Colby Effler & Partners has been tapped by PeopleLink to launch the Web-based communications network's first offline advertising campaign.
Santa Monica, Calif.-based PeopleLink, which provides real-time chat, message boards, instant messaging and other services to clients such as MTV and the Times Mirror Co., is still seeking a Web agency to handle its business-to-business advertising online.
Colby, also in Santa Monica, is being asked to launch a campaign in February, said PeopleLink marketing vice president Suzanne Dickson. It will likely rely on a strong base of print advertising, including buys in a variety of trade magazines, she added.
The online and offline accounts are each worth an estimated $4-6 million.
"We're in a position where we need to move quickly," Dickson said. "We need an agency that will attract business clients to our site and view us as experts.''
Colby will also handle PeopleLink's media planning and buying. The shop was one of about six agencies to participate in the offline review, which began five weeks ago.
Colby vice president Kim Haskell said the agency is eager to work with one of the better-positioned online companies within the rapidly expanding category.
Agencies have been jumping through hoops for Internet startups whose funding is dubious at best, Haskell said. But PeopleLink, established by Idealab, Pasadena, Calif., and funded by AT&T Ventures and the BRM Group, "is a company that's really smart and a solid dot.com," he said.