Briefs

CHBi Razorfish has won accounts with City fund manager Johnson Fry and PC accounting software company Sage Group. The new media agency expects to launch sites for both clients in early 1999.

Book publisher HarperCollins has launched a gift selector feature on its merchandising Website fireandwater (www.fireandwater.com). Customers can opt for premium rate gift-wrapping, personalised greeting cards and next-day delivery from the service. The facility, which was launched this week and will run through the Christmas period, allows users to choose from a range of books generated by the recipient’s interest and relationship to the customer.

BT has launched a heavyweight “Choose BT” online campaign, to complement its existing “offline” ad campaign. It is aimed at encouraging former customers to return to BT from rival telecoms operators. The online media schedule, built around seven creative executions, includes a booking with Yahoo! to deliver 300,000 banner impressions selected by general placement and keyword searches.

British-focused Web search engine searchUK (www. searchUK.com) has added refinements to its service aimed at speeding up searches for relevant information on the site. A related word facility allows users to narrow their searches and improve the relevance of the results.

Volkswagen UK has launched a site to promote eventual sales of its revamped Beetle model which the company plans to have on sale in the UK in the second half of next year. The site (www.newbeetle.co.uk), commissioned through Carat Interactive and produced by Web designers Deep End, will act as a “satellite” to VW’s main Website (www.volkswagen.co.uk), and is designed “to encourage an active following for the car before its arrival in the UK”, according to the agency.

WAM Interactive is installing interactive touchscreen kiosks at Heathrow Airport. They will promote the electronic booking of travel-related goods among the airport’s annual through-traffic of 58 million passengers. Avis and Thomas Cook are among advertisers already signed up to use the system.

Consumer advocacy groups in the US are warning that the $4.2bn (2.6bn) takeover of Web browser software group Netscape by AOL could threaten to end open standards in Web publishing and another bout of browser wars.

US regional bookseller Books-A-Million has joined the online sales market with the launch of its own site (www.booksamillion.com), promising a policy of heavy discounting on high street stores to compete with existing players Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com.

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