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Publicis Will Handle RealNetworks' New Release

Internet media delivery firm RealNetworks Inc. has named Publicis in the West, Seattle, as its agency of record for the nationwide launch of RealOne, a new paid software product that combines a multimedia player with content from news media and sports organizations.

Sibling agency Publicis Dialog, San Francisco, will be responsible for direct marketing on the account. Two Seattle agencies and a San Francisco shop also competed for the RealOne business, whose overall billings reportedly are $10 million.

“The mandate is to grow their subscriber base in a profitable way,” said Chris Peterson, president of Publicis Dialog's San Francisco office.

Direct marketing planned for RealOne includes mail, e-mail and a site redesign. Different messages touting the $9.95 RealOne service with e-mail and mail will be tested. Depending on results, Publicis Dialog will roll the mailers and e-mails out to the RealNetworks database.

Up to 5 million pieces will be mailed, Peterson said.

Publicis Dialog also will offer online and offline strategy, creative and response projections for customer acquisition and retention programs.

In addition, the agency will extend Publicis in the West's branding strategy into a demand generation program.

Direct response and Internet marketing will account for 20 percent to 40 percent of the total budget, Peterson said.

RealOne was introduced in October in the domestic market. More than a half-million paid subscribers have signed up to play and manage digital programming from sources like CNN, FoxSports.com, MLB, NBA, ABCNews.com and E! Networks.

Direct marketing begins this week to communicate with the RealNetworks' database to upgrade to the new subscription service.

“Because RealNetwork has a lot of people using their free service, they have a lot of people they can talk to,” Peterson said.

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