America Online, recently outgunned in the UK net subscriptions war
by retailer Dixons, this week launches an aggressive marketing campaign
to raise awareness of its enhanced services.
The company is promoting its new software AOL 4.0 to existing members
and potential subscribers.
The updated software offer includes a visual overhaul of its home page
and several new features such as the ability to launch a browser from
The campaign will involve the distribution of five million CD-ROMs over
the next three months through direct mail or cover-mounts on relevant
magazines. The launch will be backed by TV ads.
AOL will also mail free copies of the software to subscribers to
encourage them to upgrade their software and to not defect to other
internet service providers.
AOL has just been knocked off its perch in the war to sign up new
In the three months since its launch, Dixons signed up 575,000
subscribers to its free service compared with AOL’s 500,000.
AOL is also facing competition from other retailers. Toys ’R’ Us
recently launched a free internet service.