Fallon Takes $15 Mil. eTour

Fallon McElligott has been named the first lead agency for eTour Inc., a service that sifts through Internet sites and customizes choices along the lines of consumer’s hobbies and interests.
Fallon here prevailed following an informal review for the business, valued at $12-15 million, against Foote, Cone & Belding and Gotham, both in New York, and Young & Rubicam in San Francisco.
“We’ve probably gotten calls from 12 to 20 dot.coms over the last eight months,” said Fallon’s director of account planning John Gerzema. “This is the one that excited us the most.”
Roger Barnette, president and CEO said: “Fallon impressed us with both their understanding of our business and their wit and enthusiasm.”
The client, based in Atlanta, was founded in 1997 as JuxtaNet Corp. and until last month operated as ProLaunch.com. Last week, eTour won an infusion of $10 million from a group of Atlanta investors. They include Jeff Arnold, chief executive officer of WebMD; Bert Ellis, president and CEO of iXL, which specializes in Internet/intranet applications; and Taylor Glover, a Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith senior vice president.
The service, which counts 225,000 members, is supported by advertisers. eTour asks users to choose from categories like music, health and news, and then delivers different matching sites each time they log onto the Web.
Its target audience includes both “newbies” who haven’t quite figured out how to surf the Web, along with heavy users whose “eyes have glazed over” at the myriad choices available, said Gerzema. “They want to be known as the brand that filters out all the junk.”