RealTime IT News

The Return of the Gerbil

Proving that they have a sense of humor even in difficult times, struggling computer e-tailer Cyberian Outpost Inc. said today that its spokes-gerbil has returned, just in time to help promote a new free ground shipping initiative.

His return comes as the company prepares to celebrate its sixth birthday today. Outpost said the gerbil "has returned to the Internet technology retailer following a few anxious years as founder of the now defunct Small Furry Animal Stunt School in Providence, R.I.

(Editor's note: Check to see if the late, great sock puppet was a graduate.)

According to Darryl Peck, president and CEO of Outpost.com, the gerbil told him that immediately following his starring role in the company's "Gerbil Shot From a Cannon" television commercial a few years back, the gerbil got the idea for the stunt school.

"Apparently, that really didn't take off," said Peck, no doubt with pun intended.

Peck offered the gerbil a cushy job in the marketing department and in fact the rodent marketer can be seen upper left on Cyberian Outpost's home page.

This time around, however, the gerbil will confine his promotional activities to the Web site, a company spokeswoman told internetnewscom.

To promote the new ground delivery service, Outpost is offering free ground shipping for orders of $500 or more for a limited time.

Like a lot of dot coms, Outpost has seen its stock price tumble into the cellar. Last month the company slashed its work force by 110 employees, or 30 percent, and replaced president and CEO Katherine Vick with its chairman and founder, Peck.