RealTime IT News

Associated New Media to Replace Its U.K. Women's Portal

[London, ENGLAND] Just a month after confirming the relaunch of its women's portal CharlotteStreet, U.K. publisher Associated New Media (ANN) announced Friday it will replace it with a new one named femail.co.uk.

ANN, part of the group that owns the Daily Mail and the London Evening Standard, said it wants to tie in the new portal with the popular Femail section of the Daily Mail.

"We conducted external research with focus groups who had overwhelming connection to the Femail brand," said ANM's Executive Editor Avril Williams.

The decision to scrap CharlotteStreet appears to be have been taken with the twin factors of branding and synergies with print media uppermost in everyone's mind. With 1.5 million page impressions a month, CharlotteStreet is not really another dotcom failure.

A month ago, Ted Verity, ANM's executive editor, was talking about "building on the success of CharlotteStreet." He said ANN was hiring a new team of journalists in order to provide a more comprehensive service.

Launched in October 1999 and backed by US $14.4 million, CharlotteStreet faced competition from Handbag.com, the women's shopping portal from Hollinger Digital and Boots the Chemist, and from EMAP's women's site New Woman.

However, the stiffest competition -- which will affect femail.co.uk as well -- currently comes from IPC's Beme with its 0.15 million users, and from Freeserve's i-circle with its estimated million users.

U.K. supermarket chain Tesco also announced recently that it is putting US $18 million into iVillage, the U.S. women's portal which intends to enter the U.K. market (see International News, July 19, 2000).

ANN says it will launch femail.co.uk within the next two months.