Agencies Chase Pair of $10 Mil. Web Accounts

A pair of dot-com clients, Homestead Technologies and E/Town, are shopping their estimated $10 million accounts in separate reviews of West Coast agencies. Decisions are expected by the end of the month.
Homestead Technologies, Menlo Park, Calif., provides self-service Web-based publishing for consumers at www.homestead.com. Users can create Web sites through the platform instead of buying software such as Microsoft’s Office 2000 or IBM’s Lotus SmartSuite 2000. The company is backed by investors such as Intel Corp. and venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson.
Rich Pearson, director of brand marketing for Homestead, is heading up the review. He said the 2-year-old company’s in-house ad group has created outdoor boards that are up in select markets, and may break more work during the fourth quarter.
Executives with Homestead will hear final presentations from several undisclosed West Coast shops this week, said Pearson. He would not give a timeline for a new campaign; sources said an effort may not appear until early next year.
Advertising will most likely target Homestead’s current audience, which includes individuals, families and organizations seeking an inexpensive and easy way to create Web pages.
Separately, consumer electronics resource E/Town is reviewing its $10 million account, and is talking to undisclosed agencies, according to sources. E/Town executives could not be reached for comment.
The 4-year-old client recently launched its newly revamped and e-commerce-ready Web site (www.etown.com), and provides product reviews, news and feature stories for consumers to look through before buying. The site also provides how-to information and a guide called “Ida” (interactive decision assistant), which acts as a shopping adviser.
Sources said the client plans to launch a national campaign and may want new work in time for the holiday shopping season.