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Where is the best practice in the IAB/DMA charter?

I can’t work out this IAB / DMA Search Marketing Best Practice Charter, which was released to the masses last week “to reinforce advertiser and agency confidence in the medium”.

I’m not sure whether to file it under ‘heart in the right place’ or not, but I do know that it is sorely lacking in any best practice guidelines.

Also, I’m not convinced that advertisers particularly need their confidence restoring (we recently estimated that in the UK more than £2bn will be spent on search marketing in 2007 – not a sign of a crisis of confidence).

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Farecast extends service to hotels

Farecast, the start-up that helps travellers predict the best time to buy flight tickets, has turned its attention to the often-confusing world of hotel rates.

The company has launched a beta service that allows consumers to search the web for hotel rooms and guesstimate whether the prices being offered are a good deal.

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Consumers demand multi-channel experience

Retailers that offer a seamless experience across online and offline sales channels are set to be rewarded by consumers, according to a new survey.

The Sterling Commerce study found 57% of US shoppers wanted the ability to return or exchange products in-store, regardless of whether they had bought them from a website, catalogue or shop.

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Bad email marketing can ruin product launches

One of the reasons for the failure of NatMags’ Jellyfish magazine has been blamed on email distribution problems. 

What lessons does this hold for email marketers?  

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Apple launches TV downloading service in UK

Apple has launched its video downloading service in the UK, allowing viewers to buy TV programmes from its iTunes store.

The company is initially making 28 series available via the site, which will compete with the catch-up TV services of UK broadcasters.

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Scheme gives etailers access to China

A new pilot programme is set to give foreign etailers access to China’s 163m web users for the first time.

The service, launched by Alipay, an online payment subsidiary of Chinese internet giant Alibaba Group, enables foreign currency transactions between Chinese consumers and overseas firms.

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Q&A: Jeanette Angell on Penguin's user-centred redesign

Publishing brands Penguin and Dorling Kindersley, both part of the Penguin Group, recently completed a project to relaunch their websites and improve interaction and navigation for users.

The revamp was pretty far reaching - the team took a user-centred approach, with extensive usability testing and planning, and found new ways to think about marketing books via the site.

The group is also set to launch new sites to increase its engagement with customers - one is a youth-oriented site called spinebreakers.co.uk, which is employing teenagers in its development. 

Here, Penguin and DK's online development manager Jeanette Angell speaks  about the reasons behind the project and the techniques it used.

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Advertisers face video balancing act

Advertising.com has released some figures highlighting how the length of online video ad spots can influence consumers' responses.

The data, taken from Advertising.com's network and a survey hosted by InsightExpress, found longer pre-rolls delivered higher CTRs but shorter ads performed better in terms of complete views.

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Hi-Media buys photo sharing site

US-based photo sharing site Fotolog has been bought by French ad network Hi-Media Group in a deal valued at $90m.

The move will see Hi-Media attempting to use its online advertising and micro-payments systems to better monetise the site, which says it is experiencing strong growth in Europe.

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Online banks see growth among older web users

Internet banks have proved adept recently in targeting one of the web’s fastest growing demographics – the silver surfer, according to new data.

Figures for 2006 from payment association Apacs show that over-55s provided the greatest proportion of new UK online banking customers in the past five years.

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AOL given go ahead for Tacoda buy

AOL’s acquisition of behavioural targeting company Tacoda, announced in July, has been given the green light by the US government.

The deal will see AOL picking up Tacoda’s online ad network, which claims to have access to around 130m people across 4,000 sites.

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Not all networks are built the same

The issue of poor advertising placement has hit the headlines recently. But it’s important to remember that blind network advertising and blind chain buying are not the same, writes Phil Coote.

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