BT, Burger King and Dunlop Slazenger are among seven companies which have signed up as sponsors of Madopolis.com, a new e-card site which will enable consumers and businesses to send fun visual messages, invitations and greetings via e-mail, while raising money for charity.
Madopolis, which launches this week, invites viewers to tailor-make their greeting from a wide selection of images and select a charity before inserting the address of the recipient, and sending it. For each e-card sent, the sponsors donate 2p to charity.
The site is the initiative of former BBC head of marketing planning Collette Lux, her partner David Price and Martin Frost, former president of Seagram Europe and now chairman of Info Bank.
The group aims to position Madopolis as the site to 'Make A Difference' by raising money for up to 30 charities, while also operating as a profit-making organisation.
In addition to signing up the seven key sponsors, which also include Smirnoff, Diageo J&B and Guinness, the group has also persuaded content providers such as FilmFour, Discovery, the Paramount Comedy channel and the Extreme Sports Channel to provide images for the site, on the basis that it will offer consumers the opportunity to sample content.
Sponsorship forms one of the main revenue streams for the site. According to marketing director Lux, backers can choose to sponsor different sections within the site, including 'birthday cards' and 'Valentine's cards', through banner ads, including hotlinks to their own sites.
Alternatively, brands can link up to a specific charity or to different genres of content.
Other revenue streams include syndicating the site to other online content providers to include within their web site.
Madopolis launches with a pounds 1m marketing budget. But according to Lux, the site will rely on viral marketing techniques, rather than above-the-line advertising.