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Ad Campaigns -- Ananova Spends, First-e Cancels

[London, ENGLAND] Neatly demonstrating the mixed attitudes to advertising in Europe, news and information service Ananova Ltd announced a major campaign for 2001 while Internet bank First-e has canceled its forthcoming campaign, according to reports Wednesday.

Ananova, which replaced the PA NewsCentre on the Internet in April this year, was purchased by mobile operator Orange for around US $140 million in July. Now it intends to make a major bid for the attention of mobile users in an advertising and promotional campaign organized by communications agency Michaelides and Bednash.

Vivienne Adshead, commercial director of Ananova, said that M&B was chosen because of its proven track record in defining brand values, brand positioning, and communicating key messages to the consumer.

"Ananova is already seen as a brand leader in real-time news and information delivery; we now want to build a consumer brand that people will interact with on a daily basis across every platform," said Adshead.

Adshead added that the communication task would be two-fold -- to position Ananova as a mass market product while at the same time offering to meet individual needs through a personalized alerting service.

By contrast, Ireland-based First-e appears to have lost faith in the power of advertising to communicate its message. It was reported in the Financial Times as being no longer able to justify the costs of its proposed campaign owing to increased competition in the online banking sector.

First-e's U.K. Manager Richard Thackray told the FT that the cost of customer acquisition had risen to £250 (US $360) per customer. At same time, Internet banks are offering substantially higher interest rates to attract business.

With one loss and one gain, the advertising industry -- a major beneficiary of the Internet revolution -- appears to break even on today's news.



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