Hoover’s Switches Texas Agencies

Online Data Supplier Moves From Tocquigny to GSD&M in Austin
DALLAS-With an initial public offering in the early stages and a future riding on building its Web-based brand, Hoover’s Inc. has tapped GSD&M in Austin, Texas, to develop an inaugural $10 million national campaign this year, sources said.
The mainstream advertising to back its Hoover’s Online site will be a cornerstone of the information and research company’s plans for a beachhead in an Internet industry it believes will grow from $27 billion to a $40 billion in three years.
Company officials would not confirm or deny the selection, citing Securities and Exchange Commission’s IPO “silent period” guidelines. Sources and published reports, however, stated the Austin-based firm has moved to GSD&M from its former shop, HS&L/Tocquigny in Austin, without a review.
GSD&M officials could not be reached at press time. A source with Dallas-based Hadeler Sullivan & Law-parent of HS&L/Tocquigny-confirmed the relationship ended within the “past 30 days.” The account was estimated at $1 million when Hoover’s hired Tocquigny last August for a planned print and television campaign.
While that relationship bore little fruit (spending in 1998 amounted to only $119,000, per Competitive Media Reporting), Hoover’s May 7 registration papers state intentions for an upcoming $10 million campaign to attract new advertising partners and paid subscribers.
“The future success of Hoover’s Online will depend, in part, on our ability to increase our brand awareness,” according to the document.
Hoover’s seeks $48.9 million through the public stock offering. The company increased revenue from $3 million to more than $9 million since 1996 through additional advertising sales and partnerships with Internet companies like America Online and Go/Infoseek. Like many other fast-track cyberspecialists, however, Hoover’s failed to make a profit, recording instead a net loss of $2.3 million.
Hoover’s wants to attract investors and business readers hungry for reliable information on public and private companies. One of its key features is IPO Central, a roundup of recent and pending initial stock offerings. Besides listings on some 14,000 companies, Hoover’s Online also provides reports on approximately 45 industry sectors. ƒ