DIALOG Marketing Communications has won the advertising contract to represent NBC Asia in the Asia-Pacific region as the television network prepares to launch its entertainment channel early in the new year. In the US$2.2-million-a-year deal, Dialog will be responsible for attracting potential advertisers for the CNBC and NBC channels. The company will also use part of the budget for print campaigns in such target-market publications as the Asian Wall Street Journal and the Far Eastern Economic Review as well as regional newspapers. Dialog is also considering launching a Web site for the network on the Internet. Best described as a specialist agency, Dialog launched in September as a subsidiary company of the advertising giant J. Walter Thompson, coming about as a result of a merger between JWT Direct and JWT Enterprise. The company has opened nine offices in the region and has invested heavily into alternative forms of media such as the Internet, CD-ROM and desktop presentations. Wick Smith, managing director of Dialog, said many advertising agencies had been so mesmerised by the traditional means of huge television, media and print campaigns that they had begun to lose focus on what clients really wanted and needed. 'What clients are now saying to us is: 'Hey, we don't want to talk to everybody about this product or service - is there a way we can narrow the focus a bit?' - and this is what we are trying to achieve. 'At Hongkong Telecom, they have some customers who are heavy IDD users and there is certain things they would be interested in that you and I wouldn't be. 'So, rather than spend a lot of dollars on a big IDD image campaign which Hongkong Telecom does now, what I see in the future is that each user will receive its own IDD campaign based on what's relative to it.' This activity of personalised advertising will be achieved through a number of methods with most of the 'personalised' campaigns carried out via a computer disk. One of Dialog's first contracts was to produce a computer disk desktop presentation for the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) extolling the virtues of staggered work hours for employees of large companies. The presentation shows the capacity of MTR cars at different times of the day with the idea being to help companies decide if they want to implement the programme. Mr Smith said previously Dialog would have given the company a brochure on the subject. 'Now, we give them a disk for their laptop which is customised for each individual client. When they plug in the disk, they will get a personalised presentation containing the customer's logo, information on their own spending patterns and geographic distribution. It's an effective tool,' he said. The company has also invested heavily in the Internet where it will create a web site for a client, create pages to configure the server and maintain it each month with new and relative information. Mr Smith called the web sites a cost-effective method to get across certain types of information for high-interest products where people wanted information on a subject.