3 Woo Interactive Dating Service

Executives at Interactive Media Corp. heard presentations last week from three agency finalists in a review for its estimated $15-20 million direct marketing account, sources said.
Grey Direct here, along with MacLaren McCann and BBDO Response, both in Toronto, are vying for the business. The winning shop will help Interactive Media promote its electronic personal ad service.
Executives at New York consultancy Morgan, Anderson & Co., which is conducting the review, referred calls to the Toronto-based client. Sandra Landreth-Kerr, the director of the 10-year-old company’s media and marketing services department, could not be reached at press time.
A company representative, however, confirmed that a review is under way and that it would likely be completed by the end of the month. He would not identify contenders.
About 10 shops in the U.S. and Canada were initially invited to participate.
Interactive Media is a “premium, high-end” service, according to the representative. In addition to providing forums in which users can search for true love, the service also caters to those looking for a casual date or seeking an intimate encounter.
Users meet via the telephone and the Internet. The latter, accessible at www.webpersonals.com, is free. Those using the telephone service do not pay to place an ad or listen to one. Rather, they pay to respond to someone else’s ad or chat live. The telephone service is available to consumers in the U.S., Canada and Australia. The 1-year-old Web site can be accessed worldwide.
There are thousands of rival services offering personals or introductions. The representative said Interactive Media distinguishes itself from the fray by being more refined and by monitoring and editing responses to make sure that they are not sexually focused.
Past advertising campaigns for Interactive Media, most of which were developed in-house, featured testimonials from actual customers who had met each other through Interactive Media.
The representative would not divulge the number of people who use the service. The Web site, however, indicated that more than 6,900 new members logged on to the service in a recent 10-day period.