The Business News Service Wants to Spend $40 Mil. Next Year
NEW YORK--The Web site for the London-based Financial Times, FT.com, is seeking an ad agency in the U.S., sources said last week.
Agencies received questionnaires through AAR/Bob Wolf Partners, which is handling the review here.
According to the request for proposals, due back on Sept. 21, the client wants to spend as much as $40 million on advertising next year.
FT.com spent only $1 million on media in 1998, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
The questionnaire states the client's desire to attract a "global audience of high-value business users" through in-depth financial news and tools to help them succeed in business. The client wants to position itself as "your partner in business."
U.S. users comprise just 20 percent of the site's traffic, according to the questionnaire. FT.com's goal is to boost that number significantly in the first quarter of 2000. FT.com has about 2 million registered users and some 500,000 monthly visitors.
Shops ought to evolve an existing creative approach instead of creating one from scratch, the questionnaire states.
Sources said the client wants to establish the Web site in the minds of U.S. business-news consumers as an alternative or at least a supplement to The Wall Street Journal's WSJ.com.
"I just don't know if it's going to be a hit here," one skeptical observer said. "For business information on the Web, there's so much great stuff," the source added, citing Dow Jones, The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.
Delaney Fletcher Bozell, London, handles global advertising for the Financial Times newspaper.
In June, the shop, along with Modem Media.Poppe Tyson, launched a TV, Internet and print campaign for FT.com. It could not be determined if the campaign ran only in the U.K., other areas in Europe or elsewhere.
Media planning and buying is handled by Western International Media Worldwide.
Whether this review affects any of these agencies is not clear.