Digests

William Hill, the UK’s second largest bookmaker, has launched an international soccer betting site, designed by online marketing specialist E-Marketing. It will roll out further betting sites over the year, beginning with a golf site in May. The soccer site, which will be targeted at gamblers in the Far East, the US and Europe, will initially be promoted with a 40,000 online advertising campaign in April, also designed and placed by E-Marketing. Banner ads will run on a variety of soccer and entertainment sites.

DoubleClick’s international advertising salesforce has been signed up to represent Disney Online in the UK and 12 other European and Scandinavian countries, plus Brazil and Japan. “Disney Online is already in 12 countries throughout Europe and is growing rapidly,” says Chafic Najia, vice-president and managing director, international of Buena Vista Internet Group. “DoubleClick’s local sales teams allow us to maximise advertising revenues while concentrating on building world-class Internet sites.”

Amazon.com, the US online bookseller, has announced that it is moving into online auctions and pet supplies. Its 8 million customers are pre-registered to begin buying and selling immediately in more than 800 auction categories. Commercial sellers will automatically have their auctions cross-merchandised across Amazon.com’s millions of book, CD, and video product pages. For example, a chair from Rick’s Café featured in the movie Casablanca, is displayed on the Web pages where the Casablanca soundtrack, books, DVDs, and videos are sold. Also Amazon.com is to buy 50 per cent of Pets.com, the largest online retailer of pet supplies.

DirectWeb Inc, a US Internet service provider, plans to give away 25,000 PCs to customers signing up for its $19.95 (12.47) – $49.95 (31.21) per month Internet access service. The ISP will recoup its investment through subscription fees, e-commerce transaction fees, advertising and fees on premium services, such as stock-broking.

Johnson Fry, the UK fund management company, is offering ISAs online on a new Website (www.johnsonfry.co.uk) created by Razorfish. It encourages account holders to manage their own portfolio. Every account holder is able to receive regular e-mail updates, fund manager reports, statistics on funds plus product guidance and information. Users will also be able to buy ISAs 24 hours a day and print off forms which enable them to top up an ISA or switch between funds.

Which? Online (www.which.net) is to cut its price for Internet access. From June 1 subscribers will pay 7.75 per month (down from 14.75). For subscribers to Which? Magazines it drops to 4.75 a month.

Panasonic has launched a month-long online banner campaign to promote its new Toughbook computer. Targeting created and planned the campaign, which appears on 15 major UK sites.

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