eCountries in hunt for shops to handle pan-European brief

- eCountries.com, the business-to-business website founded by two former Financial Times Group board directors, is searching for advertising, direct marketing and media buying agencies to handle its pan-European account worth an estimated £10 million.

- eCountries.com, the business-to-business website founded by two former Financial Times Group board directors, is searching for advertising, direct marketing and media buying agencies to handle its pan-European account worth an estimated £10 million.

eCountries is aimed at senior business managers with overseas responsibilities, advising them on corporate investments across borders. It will enable people to access information about a country that can be used to understand the key economic, business and political issues and allow them to take advantage of opportunities.

The site is backed by the venture capitalist 3i and its founders have a track record in creating, building and selling businesses. Donal Smith, the former managing director of FT.com, sold the Broadcast Monitoring Company to the FT Group, and Jonathan Schmidt ran the FT Group's interests across Asia having sold his business, Asia Intelligence Wire, to the group.

Smith said: "Now that we are raising our second round of funding — the first having raised $7 million — we will be appointing an ad agency to roll out a global campaign from September." A significant proportion of the adspend will be diverted online, while selected TV channels will also be used.

There is no shortlist of agencies as yet although it is thought that the company is closer to appointing an advertising and direct marketing agency than it is a media one.

Smith added: "eCountries responds to three of the most significant business trends of recent years: globalisation, e-commerce and competitive tendering."

The website will be edited by the former editor of News- week International magazine, Michael Elliott.





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