Virtunet Sets Its Web Sights On College PCs




ATLANTA-Aydlotte & Cartwright here has been hired as the first agency for Virtunet, an Internet-based information and entertainment service for college students.
The client’s projected three-year budget is $5 million.
A&C’s assignment includes all advertising, marketing and public relations for the Savannah, Ga., cyberspace start-up and its fledgling Web site, The University Network.
Virtunet’s chief marketing officer Steve Smith said other agencies pitching the business were Vawter & Floyd and Robertson & Markowitz, both Savannah. After perusing each agency’s Web site, Smith said A&C was the clear choice.
“Obviously, as a company that is going to have a major presence on the Web, that was important to us,” Smith said. “[A&C’s Web venue has] a lot of personality . . . there’s a real down-home feeling, but when you go to their office, it’s very professional.” Smith, who cited A&C’s “innovative creative ideas,” also said the agency’s Atlanta presence was a plus.
“They want to be the entertainment center for colleges,” explained agency president Bill Aydlotte. “They’re going to set up a national network, and then one at every one of the major universities around the nation. I think it could replace the college newspaper.”
The home page for The University Network will provide general collegiate news and links to other colleges’ Web venues. Launching Sept. 1 to coincide with students returning to campus, it will initially be connected to the five largest Southeastern Conference universities. Plans are to add one college per month thereafter.
Smith said each local edition will have an on-line editor, responsible for posting articles by students. There will also be local entertainment, classified ad and sports sections.
Aydlotte noted the site would incorporate something for everyone’s interest. “If I was a student, I can find out where to buy used school books, or I can find out where the hot fraternity party is,” he said. ƒ