Burst Media has launched a CDKitchen Cooking Network, which provides ad support for Burst Network's premier food site CDKitchen.com and more than 20 other food-related sites. According to Burst, the network boasts more than 4.3 million visitors and delivers more than 23.5 million page impressions each month.
The Wall Street Journal's paid search and contextual advertising services will be provided by Microsoft Corp. through a new partnership.
The US Postal Service's board of governors elected Alan Kessler as its new chairman, replacing James Miller III; and Carolyn Lewis Gallagher as its new vice chairman, last week. Kessler's term expires this December, with Gallagher's set to expire in December 2009.
Company of the week
R2C creates, produces, distributes and measures messages that inspire and compel consumers to do something with a brand to drive commercial advantage. The full-service advertising agency specializes in creative, production, media, analytics and performance.
What's in our mailbox this month: fitness postcards from Retro Fitness, American Woman Fitness Centers, Union's United Taekwondo Academy, and Bally Total Fitness. (We're totally pumped.)
Social data can improve a brand's bottom line and customer relationships. Just ask brands Infiniti and Diamond Nexus.
Here are three must-have data sets that every marketer should include in his or her email strategy.