Adforum.com is an online directory for the ad industry and a resource for viewing showreels and ads. The most glorious thing about the web is that it has no geographical boundaries. Unfortunately, this advantage is the most common pitfall that business sites blunder into.
If it costs no more to reach a global audience, then why not run a global site? Because all too often, you will be spreading your resources too thinly. Sites that try to cater for too large an audience can end up serving none properly. Adforum.com seems to have fallen for this temptation.
Characteristics: The site is divided into a number of areas, including a 'worldwide' directory, bookstore, ad archive and a media directory.
The layout is clear and functional: there's no chance of getting lost.
An interesting feature is a news service. The site has hooked up with syndicated news sources and you can shoot through to articles from the homepage. Not bad, but the coverage is limited.
The ad search function is very useful. It is well done and the opportunity to rate the executions is a bonus. You can also mail ads to colleagues for their assessment.
Target audience: Clients and agency people.
Principals: Founded in October 1999 by Herve C de Clerck, the managing director international of Havas Intermediation, the French advertising and media services company.
Funding: Private investors provided first- and second-round funding. The site is also backed by the venture capitalist 3i, which invested pounds 1.9 million during the first round of financing in December 1999 and added pounds 1.9 million in October 2000.
Marketing: The site relies on search engines and press coverage mostly. Adforum has also spent more than dollars 1 million on trade press advertising, direct marketing, interactive promotion, trade shows and ad industry events. This year it is sponsoring the IPA Advertising Effectiveness Awards.
Competitors: Adforum cites online examples such as Brandera or AgencyFinder.
THE YEAR AHEAD
Impressive stats such as 30,000 individuals viewing more than 330,000 pages a month sound great, but a lack of depth in content could leave users frustrated and turning to more specialised sites. - We're not convinced.