Demon hires first director of marketing

The country’s second largest Internet company, Demon, has appointed Martin Lester as its first marketing director.

Lester has moved quickly to shortlist three agencies for an advertising campaign that is believed to be worth 2m.

The move is an about-turn from the company’s position earlier this summer when it halted its agency search after complaining that agencies did not understand its business.

Competition in this sector has increased significantly since then. New services from Virgin Net and the joint BT and News International venture Springboard are launching in November and January respectively, while current UK market leader CompuServe is talking to agencies about a campaign.

CompuServe claims 425,000 users to Demon’s 70,000. America Online, currently the biggest world player, is third in the UK with 50,000 subscribers.

Lester moves from the International Data Group, where he was a consultant. Demon expects to announce a decision about its agency by the end of the month.

New Media, page 30

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