NEW MEDIA: America Online gears up for net services battle

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.

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 toolbar.



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

subscribers.



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.



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