Execs and Accounts for June 2, 2003

Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has named Avenue A/NYC and i-frontier its online media planning and buying agencies of record in the United States.

The interactive agencies, both operating units of aQuantive, have executed online ad campaigns for AstraZeneca in the past. Avenue A’s work for AstraZeneca has involved consumer-focused online advertising for select brands, and i-frontier has completed online campaigns targeting the professional community for NEXIUM and other AstraZeneca brands.

“We are delighted to be expanding our relationship with Avenue A and i-frontier for our online marketing campaigns,” said Cathy Cockerill, director of e-promotions for AstraZeneca. “[Their] ability to conduct cross-brand analysis, increase our buying power and create cutting-edge campaigns… is critical to our short-term and long-term success.”

24/7 Website Results (WSR), the search engine marketing division of Real Media Europe, has entered an agreement with U.K. regional search engine Mirago to display WSR advertisers within the “Featured Sites” section of Mirago. WSR will provide Mirago with a feed of its listings, which will be automatically uploaded into Mirago’s database, providing further exposure for 24/7 Website Results’ European advertising clients.

“This alliance further expands 24/7 Website Results distribution in Europe and will generate more leads for our advertisers,” said Nick Hugh, head of business development at WSR.

The Absolut Company has tapped Web geography services company Quova’s GeoPoint to provide geolocation services for its Web site. The Absolut Company has deployed the GeoPoint solution to enable targeted online marketing initiatives for Absolut vodka. With Quova’s GeoPoint solution providing the real-world location of every visitor to the site, Absolut can gauge its online marketing performance by analyzing Web traffic patterns.

“We selected Quova based on the accuracy and reliability of the GeoPoint solution and the company’s commitment to customer service,” said Eva Kempe-Forsberg, VP of marketing for The Absolut Company. “We are now able to deliver focused messaging to our international target markets and determine the impact of that messaging with great precision.”

Black Experience, a provider of multicultural and minority marketing and advertising solutions, including new media channels, has restructured its business. The company will now be known as BX Media Group and will be dedicated to helping clients target prospective customers in a wider range of business and consumer segments. The Black Experience name will continue to be used to refer to the multicultural database division of BX Media Group.

“The formation of BX Media is a true testament to the success Black Experience has achieved since its inception,” said Chief Strategy Officer Melvin Wilson. “We are extremely excited about this new opportunity as we grow into new market segments.”

The 7th Annual Webby Awards will use Oddcast’s virtual online characters, called [V]Hosts, as presenters, special guests and winners during the Awards’ online presentation ceremony, to take place on June 5th. Each nominee will have the opportunity to create a [V]Host, complete with an acceptance speech in the site owner’s own voice that meets the Webby Awards’ five-words-or-less limit.

“Oddcast’s [V]Hosts are allowing us to give finalists and fans the opportunity to celebrate together online in a completely new and exciting way,” said Maya Draisin, executive director of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. “We’re pleased to be joining with Oddcast in creating a memorable and uniquely Webby experience for this year’s awards.”

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