DoubleClick seals sales contract for Freeserve

Internet ad sales house DoubleClick has won the contract to sell advertising for Freeserve, the Dixons Group-backed venture now vying with AOL to be Britain’s biggest Internet service provider.

DoubleClick will begin rolling out ad sales for Freeserve over the next few weeks.

The sales house aims to establish the site as one of the UK’s top single online advertising properties, which will be sold by a dedicated team directed by DoubleClick UK’s managing director Andy Mitchell.

Mark Danby, general manager of Freeserve, predicts that paid-for ISPs will face increasing pressure from the launch of other free services in 1999.

According to Mitchell, Freeserve offers advertisers the opportunity to get in touch with a different type of Internet user: “Forty-two per cent of Freeserve users are new to the Internet, 50 per cent are earning 19,000 or less – meaning that Freeserve doesn’t just offer access to high-earning households,” says Mitchell.

“Freeserve is expanding the market and the demographic user base. Its user base is a truer reflection of the consumer market,” he adds. “That’s great for attracting consumer brands, and I believe there will be pressure on sites to offer a broader demographic, so that companies such as Unilever and Procter & Gamble can get into this market.”

Both Danby and Mitchell accept that the strength of Freeserve’s appeal in the online advertising market depends on whether it can maintain traffic on Freeserve. Improving the content of the site is a priority: “We are expecting to have 20 channels by early next year, including travel, money, motoring, and education content,” says Danby.

“We hope to encourage people not to change their Freeserve default homepage. But as there are not really that many other UK-focused portal sites, we should be successful.”

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here