Hub Shop Lands

Gearon Hoffman Tops Partners & Simons, Allen & Gerritsen
BOSTON–Gearon Hoffman last week added creative and media chores for, which provides Web-hosting services for businesses looking to craft sites with private or limited usage.
Spending will be in the $4-5 million range through the first half of 2000. Television and radio ads will roll out within a month, said client official Lisa Wilson-Wirth.
Partners & Simons and Allen & Gerritsen also competed for the assignment. There was no incumbent, though the Weber Group in Cambridge, Mass., was tapped late last year for public relations.
Gearon Hoffman will create an integrated campaign to position the Woburn, Mass., client in the market and generate additional site registrations. The effort will be themed, “Get everyone on the same page.”
The Boston shop’s track record of “building brands from scratch” for clients such as Samuel Adams helped it win the account, said Wilson-Wirth. “We looked at all their work, not just their clients [Direct Hit,]. They really got what our brand can be,” she said.
Portraying the service as a viable business tool “in a non-tech way” will be a key point of the upcoming campaign, Wilson-Wirth said.
“A one-person company can use [] as well as a 2,000-person company,” noted agency president Bob Hoffman, who said that message will be stressed in upcoming ads.
Radio executions will break in 10 markets nationwide, including Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Television spots will appear nationally on cable in February on CNN, ESPN and MSNBC.
Launched last fall, provides small and midsized businesses with free, private space on the Web to share documents, calendars and events information. There are no registration fees; the company makes money from banner ads and links to sites it creates. was formed with assistance from idealab!, an Internet incubator led by entrepreneur Bill Gross, which also helped eToys and get up and running. The company received $20 million in venture funding from investors led by Tsushin Inc., a Japanese Internet and wireless conglomerate. maintains confidentiality with the majority of its clients. Two of its customers are The Cartoon Posse, a caricature art firm that allows potential buyers to view its artwork, and MyRide! Transit System, which attracts venture capitalists by using its intranet as a private Web page.

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.