DoubleClick, the US Internet advertising company has made its biggest foray into the European market by winning a contract to manage the advertising sales for Dixons Freeserve Internet service provider.
The move highlights the rapid expansion of the UK Internet market, which is becoming increasingly attractive to US Internet companies and advertisers.
Freeserve, the free unlimited Internet access service which is owned by electronics chain Dixons, will have its position bolstered in the marketplace as a result of the agreement, according to analysts. Freeserve was launched in September by Dixons, which claims it has attracted around 500,000 users.
The Freeserve software is given out on CD-ROM at 9,000 Dixons, Currys, PC World and Link stores across the UK.
At the time of the launch analysts were critical of Freeserve?s ability to support a large number of subscribers, and believed the company would withdraw the CD-ROMs if demand was too high. This, however, has not been the case and Dixons is now claiming that 40 per cent of its customers are new to the Internet.
?Freeserve has an innovative and refreshing business model,? commented Andy Mitchell, managing director of DoubleClick UK. ?Its genuine free offer of Internet access will play a major part in driving and broadening the UK Internet consumer base?.
Mitchell said that Freeserve was one of the very few sites in the UK with an inventory suitable for advertising targeting the mass consumer market. Freeserve currently offers 12 channels, including sport, entertainment, business and weather. Carlton Online, part of Carlton Communications, is also to supply a further two channels for films and games in the near future.
DoubleClick has previously signed advertising deals with Emap publishing and MTV Europe, the satellite TV station.
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