DIARY: CompuServe drops A Plus to hook up to Harvard PR

CompuServe has dropped A Plus from the consumer-oriented Information Services account that it won last October, and is hiring Harvard PR instead. A Plus keeps the business-oriented Network Services account.

CompuServe has dropped A Plus from the consumer-oriented Information

Services account that it won last October, and is hiring Harvard PR

instead. A Plus keeps the business-oriented Network Services account.



Harvard PR also does hi-tech consumer-oriented PR for Nintendo in the

UK. The appointment is as yet unconfirmed, but will probably be going

ahead ‘as soon as possible,’ according to Pauline Blakemore,

CompuServe’s new PR Manager.



CompuServe is also reviewing its UK Information Services advertising

agency, following an internal shake-up and the formation of a new

marketing communications department directed by Alan Lawson, who was

recruited two months ago.



‘We have a fresh team and a fresh look at our direction,’ says

Blakemore. ‘Not only where we’re going, but also how we’re going to get

there.’



Harvard account director Mark Casey will direct the CompuServe account,

alongside Harvard’s associate director Fraser Butters, who will co-

ordinate other projects. ‘This is an important account for us, so we are

putting our heavy guns on it,’ said Casey.



CompuServe is the best- known name in e-mail and Internet service, with

a worldwide customer base that this year reached 4.3 million, including

225,000 in the UK.



Although the company claimed its UK sign-up rate was 10,000 per week in

February, it actually made a net loss in total customers worldwide, and

lost money in the last year. After losing dollars 29.6 million,

CompuServe is cutting 150 jobs, delaying its final 80 per cent NASDAQ

stock market flotation, and has made other economies.



Surprised but undaunted, A Plus client services director Jonathan

Simnett claimed the company has already been invited to meet two

alternative Internet service providers. ‘We’re very proud of our

performance for CompuServe over the last year,’ he said.



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