White to Tout Country Music Site

CountryCool.com has selected E. James White Communications as its first agency of record. The shop topped three other finalists for the $6 million account.
“We need an agency that can do more than drive people to our site; we need a partner who can drive creative strategy within the site,” said CountryCool president and chief executive officer Carol Walcoff. “E. James White gave us fresh ideas for new product tie-ins, promotions and more, to help make the site the ultimate experience for country music fans.”
Walcoff also cited the Herndon, Va., agency’s “proven ability to drive results for many other dot.com clients . . . There are not that many companies with convincing dot.com experience.”
Other shops pitching the business were Focused Image and Williams Whittle, both located in Alexandria, Va., and Siddall Matus Coughter of Richmond, Va.
Annual billings were initially set at about $2 million, but have increased with additional investments, according to Walcoff.
Based in Fairfax, Va., and Nashville, Tenn., the client offers Web simulcasts, country music news, interviews with performers, album reviews, a streaming radio show, merchandise, contests and chat rooms.
The agency will promote the Web site through print, radio and online advertising, direct mail, promotions and public relations. It also will be responsible for all media duties. Initial advertising will break before the end of the first quarter.
CountryCool.com’s primary online competitor is CBS-owned Country.com, said Walcoff.