OWN&P Wants Half

Dot.com Expected to Decide Within a Week
BOSTON–Half.com is publicly being secretive about the type of e-commerce service it plans to offer, but not with the three shops chasing its ad account.
The finalists for the $15-25 million account are Odiorne Wilde Narraway & Partners, San Francisco; Margeotes/
Fertitta + Partners, New York, and Partners & Simons, Boston, according to sources.
The 4-month-old Philadelphia-based startup, whose Web site goes live in January, initially met with a dozen agencies, including Boston shops Pagano Schenck & Kay and Heater Advertising.
Half.com founder Josh Kopelman said he expects to pick a winner within a week, and a national branding campaign will launch in January. “We do everything fast,” he said.
Kopelman wouldn’t reveal much about Half.com, only saying it will be a “people-to-people e-commerce site.” The agencies have been let in on the secret, but have signed confidentiality agreements.
When he first started looking for a marketing partner, Kopelman said he felt more like he was pitching to the agencies. It was in stark contrast to his time at Infonautics, Wayne, Penn., a technology company he founded seven years ago. There, he said, agencies always were knocking on his door.
Half.com has grown to 20 staffers thus far and anticipates adding another 30 by next year.
Officially launched in June, the company filled its development and marketing teams with what it says is a “who’s who” of Net veterans from such companies as America Online, CDnow, N2K, Oracle, Spree.com, MetaCreations and VerticalNet. K