Private label ISP to let marketers sell branded Web access

In an effort to deepen their relationships with their customers, a yet-to-be-identified Canadian financial institution and dot-com group will soon be adding Internet access to their list of customer offerings. Earlier this year, Andover, Mass.-based Navinet, an Internet access wholesaler, announced...

In an effort to deepen their relationships with their customers, a yet-to-be-identified Canadian financial institution and dot-com group will soon be adding Internet access to their list of customer offerings.

Earlier this year, Andover, Mass.-based Navinet, an Internet access wholesaler, announced it will launch a private-label Internet access service in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa. The service will allow Canadian marketers to buy Internet time from Navinet, and in turn supply branded Internet access to their customers. Navinet provides the access (dial-up or broadband), registration, e-mail, Web site content and, if desired, customer care and end-user billing.

While he will not reveal Navinet’s partners for the launch, Brendon Howe, vice-president of product marketing and development at Navinet, says they include a financial institution and a pure-play Internet company – that is, a Web company without a bricks-and-mortar counterpart.

The fee structure for the service is at the client’s discretion – for-free, for-fee or in between – but Howe suspects companies with strong consumer relationships, like banks and telcos, could bundle the service as an element of its existing services, or take a tiered approach depending on the customer’s status. Elements like reward points or additional e-commerce-enabling capabilities would be delivered by the sponsoring brand.

In many ways, it makes sense for an ISP to bury its brand under a bigger name, according to David Ellis, president of Toronto-based research firm Omnia Communications, provided the partnering company offers the ISP a cut of its transactional revenues, such as those derived from e-commerce activities or advertising. The headlining brand, particularly in the case of a financial institution, he says, provides a very high level of trust among consumers and therefore a higher willingness on their behalf to engage in e-commerce activities.

‘Providing access is a losing business – people are already giving it away,’ says Ellis. ‘It doesn’t make sense for ISPs to hand over their bandwidth without getting something in return. If it doesn’t bring in any money, what’s the point?’

In a case where the access component is given away for free, someone has to pay, says Howe, but most of the prospects Navinet is talking to are looking at bundling it with other services, and ultimately charging for it.

Google launches a campaign about news connections

The search engine is using archival footage to convey what Canadians are interested in.
Google

Google Canada and agency Church + State have produced a new spot informed by research from the search giant that suggests it is a primary connector for Canadians to the news that matters to them – a direct shot across the bow of the legislators presently considering Bill C-18.

In a spot titled “Connecting you to all that’s news,” the search giant harnesses archival footage reflective of many of the issues Canadians care about deeply, including the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, truth and reconciliation and the war in Ukraine, to demonstrate the point that many Canadians turn to Google as a gateway to the information and news they’re seeking.

“From St. John’s to Victoria and everywhere in between, when Canadians want to understand or get updated on the most pressing topics, Google connects them to the news sources that provide it,” says Laura Pearce, head of marketing for Google Canada. “All of us at Google are proud to be that consistent and reliable connection for Canadians to the news they’re searching for.”

In some ways, the goal of the campaign was to tap into the varied emotional responses that single news stories can have with different audiences across the country.

“News may be factual, but how people respond to it can be very emotional,” explains Ron Tite, founder and CCO at Church + State. “Importantly, those emotions aren’t universal. One news story can create completely different reactions from different people in different places. Because of that, we simply wanted to let connecting to news be the focus of this campaign. We worked diligently to license a wide variety of actual news footage that we felt would resonate with Canadians.”

The campaign can be seen as a statement by the search provider on Bill C-18 – the Online News Act – that is currently being deliberated by a parliamentary committee. That legislation seeks to force online platforms such as Meta’s Facebook and Alphabet’s Google to pay news publishers for their content, echoing a similar law passed in Australia in 2021. The Act has drawn sharp rebukes from both companies, with Facebook threatening to ban news sharing on its platform.

Google Canada is not commenting on whether this new campaign is a response to C-18, but it has been public in its criticism of the legislation. In testimony delivered to parliament and shared on its blog, Colin McKay, the company’s head of public policy and government relations, said, “This is a history-making opportunity for Canada to craft world-class legislation that is clear and principled on who it benefits.” However, he noted that C-18 is “not that legislation.”

The campaign launched on Oct. 24 and is running through December across cinema, OLV, OOH, podcast, digital and social. Airfoil handled the broadcast production.