…as AOL launches push for latest Net access software

AOL UK launches a direct mail and covermount CD-Rom campaign this week aimed at creating “saturation” coverage of the latest version of its Internet access software.

The company aims to distribute 5 million CD-Roms, the majority through mailshots in a direct marketing campaign designed in house. AOL plans to boost demand for the improved AOL version 4.0 service, in the face of increased competition from Dixons Stores Group’s fast-growing Freeserve and other rivals.

Freeserve, now Britain’s leading Internet service provider, is expected to reveal another boost to its subscriber figures when Dixons announces its latest trading figures this week.

AOL, Britain’s largest paid-for online service provider, has so far declined to respond to Freeserve’s launch by dropping its prices. Rival LineOne cut its prices at the end of December.

Belinda Rendle, senior marketing manager at AOL UK, says: “Our policy is to build the market and to make it as easy as possible for people to get online. Freeserve’s entry into the sector has had little effect on our activity. This phase was always planned.”

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