The launch of two new free London newspapers got everyone excited and keen to make comparisons between Associated Newspapers' London Lite and News International's thelondonpaper. So far we prefer thelondonpaper. It seems better designed, easier to read and it appears to know its audience more precisely. Its news may not exactly be London-centric but at least most of its content is relevant to readers under 30. More importantly though, will Londoners like either title? We've noticed a distinct whiff of apathy on the streets.
- ZenithOptimedia's 'Percy' Benefits Club
To celebrate its move to new offices on Percy Street, ZenithOptimedia has come up with an excellent idea - a benefits club that offers incentives and discounts to employees and "friends" of the agency. To qualify for the really good stuff (such as private medical cover discounts), you have to be an agency employee but the agency is also extending the scheme by sending well-produced booklets to its clients and other contacts to offer them discounts at local restaurants, hotels and shops. An inspired bit of marketing.
- Virgin Radio's new website
At last, Virgin Radio has a modern, truly customer-focused website (www.virginradio.co.uk). The site now includes more access to free music, music videos and interviews with the stars. It also offers podcasts from Virgin regulars such as Al Murray and the evening presenter Geoff. Users can also contribute their own content, including gig reviews and music news.
- Penguin's online activity
If Penguin's new book The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters is anything like the campaign Michaelides & Bednash has created to launch it, it should be a ripping yarn. The agency has created an online campaign that revives the Victorian practice of publishing books in instalments. The book will be sent to subscribers chapter by chapter on a weekly basis with each chapter ending on a cliff- hanger. The website looks fantastic and the thinking behind the campaign is truly innovative. Go to www.glassbooks.co.uk/launch.html for more information.
AND ONE THING WE DON'T ...
- Newspaper wallchart rip-offs
This week, The Guardian's successful series of nature wallcharts returned to the newspaper. For those who have missed them, the wallcharts are one of the great giveaway launches in recent times - entertaining, informative and very, very collectable. Now other newspapers have, really belatedly, jumped on the bandwagon with inferior products. Hang your head in shame, The Independent.