Website for women looks into advertising shake-up

Ivillage, the women’s website, is reviewing its advertising for the first time since its UK launch at the end of 2000.

The company, which is a joint venture between iVillage in the US and Tesco, says no formal pitch has been called but admits it has been in talks.

“It’s just something that we’re exploring at this stage,” says an iVillage spokeswoman. “We’ve only met a couple of agencies so far and will decide how we want to proceed over the next few weeks.” Sticking with incumbent Farm Communications has not been ruled out.

IVillage has been locked in a long-running battle with rival Handbag.com, jointly owned by Boots and the Hollinger Group, owner of The Daily Telegraph.

The two sites, which both benefit from strong media and retailing partners, have been struggling to assert supremacy in a market that is still too small to support the current number of players. Others include Freeserve’s iCircle and the Daily Mail’s Femail.co.uk.

IVillage claims to be the market leader with 710,571 audited unique users, as measured by ABC Electronic. That compares with Handbag’s most recent ABC figures of 509,000, measured last October.

Most of iVillage’s marketing is ads and editorial in Tesco’s Clubcard magazine and in-store promotions at Tesco branches.

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