Horn Group wins WebEx account

SANTA CLARA, CA: WebEx Communications, best known for its web conferencing services, has selected the Horn Group as its new US agency.

SANTA CLARA, CA: WebEx Communications, best known for its web conferencing services, has selected the Horn Group as its new US agency.

WebEx previously worked with San Francisco-based Antenna Group. Horn's San Francisco office will lead the account, worth around half a million dollars, according to Colin Smith, director of public relations.

Along with Horn and Antenna, the final round of the review included Atomic Public Relations and PerkettPR.

"We've undergone a lot of changes in the time we've been with Antenna," said Smith, who led the WebEx account at Antenna before joining WebEx in March 2005.

"We've really grown from a web meeting company to now providing a whole suite of on-demand applications."

The growing on-demand software market allows customers to pay for applications only when they use them, much like a utility.

Smith said WebEx is one of the largest on-demand software companies, based on its subscription lists and revenue. Yet its positioning in the market and media does not reflect that.

Dee Anna McPherson, a principal with Horn, agrees. "WebEx has done a good job on the product side, but there are also opportunities on the corporate side to build their brand that we want to focus on," she said. "They are the largest vendor in the on-demand market, and very few people know that."

The $249 million company selected Horn because of the "very senior talent" who would work on the account, as well as an existing relationship with WebEx's European agency, Brands2Life.

Smith also noted uniform strength across Horn's offices, and synergy with other clients in Horn's portfolio, including on-demand software company RightNow Technologies.

During the review, Smith said he also relied on Sam Whitmore, who runs media analysis firm Media Survey, for his insight on agencies.

In 2006, WebEx will focus on expanding its suite of offerings for small business, as well as highlighting relationships with high profile partners, including Salesforce.com and Intuit.

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