MARKETING HELPLINE SERVICE

Racing demons

Q: We want to organise a go-karting event for clients and key staff, but the tracks we know about are closed for the winter. Are there any indoor ones you could recommend, ideally in or around London?

A: You could try Playscape Pro Racing, which has an indoor track at Streatham in south London. It offers two-hour sessions for up to 20 drivers, to include a practice period followed by five heats and a series of finals.

This costs pounds 700 on weekdays, or pounds 600 at weekends.

The track can also provide food for up to pounds 12 a head - buffet or barbecue - and has hot dogs and other snacks for sale on site. Call 020 7801 0110; or try Bath Abbott, 0800 521824.

Outside London you could consider Indikart in Colchester, 50 minutes from Liverpool Street station. This charges pounds 27.50 a head, and can accommodate up to 60 people at a time.

There is also a free conference room, which means you could hold a meeting in the morning, have lunch and follow it up with go-karting in the afternoon.

Call 01206 799511.



Shapely CDs

Q: I have seen CDs of unusual shapes used for direct mail. Can you tell me who does this?

A: Advertising CD supplies a number of non-standard formats. One of the most popular is the rectangular 85mm x 60mm, which holds 38MB of information and is frequently used for multi-media business cards. An alternative is the 'double-D' type, which is flat on two edges and rounded on the others. These cost pounds 1.50 for 500 or 36p for 5000, with printing in up to three colours.

The company also produces a 'sniffle' disc, a standard CD with a scent.

This has been used for multi-media presentations of products such as perfumes - and even to evoke the smell of leather in a new car. It costs 38p per disc, which includes two-colour printing, for a quantity of 1000.

Call 01737 223900; or try Data Duplication, 01296 621121; Data Business, 01865 852 140; or MDR, 01799 543030.



Pop-up mailers

Q: Where can I get mail inserts that pop up when the envelope is opened?

A: MPS Third Dimension offers this specialist technique, which it calls 'paper engineering' (01494 784110). One type involves the use of elastic to make a flat object spring into shape when taken out of the mailer.

The technique can add interest to seasonal greetings cards, creating 3D Christmas trees or snowmen, but you can extend the idea to any motif that describes your business, from bottles and cars to mobile phones.

Objects can also be designed to actually jump out of the envelope. Helpline gets regular enquiries about an elasticated butterfly that flaps briefly round the room: this is a French product distributed by Easy Tiger in Leeds.

A standard design costs 60p per unit for a minimum order of 100, or pounds 1.20 branded, minimum 1000, with significant reductions for quantity. Call 0113 2567300, or go to www.novapolis.com for more information.



Digital futures

Q: Is there an agency that can provide cartoons and horoscopes for the internet?

A: Web sites are increasingly turning to the standard syndication material used in magazines and newspapers to keep visitors coming back.

Online Editorial Bureau (OEB) provides content from 30 different publishers, including quizzes, cartoons, horoscopes and weather forecasts. Dotcom clients include Thebigchoice, Playjam and Greenfingers, and it also supplies Tesco, Freeserve and One 2 One's WAP phone site.

Four multiple-choice quizzes a day are available on music, film and TV, sports and general knowledge; the cost varies according to individual needs.

The agency can arrange syndicated cartoons such as Dilbert, Garfield, Alex, Cathy, For Better Or For Worse, and Fish Tales. These cost around pounds 150 per month each. Press summaries and horoscopes by Russell Grant and Patrick Arundell are available, both for around pounds 400 a month. Twice-daily weather reports are pounds 500.

These are average prices, which may change depending on the size of the audience. Call 020 7236 5900; www.oeb.co.uk.



HELPLINE

E-mail enquiries should be sent to marketing.helpline@haynet.com.





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