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Subject: RE: UKNM: AOL advertising
From: Steve Bowbrick
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 14:46:25 GMT

>I don't think we should play chinese whispers with this ad. Anyone from
>AOL on the list who can confirm exactly what the "free" refers to in the
>ad? Is it free trial, freephone support or freephone number to ring to
>get the CD.

I think that's 'free' as in 'fear of Freeserve'. AOL's current mailer is
about A5 in size and uses the word 'free' 27 times (not counting body
copy). It is borderline misleading but just possible to work out that it's
the trial period that's free. I think the TV ad is also talking about the
trial period.

Seriously, Freeserve must represent a terrifying prospect for AOL. In an
immature market where your story is not already widely understood,
differentiating paid-for access with huge amounts of bundled
content/services from free access is going to be very hard work. Imagine
Freeserve and AOL TV ads going head to head - the apparent benefits of AOL
would be impossible to communicate, especially when Freeserve can, at least
superficially, claim quite a lot of content via partnerships. I think the
only thing that can now stop consumer access going free might be an attack
of timidity among the free players - unlikely.


| Steve Bowbrick | 0171 284 0777 phone |
| steveatwebmedia [dot] com (mailto:steveatwebmedia [dot] com) | 0171 428 9981 fax |
| http://www.bowbrick.com | 0468 257 570 mobile |

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  RE: UKNM: AOL advertising, Jamie Unwin

  RE: UKNM: AOL advertising, Leslie Bunder

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