New media production company Online Magic has pushed ahead with the launch of a general election Website aimed at dominating traffic following the campaign online.
The site, at www.ge97.co.uk, went into operation this week, although key deals with major content providers and commercial sponsors have still to be signed.
Michael Martin, creative director at the company, says the decision to push ahead with the GE ’97 project follows the success of the Politics Now and Time Warner-backed All Politics sites, developed for the US presidential election. These sites generated heavy online traffic in the run-up to election night, despite the overall lacklustre response to the Clinton/Dole run-off.
Online Magic, which already works with media groups Channel 4 and The Economist Group, has already signed up MORI and news agency UK News to provide content, and expects to announce further content partnership deals soon. Martin’s aim is that the site will be funded through a combination of sponsorship and advertising revenue.
Although he hopes the site will emerge as the pre-eminent UK election site, he accepts that other newspapers and news gathering organisations may already be proceeding with rival election projects.
“In the US, the way things work best in covering big events is if there’s a coalition agreement,” he says. “We want a similar coalition.”