Media: Web site targets teen girl market

An estimated 30 journalists and designers have been recruited to create a Unilever-backed web site aimed at teenage girls, which will be launched in the UK later this spring.

An estimated 30 journalists and designers have been recruited to

create a Unilever-backed web site aimed at teenage girls, which will be

launched in the UK later this spring.



Wowgo will initially be launched in the UK, but throughout 2000 the site

will expand to cover continental Europe. Wowgo is in negotiations with

other media companies to expand its brand into television and radio, and

possibly a magazine.



The site has recruited Teresa Letchford from EMAP’s J17, where she was

fashion and beauty editor. Letchford joined Wowgo this month to direct

its style strategy.



The journalists will produce content for a variety of hubs within the

site, which will concentrate on fashion and beauty, celebrities and

gossip, what’s on, real life experiences and advice.



Wowgo, which is aimed at 12- to 16-year-old girls, has pounds 6 million

of financing from Unilever, internet investment house Durlacher

Corporation, (which has backed web sites 365 and iCollector), and the

Eureka Interactive Fund.



Around 80 per cent of the site’s content will be produced by its users,

through forums such as chat rooms, and girls will be able to design and

decorate their own version of the site.



Wowgo chief executive David Peller said the venture would be much more

than a web site. ’We are talking about a community that is pan-European,

designed to help girls make the transition from girlhood into

adulthood,’ he said.



Wowgo has hired Financial Dynamics to promote the site to the City and

Freud Communications to handle its consumer PR. Part of Freud’s brief

will be to recruit an editorial board of ten girls aged between 12 and

16 to help direct the site’s form and content.



The new venture’s executive chairman is Michael Gold, founder of

advertising agency GGT. It has also recruited PepsiCo’s European vice

president of marketing Tim Davie as a non-executive director.



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