Good Morning Execs,

war. what war? as you know, the Enron
situation has dominated the attention of gov
and common folk alike. its bankruptcy will
change how energy trading, pensions, and
financial disclosure & accounting are super-
vised by gov. Enron was into just about
everything, oil, electricity, broadband, it
securitized and then traded as commodity
anything it could. but you know what else
is interesting about what Enron did? they
traded media inventory as a commodity.
you probably already knew about this, but
did you realize implications? no longer do
advertisers negotiate with media companies.
entities like banks can now jump into the
fray, bringing the cost of our precious inven-
tory even lower. sounds crazy, well, don't
forget that IPG (the largest agency holding
company) formed a media negotiation unit
called Magna Global, with over $40 billion
dollars in media negotiation clout. although
they have nothing to do with the actual media
planning and strategy (a skill no bank should
ever master), they exist with one goal, to
deliver the best price per eyeball to their
clients. folks, what i'm saying is that the
future of media may truly be the AOL &
VIACOM model, having hundreds of ways
of attracting people, then wrapping that
into cross-platform deals. That's not to
say that you have to have deep pockets,
afterall, neither started with hundreds of
media properties. but if you'd like to make
money off your media, someday you'll
have to offer lots of it.

1. E-ADS: top story, fixing too much clutter.
2. EMAIL: new discovery, like the planet being round!
3. BRANDING: Andersen vs Accenture.
4. SEM: Yahoo plans to charge for saying "Yahoo"?
5. IBRANDS: .name starts tomorrow, are u ready?
6. STATS: don't believe the hype.
7. STRATEGY: "about us" sections work
8. THEWEEK: update of last week
9. HUMOR: IBM rocks

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1. E-ADS: the issue of too much clutter
decreasing ad effectiveness online
was the biggest news last week with
the release of a Dynamic Logic report.
they go as far as distinguishing b/w
"perceived clutter" and "defined clutter"
to help folks understand the difference
b/w what content pubs consider clutter
and what their audiences consider clutter.

BOTTOM LINE: clean up your act
people. it's already bad enough that
pubs have little or no control over the
creative and are still expected to deli-
ver results. but make sure you don't
forget your audience when making
your ad deals. their experience on
your site is just as important as keeping
advertisers happy. and they will always
have a horrible experience if they can't
enjoy your content w/o the interruption
of two or three pop ups/unders hogging
up their bandwidth, blocking content, or
trying to sell them online casinos or micro
spy cameras when they came to your
site looking for music related content.
so then, how can you please everybody?
start by highlighting hyperlinked words
and phrases to easily identify editorial
content. next have an easier to under-
stand layout, which isn't always a grid
design recommended by expensive
consultants, and finally believe it or not,
have an easy to use menu, including
super categories with common sense
terminology, rather than internal vocabulary.
next up, work on the ad types you allow.
nowadays, ads can be commercial quality
online w/o interruption or required media
player downloads, on website. maintain
editorial space intact and content relevant
so that people and advertisers keep coming.


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2. EMAIL: i always find it funny when it takes
big time experts to state the obvious before
the rest of the industry listens. a new report
released by E-Dialog says that being specific
with the subject line of your email may actually
improve results. i know many of you face the
problem that it's company protocol to be as
generic as possible to avoid controversy and
lawsuits, but just remember you're not the
only company in the world trying to get attention
in your customers' inboxes and as such, you
have to make sure they are aware who you
are at the very first possible place, the subject
line. i've been saying this since i started, and
delivering results accordingly. it took this
company hundreds of major efforts before
they realized it needed fine tuning.

BOTTOM LINE: just think about how many
times you read only the headline and got all the
relevant info you needed about a story. same
thing for email users with faded "delete" keys.
in addition, to make your emails more effective,
check your links, make sure all pics and content
actually shows up and consider the font size of
the email. it does this matter in keeping the interest
of the user when your user has to read in front
of the computer prolonged periods of time.


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3. BRANDING: Andersen vs. Accenture:
in the late 90s, early 00s, Arthur Andersen
was one of the Big 5 accounting/consulting
firms. SEC Chairman at the time, Arthur
Levitt made a big fuss about conflict of
interest b/w accountants of public companies
(almost always a Big 5 firm) and the lucrative
consulting they offer them. this made internal
struggles worse for the fast growing consulting
arm of Arthur Andersen, called Andersen
Consulting, and the smaller growth accounting
business. the companies split, Andersen
Consulting became Accenture with a $100
million ad campaign emphasizing their new
"accent on the future" and Arthur Andersen
became simply Andersen, eventually ending
up in a battle for it's very existence as it's
currently being probed by the SEC, Congress
and investors for its behavior on Enron, it's
second largest client. naturally, you'd never
hire a firm in any scandal, right? well, just
imagine the problems Andersen is having now,
especially since it never made any significant
efforts to establish it's brand as a major
accounting force, to this day, being considered
a subsidiary of Accenture, which employees
consider the gravest of insults.

BOTTOM LINE: reputations need nourish-
ment. it just can't develop itself. even the
good word of mouth that Andersen developed
for itself by working with clients for decades
didn't help it when its consulting sibling spent
$100MM letting the world know it knows more
than Andersen. your brand, how it's perceived
by clients & the public and their association with
your core competency is what counts these days,
not some long established reputation.

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4. SEM: Yahoo now requires recurring annual
fee for listing, effectively turning them into an
online yellow pages. but does this mean that
they are still as effective at listing all sites we
as surfers want to see, especially if our fave
content publishers can't afford to pay this fee?

BOTTOM LINE: how can they get away with
this sort of highway robbery? because, they
have over 400+ different services and products
on their site with new ones popping up regularly
to keep users happy. in a Dec 2000 Forbes
issue, Yahoo stated that each member of Yahoo
(about 60MM monthly today) use an average
2.8 of their services, which gives them reason
to keep coming back to Yahoo. this means
that Yahoo is no longer the search behemoth
it used to be their search services generating
under 20% of their total traffic. this also lends
credibility to the notion that the internet is headed
to a niche model, where if you want to search
for law or business facts, you go to law and
business search engines, rather than the all pur-
pose one. would i pay Yahoo to get listed? no.
why, b/c their search is no longer pure editorial,
and i probably won't be listed for not paying.

Hardy, Quentin, "The Killer Ad Machine", Forbes, December 11th, 2000, p176

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5. IBRANDS: dot.name goes live this tuesday.
but do you need it? well, let's see, there's .cc
for whatever, .tv for well, anyone that missed
.com's and .net's, there's going to be a .info for
people with info... it seems like there's eventually
going to be a dot-something for every one and
everything, supposedly a second chance if you
missed your chance during the name claiming
days of the 90s with dot coms. but what's the rele-
vance to your business? will a "yourcompany.biz"
really improve your brand?

BOTTON LINE: it depends on the marketing
success of the issuers of these new extensions.
remember the confusion that occurred when
888s, 877s, and 866s came into effect? but
unlike the internet, companies assigning these
numbers contributed in the knowledge campaign
to inform the public, making us all feel better with
using these numbers. with the internet, the effort
is so massive that no single company can possible
hope to make these new extensions commonplace.
it took $200 MM bucks to inform people about
the new Euro, and that was just 12 countries!
just imagine how much it's going to take to inform
all people in all countries about the purpose of
these new extensions? so, do you need it? not
yet. will you need it in the future? only when
you notice considerable marketing behind promo-
ting these new extensions, b/c then you'll know
the average person will know.

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6. STATS: media and numbers don't seem to go
together. a hilarious article in Forbes this week
highlights incredible discrepancies made by
journalists. and as i review hundreds of articles
this week i can't help noticing many myself:

nytimes.com and others reports AOL to write
off $40 to $60 BILLION in Q1 to reflect mergers
costs! folks, they make about $10B a quarter.
does this make any sense? maybe i'm the idiot.

"PRINCESS CRUISES will offer two previously
unscheduled short-cruise departures this spring
aboard its newest ship, the 109,000-passenger
Star Princess". wow, imagine that, a ship twice
the size of Bayonne.

BOTTON LINE: don't just take figures for
granted that they're correct. do your own
research, find out for yourself. the amazing
thing is that b/c so much content is recycled
on so many other sites, the same misinforma-
tion spreads. only in America.

Seligman, Dan, "Why Journalists Can't Add", Forbes, January 21, 2001, p66

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7. STRATEGY: why is the "about us" section
so important to your online business? when
you go to a store, and there are no employees
there to help you, do you buy something or
leave? when you're reading a book, don't you
like knowing a little something about the author?
same logic. people love knowing who's behind
the screen.

BOTTOM LINE: if you haven't already, add
an about section. a picture or two will double
effectiveness. this won't bankrupt your business
to add, and the results will add instant trust to
your business. and don't forget the contact info.

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8. THEWEEK: every major biz pub had
sections dedicated to this, on a daily
basis even, not just because it's the
biggest, messiest, costliest bankruptcy,
but b/c it affected the average investor
all the way up to the White House and
just about every major political figure
expected to have some say into this
matter, all of which seem to be system-
atically declining to comment and actively
participate in this matter, AOL and MSFT
both introduce an "Alerts" service tied to
their main products in effort to reach us
when we're not at our computers, Hearst,
the mag pub, was commissioned by Nike
to produce a teen mag called Jordan,
Ford, GM & Merrill Lynch fire the rest
of the country, Yahoo introduces free
Money Manager tools for users, but
don't get excited & start using it, since
they may end up charging you to use it
later as part of CEO Semel's diversification
plans, Consumertronics Media launches
with star studded cast of dot com veterans
that actually survived, w/late 90s style
fanfare, and goal of producing content
for lifestyle electronics about technology
online & off, perhaps last week's OPPOR-
clicked with some readers, b/c
the NYTimes.com reports that SHOW-
TIME and MTV are hooking up to create
an all gay pay cable channel w/ads.

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9. HUMOR: Big Blue unveils new services-
related tools: "IBM unveiled new software
tools Monday to strengthen its Web services
business plan... The company also updated
its Web Services Toolkit, a starter kit that
provides developers the rudimentary tech-
nology needed to begin building and running
Web services."

yeah, but what they don't tell you that it starts
at $75,000. if IBM can get away with making
people pay for stuff like this, when they could
do it for free these days, then there's hope for
all of us.

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Disclaimer: The recommendations, commentary and opinions published herein are based on public information sometimes referenced via hyperlinks. Any similarities or likeness to any ideas or commentary from any other sources not referenced is purely coincidental. al berrios & co. cannot control any results occurring from advice obtained from this publication nor any opinion(s) conveyed by any reader of this publication.

(c) 2001-2005. All Rights Reserved. al berrios & company, inc. Published by al berrios & co. This Report may not be reproduced or redistributed in any form without written permission from al berrios & co., subject to penalty.


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