AOL Europe has picked Joe Public Relations to launch its
youth-targeted Netscape On-line brand.
JPR won the work after a four-way pitch. AOL bought Netscape
Communications last November for pounds 2.6 billion, including Netscape
Browser, Netscape Netcentre and the Netscape suite of e-commerce
Netscape will be a free service provider, with content targeted at
internet literate, single males in the 18-35 age group. The AOL brand
will continue to charge users. AOL is Europe’s biggest internet service
provider, with 2.7 million subscribers.
’This is not on-line PR but a traditional consumer launch ,’ said
Matthew Wood, managing director of JPR. JPR will launch the service at a
press conference next week.
According to Wood, one key aim will be to pre-publicise content, which
covers music, lifestyle and sport, just as agencies currently gain
publicity for magazines through the tabloid press.
JPR will report directly to Maggie Gallant, corporate communications
director for AOL in the UK. ’The launch of Netscape On-line is part of a
clear multiple brand strategy by AOL with three distinctive market
sectors,’ she said.
The three AOL Europe internet brands are AOL, Compuserve and Netscape
On-line. AOL is its mainstream consumer brand designed for family
Compuserve is aimed at busy professionals, with a strong emphasis on
AOL retains Freud Communications which handles celebrity and some
consumer PR for AOL. All other PR for AOL and Compuserve is managed by
an in-house team of seven headed by Gallant.
AOL Europe has recently undergone a massive restructuring. In June the
former head of AOL’s Washington DC Public Affairs Office, Bill
Burrington, was appointed as senior vice-president and chief
communications officer for Europe.