News Round-up: 7th February 2011

This week’s movers and shakers in the digital industry: Bazaarvoice | Annot8 | Qype | Monetise | AVG & Netlog | Kiss My Ads | MIG and C5 | ViewRanger | GetJar | Webcredible | Anchor | Miniweb | Creature | eMosiaic | CMW and McCain | Artificial Solutions | Badoo | smartclip | CouponCoupon | bigmouthmedia | Just Search | Top Position | Improve Digital | Maxymiser | Mind orchard | RoadTestReports | Mobile Intereactive Group | Habitat

Bazaarvoice unveils ‘Smart SEO’ next-gen user-generated search optimisation
Bazaarvoice, the market and technology leader in transforming customer conversations into long-term business value, today introduced Smart SEO, a patent-pending technology that allows brands to maximise the natural search benefit of user-generated content while simultaneously delivering a great user experience to new and returning customers. Smart SEO ensures that user-generated content (UGC) can be crawled and indexed by search engines as “static” content, driving higher placement in search results, boosting search engine traffic, and driving traffic to the brand site. At the same time, Smart SEO delivers a highly dynamic, interactive and engaging user experience to site visitors in order to maximize brand engagement and sales. Smart SEO builds on the already powerful business impact that Bazaarvoice delivers to its clients. Through use of the Bazaarvoice platform and UGC, which provides a high volume of fresh, relevant content, companies are able to significantly increase search visibility of their websites.
New online advertising platform annot8 helps businesses launch targeted ad campaigns
New online advertising platform annot8 is helping businesses launch their own targeted ad campaigns that are directed to the right people at the right time with consistent, rich and interactive content. annot8 is an advertising network that moves away from traditional SEO tactics. Instead, it aims to increase the visibility of businesses on the web, while increasing their online presence through user-centred optimisation. Companies register on annot8 and create an advertising campaign by adding their keywords and building an advert. Once they are happy, they pay for their advertising campaign and their advert is live on any website.
New app linking Qype and Facebook launched
An exciting beta upgrade to the iPhone app integrating Qype and Facebook Places for the first time, has been launched in Europe. The app will allow Qype users to see where their Facebook friends have ‘checked in’, directly on their Qype place screen. The ‘who’s here’ widget will show all current visitors of a place including the user’s Facebook friends, while a ‘friends visiting this place’ widget will show who, out of a user’s Qype and Facebook friends, has been to the place before. The new app also offers improved privacy, notifications and options, as well as the ability to disconnect from Facebook within the app. The new app is available to download through the App Store or update through the Qype site.
Visa Europe and Monitise to develop mobile payment services
Visa Europe has signed a partnership agreement with Monitise plc to develop and supply mobile payments services for Visa Europe’s member banks and financial institutions across Europe. Following Visa Europe’s six year build and €0.5 billion investment in a new European inter-bank processing service, this agreement will leverage this platform and accelerate the development and commercialisation of large scale mobile payments and services. The exclusive partnership gives Visa Europe a licence to Monitise’s world-leading mobile technology. Monitise will act as an advanced development engine for Visa Europe, enabling it to provide its member banks with a rapid go to market mobile payments service in Europe. Initially this will include the development of Visa Europe’s mobile platform for mobile contactless payments, mobile alerts and person to person payments followed by account management, loyalty applications and mobile e-commerce.
AVG and Netlog unite for social networking security
Anti-virus software provider AVG Technologies has teamed up with Netlog to launch a co-branded Security Center within the European social network. The Security Center powered by AVG, will inform and educate users about Internet security, provide tips and help users protect themselves from malware, spyware and other attacks by cybercriminals while they surf online. Additionally, all links within Netlog will be automatically scanned by AVG LinkScanner, warning users to refrain from opening a link when a threat is detected. With more than 72 million members and over 150 million visitors per month, Netlog is one of the fastest-growing and most popular social networking sites amongst European youth between the ages of 18 and 25. The Security Center will be initially rolled out to 24 million Netlog users in the top six countries of the Netlog user base, which are Belgium, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Romania and Turkey.
KissMyAds launches mobile affiliate program
KissMyAds has launched its mobile affiliate marketing program offering advertisers, app developers and Web publishers tools to benefit more efficiently from mobile marketing. The London-based company presented an advanced platform that makes mobile marketing a lot more powerful, connecting advertisers to a rapidly growing audience on their mobile devices. KissMyAds helps advertisers minimize stray loss and optimize marketing performance while offering its affiliates an array of new opportunities to generate and enhance revenues through mobile Web traffic. Developers can drive app-store downloads – including in Apple’s App Store, Android’s Market and Nokia’s Ovi Store – with the help of app affiliates, who in turn benefit from their long-term success.
Channel 5 renews contract with Mobile Interactive Group
Mobile Interactive Group (MIG) today announces a two year contract renewal with Channel 5 to power all mobile interactive services including continued m-CRM initiatives, mobile messaging and developing interactive revenue generation concepts for flagship shows including The Gadget Show, Fifth Gear, CSI and NCSI. The contract, now entering its fourth year between Channel 5 and MIG, really signifies the viewers continued desire to interact with their favourite TV shows via mobile. Additionally, MIG recently announced the launch of its Interactive Broadcast Platform (IBP). Features within the platform include Live Voting and Polling; multiple options to purchase via Credit Based Payment System; real time credit balance function; Social Media Integration; the ability to Watch Live and View Highlights; Real-time Opening and Closing of all campaigns and it integrates with all third party vote systems.
ViewRanger teams with Cumbria Tourism for smartphone guides
Augmentra, the maker of the award winning outdoor navigation app ViewRanger GPS has partnered with Cumbria Tourism to publish walking & biking routes in the Lake District on their mobile platform. The deal means that residents & visitors to the Lake District with a smartphone will be able to use the ViewRanger mobile app to access these tourist board endorsed routes as downloadable, interactive guides – with maps, GPS navigation & detailed, reliable local information. The aim is that it will drive an increase in accessibility to the countryside and landmarks, while encouraging more people overall to visit Cumbria in 2011 and beyond. Available from 7th February 2011, the initial 30-plus walking & biking routes to be released by Cumbria Tourism & ViewRanger includes favourite routes in the region. The partnership re-interprets existing materials published on the Cumbria Tourism website. Publishing on mobile with ViewRanger, goes one step further than the existing web based access to visitor information about the Lake District and enhances the visitors’ experience by providing the peace of mind of GPS mapped location and location specific information.
GetJar Helps The Salvation Army Gain New Donor Base in Record Time
GetJar, the world’s largest open app store, and DIDMO, creators of the award-winning Magmito mobile application creation solution, report today that in less than six weeks, The Salvation Army’s social justice app, The Daily Cup, has solicited more than 190,000 mobile downloads. Of the users that downloaded the app, 6.2 percent clicked through to the “Donate $10 Now” button within the app, and 3.9 percent submitted the volunteer form. This news follows on the heels of the Dec. 15, 2010 launch of The Daily Cup. The app’s impressive download and click-through numbers speak to the growing trend of non-profit organizations successfully expanding their donor bases by embracing mobile marketing. By reaching these demographics through emerging mobile platforms, charities like The Salvation Army are forging relationships with younger donors early in an effort to sustain these relationships as they grow older.
Crimestoppers selects Webcredible for usability testing
Webcredible, the user experience consultancy, has been appointed by Crimestoppers for a usability testing project on its website. The project is designed to review the existing site and identify areas where the user experience could be upgraded, particularly within the ‘Most Wanted’ section. Crimestoppers is an independent charity helping to find criminals and solve crimes. It operates an anonymous phone line and website where people can pass on information about crimes. The work with Webcredible is designed to help make the online giving of and browsing for information as easy as possible for website users. The usability testing will consist of eight participants performing various tasks on the Crimestoppers website. Analysis and recommendations from these tests will then be conveyed to Crimestoppers to make the updates to the user experience deemed necessary.
Anchor brand launches web campaign to get kids outdoors
Arla Foods UK, home to some of the UK’s leading dairy brands including Cravendale, Lurpak and Anchor, has launched the Kids Closer to Nature programme to encourage children of all backgrounds and locations to experience the great outdoors. Aiming to co-exist in the physical & digital world the campaign will provide parents, teachers and children with incentives to go outside and learn about nature, while keeping the computer as an additional learning tool. The initiative is part of Arla Foods UK’s longterm commitment to farming and duty to preserve and protect nature. Children who register become members of the Nature Adventure Club and receive a lanyard that sets out various outdoor challenges. This unlocks an area of the site providing educational content around each challenge as well as bonus pieces such as games, augmented reality displays and printable models. While offering informative online opportunities, the site blurs the physical and digital using techniques like timed pop ups after the child has been on the site for 30 minutes, encouraging them to move away from the computer and take on an outdoor challenge.
Miniweb selects smartclip to expand ad inventory across connected TV app
Miniweb, a cloud-based video distribution platform for connected TVs, has signed an exclusive, international advertising sales agreement with smartclip – Europe’s leading online video advertising sales network. The deal will generate advertising revenues from Miniweb’s connected TV application, woomi. Advertisers will roll out campaigns across woomi over the next few months, supported by an already strong line up of content from the likes of EZTakes, Openfilm, Radiant Pictures, Videojug and blinkx. With forecasts of transactional revenue from online video increasing to $8 billion[1] by 2015, woomi is perfectly positioned to offer advertisers a new and targeted platform through which they can reach millions of connected TV viewers in Europe and the US.
Mother agency trio jump ship to start-up Creature
International creative agency, Creature, has hired three new creative partners to boost its start-up London office. Creative directors Ben Middleton, Ed Warren, and Stuart Outhwaite join the global independent’s management team from Mother London. In recent years, they have been behind some of the agency’s most talked about and award-winning campaigns. The team will form the creative leadership behind the London office, and are integral to the development of the agency business, led by managing director, Ivan Purdie. For the past three years, the team was at the creative helm of Mother’s Unilever business, responsible for some of Britain’s best-known work – including recent PG Tips and Pot Noodle campaigns. At Creature, the trio will take the lead across a portfolio of clients, which includes Microsoft, Starbucks’ Seattle’s Best Coffee brand, Pepsi, Jansport, and Pacifico Beer.
Outer Temple Chambers’ website re-launched to provide fresh look for legal industry
One of London’s leading law chambers, Outer Temple Chambers, has launched a new website which aims to provide a fresh look for the legal industry online. Digital agency Mosaic Brighton was appointed to design, with the brief of giving the site a more commercial look and feel. Outer Temple Chambers’ aims for the website are to communicate with its solicitor audience more effectively, attract leading barristers and appeal to commercial businesses.
CMW launches first campaign for McCain Foods
CMW has developed a digital campaign for McCain Rustic Oven Chips. The campaign breaks at the end of January and is the agency’s first work for McCain Foods, Britain’s favourite chip manufacturer, after being appointed in November to reinvigorate its digital strategy. McCain Rustic Oven Chips are a guilt-free choice with only 3% fat and low in saturated fat, low in fat, sugar and salt. CMW has created a “3% fat, 100% guilt-free” proposition which it brings to life via Ben, the eligible Rustic’s farmer. Ben acts as confessor to consumers wanting to own up to their guilty secrets. Women can engage with Ben via a Facebook app designed to appeal to Rustics’ core target audience of health-conscious upmarket young, single women. Visitors to the McCain Rustic Oven Chips Facebook page can say goodbye to their guilt by sending a short message to Ben revealing their secret. The secret is then presented on a potato which is chipped. Ben then absolves their guilt through eating the Rustics chip with their secret on. People who reveal a secret will automatically be entered into a free prize draw to win a guilt-free five-day shopping trip to New York for themselves and a friend with £2,000 spending money. Those who send their guilty little secret to Ben can invite friends to do the same through their Facebook status updates.
Children’s Hospital Launches Virtual Assistant to Help Parents Online
Artificial Solutions, the natural language interaction and Customer Service Optimization specialist, announced today that Spain’s renowned Hospital Sant Joan de Déu (HSJD) has launched a virtual assistant using Artificial Solutions technology to help parents navigate through more than 1,000 useful healthcare tips and recommendations found on the hospital’s website, and supplemented by the US portal, KidsHealth. Named Jo@net, the virtual assistant’s graphical personality was created by Javier Mariscal who designed Cobi, the official mascot of the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. Located in Barcelona, HSJD is one of Spain’s foremost paediatric, gynaecology and obstetrics medical centres and is well-known for its high level of expertise and the availability of state-of-the-art technology. Identifying the need to improve the online experience for visitors to its website and the requirement to enable parents to find out further information about health issues more easily, HSJD approached Artificial Solutions to provide the technology and expertise in developing an intelligent virtual assistant. Jo@net appears both on HSJD’s home page and on its “Health Tips for Kids” pages. Bi-lingual, users can chose to chat with him using free format natural language in either Catalan or Spanish. Jo@net’s knowledge contains a glossary of medical terms, symptoms and illnesses that covers more than 1,000 healthcare issues whilst the unique knowledge structure developed by Artificial Solutions ensures Jo@net demonstrates exceptional levels of intelligence and humanlike behaviour.
Social dating site tops 100 million users, a “social dating” site, today announces that it has passed the milestone of 100 million users. It has done so by reinventing both social networking and online dating. It has achieved this by spearheading the new online category of “social dating” – the love-child of social networking and “traditional” online dating. The four year-old start-up is registering over 300,000 new users each day – nearly 10m per month. Its revenue is also growing fast. Gross consumer spending on Badoo will top $100m in 2011. Badoo is now the planet’s largest social network for meeting new people locally. It is a global, multi-lingual, location-based, “social dating” network, focused on chatting, flirting and meeting new people. In recent months, Badoo has expanded not just its user-base but also its services, launching both iPhone and Facebook apps with huge success. Badoo’s Facebook app has become the world’s largest and fastest-growing Facebook dating app. Once just a website, Badoo has now gone mobile and cross-platform, fuelling further growth.
smartclip appoints ESPN’s Amy China
Digital video advertising network smartclip, today announces the appointment of Amy China as Agency Group Head. The appointment of China quickly follows the recent appointment of Stephan Cavalar as CFO, and highlights the rapid expansion of smartclip which is expanding as the digital video advertising grows. Amy has a wealth of experience in advertising sales and joins smartclip from ESPN EMEA where she was a sales executive. In this role she was responsible for business development across a wide variety of different platforms including broadcast, digital, VOD and mobile. Prior to this Amy also held sales positions at BSkyB and the Balfour International Group. She has extensive knowledge of the sport, entertainment and FMCG sectors, amongst others.
New CouponCoupon Website Offers Over 15m Up-to-the-Minute Deals
CouponCoupon, one of the world’s fastest growing money saving websites, has launched in the UK, offering millions of up-to-the-minute promotional codes, discount codes and voucher codes for huge discounts when shopping online and on the high street. With more than 4,000 unique deals launched every day from leading retail brands, there’s no excuse to miss out on a bargain when shopping, eating out or booking a holiday. CouponCoupon has over fifteen million live promotions on offer at any one time, from well-known retailers like Argos, Currys, Comet and Dixons, as well as specialist stores and companies. To give the public maximum time to take advantage of its online deals and vouchers, CouponCoupon prides itself on getting them live on the site before the competition. CouponCoupon also ensures you can bag a bargain from European retailers that deliver to the UK. Dynamic language translation of voucher codes and promotional codes for over ten countries means offers are instantly available in English. And if you’re travelling to a European destination, that means you’ll also be able to search for promotions and vouchers to use when you get there!
Lowcostholidays hires bigmouthmedia to help European expansion
Holiday provider has selected bigmouthmedia to launch its SEO and PPC marketing strategies for the roll out of their European sites. The travel firm appointed Europe’s largest independent digital marketing agency to spearhead its plans for rapid expansion. Responsible for establishing advanced programmes of search engine optimisation and Pay Per Click targeting consumers in Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, Norway and Sweden, bigmouthmedia’s international teams will deliver a strategic campaign designed to replicate the company’s rapid UK growth rates across the continent.
Just Search Secures Contract With HOB Salons
Just Search has been chosen by award winning hair salon company HOB Salons, to complete the job of transforming its internet marketing campaign. The SEO experts at Just Search, which is part of the Getupdated Group, have been asked to launch an SEO campaign with the aim of improving online traffic, and increasing the salon’s presence online. The first HOB Salon was opened in 1983 but their success has continued to grow and there are now 20 salons across the country, all offering award winning service. HOB Salons is well respected in the industry and has achieved five stars in the Good Salon Guide as well as being awarded the British Hairdresser of the Year Award. HOB Salons will benefit from the huge range of expertise offered by Just Search, which will help it to achieve better rankings on Google and will therefore increase traffic to its site. As well as improving HOB Salons’ website usability, one of the projects assigned to Just Search is to launch a social media campaign for the company. The hair salon business will be reaping the rewards of an expertly crafted, complete internet marketing package.
Top Position Publishes First Book
UK search engine optimisation agency, Top Position has published its first book. The book is entitled ‘Online PR and Article Marketing – Skills for SEO Success’ and is available for purchase on Amazon. Penned by Top Position’s operations director, Rebecca Appleton, the book is a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to leveraging online PR and social media marketing for increased brand awareness, more successful link building and better search engine rankings. Drawing on five year’s work heading national and international online marketing and SEO campaigns, the search engine optimisation agency’s book is a definitive how to guide.
Improve Digital to open second German office
In response to the growing demand for its ad revenue optimisation services in Germany, Improve Digital has appointed a new publisher development manager. Nicolas Clasen will support Axel Hoehnke, the company’s German managing director based in Hamburg, and manage the company’s second German office that will be opened during Q1 and based in Munchen. Nicolas Clasen has over 12 years of experience gained both at well-established publishing companies, as well as dedicated internet players in Germany. Prior to joining Improve Digital as director publisher development Deutschland, he worked as an online media consultant focusing on strategic media sales for several companies: SevenOne Intermedia, aSmallWorld, artnet, Holtzbrinck eLab and He believes that today’s fast-growing digital advertising industry offers extensive opportunities, and these are further enhanced by innovative technology companies such as Improve Digital.
Telegraph teams with Maxymiser to boost web engagement
Telegraph Media Group today announces a partnership with conversion management expert Maxymiser to enhance the online experience for visitors to The Telegraph. By working with Maxymiser, The Telegraph is able to take a customer-centric approach to website design and refreshment, where changes to page layouts, sequences and content can be trialled on real web visitors in order to identify the most effective variants that are beneficial to the user.
Mind Orchard launches new campaign for RSPCA
Mind Orchard has designed and launched a new website for the RSPCA to help people who are thinking of buying a puppy. Nearly one-fifth of people – 19 per cent – who bought a puppy in the past two years no longer have their dog, according to new RSPCA figures. The RSPCA believes this is largely down to people letting their heart rule their head when it comes to buying a puppy, and failing to prepare themselves for the practical commitment and cost of owning a dog. Statistics from a new survey commissioned by the RSPCA* reveal that nearly a quarter of the owners (24 per cent) who bought a pure-bred puppy in the past two years based their decision mainly on appearance, while a massive 56 per cent of buyers did not see the puppy with its mother before they bought it. These are two of the biggest pitfalls the RSPCA’s new Get Puppy Smart campaign warns against. launches iPhone app
Consumer car review website, has now launched an iPhone App to ensure its users can get all the latest reviews on the go. Users will now be able to read and write reviews, making full use of the website’s database of car and van reviews from consumers as well as get the latest verdict from the website’s team of professional motoring journalists.’s new App is now available to download for free on Apple’s App store and is compatible with iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices. The new App will make it easier and more convenient users to make use of the website-the fastest growing resource in the UK for consumer car reviews.
Mobile Interactive Group launches new mobile voting platform for broadcasters
Integrated mobile and digital communications business, Mobile Interactive Group (MIG) today unveils its new Interactive Broadcast Platform. Features within the platform include Live Voting and Polling; multiple options to purchase via Credit Based Payment System; real time credit balance function; Social Media Integration; the ability to Watch Live and View Highlights; Real-time Opening and Closing of all campaigns and it integrates with all third party vote systems. PhonepayPlus industry research indicates ‘Voting and other participation TV’ in the UK is worth £32m and that 29.4% of the population had participated in some form of interactivity. The global interactive market for broadcast media is significant and growing rapidly as consumers adopt devices with far greater capability.
Habitat Announces the Launch of New Website
Habitat has launched a new website for customers in the UK, Germany and France.The launch of the website also sees Habitat now offering online delivery to Germany and Republic of Ireland. The new website features a suggestion tool on product pages. This means that customers can search for a product they are interested in and the Habitat website will suggest products that go with it. This could be a product from the same range as the item the customer search for, or other similar products. This will allow customers to view and purchase matching items that they may not have otherwise been aware of. Habitat launched its Habitat Facebook page in the UK in 2009 and now has Habitat Facebook and Habitat Twitter pages in the UK, France and Germany