Briefs

Following the recent launch of Dixons’ free Internet access service, FreeServe, BT has finally unveiled its pay-as-you-go-service – BT Click+ – charging users only for the time they spend online. The service has no monthly fees: users are simply charged a penny per minute on top of their call charge for full Web access. BT Click+ is targeted at infrequent users and is intended to capitalise on the popularity of e-mail by incorporating its own freemail service.

Internet consultancy Aztec has launched UpMyStreet.com a site, offering aggregated information on local regions aimed at the UK property market. The site will offer information on aspects such as property price trends, council tax bands and local schools for any particular town or postcode.

Microsoft is launching local MSN portal sites in a further 24 countries and regions, significantly increasing the company’s coverage of the global online audience. The portal sites provides local content and are currently operational in just seven countries including the UK, US and Japan. The company claims it will roll out new sites across Asia, Africa Europe and Latin America before the end of the year…

…Microsoft is overtaking Netscape in the US Web broswer battle, claiming 43.8 per cent of the US market, compared with 41.4 per cent for Netscape according to figures from the International Data Corporation (IDC). The figures represent a fall in market share for Netscape, surprising observers. Netscape’s recent decision to stop charging for Navigator and the US government’s legal wrangle with Microsoft led many to believe it would be Netscape taking the greater market share. The industry credits Microsoft’s better showing to the companies greater concentration on browser marketing compared with Netscape.

KP Crisps has launched a Website for its crisp brand Brannigans, the first in a series of sites planned for each of the snack food giant’s brands. The site is part of a new online presence for KP and is intended to reflect the tone of Brannigans wider advertising. It includes an independently nominated good pub guide; 70 per cent of Brannigans sales are in pubs. Sites for McCoy’s and Discos are to follow early next year.

Women in Direct Marketing, the UK industry association, has launched a Website (www.wdm-uk.org). The site provides a forum for issues affecting women in DM plus information on training, social events and careers along with a live chat room.

Media consultancy De Saulles Associates has launched an Internet media evaluation service offering marketers continuous access to details of their online ad campaign’s performance. The service, known as e-v@luate, is password-protected for each client, with the audit information available through DSA’s own site.

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