Restrictions on telephone sales in the UK

The snappily-titled "Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) (Amendment) Regulations 2004" come into force in the UK today. This makes it a "legal obligation for for anyone making direct marketing calls to ensure they do not call corporate subscribers who have registered their wish not to be called." So before a sales person picks up the phone to call a potential new client, they should check the Corporate TPS and any internal "do-not-call" lists! Confused? Need help to find out the best way to stay legal? Ask Napier for a quick guide to meeting the complex European data protection regulations with minimal fuss.

Second chance for football fans...

So now England have joined the teams knocked out of the European football championships. Still we all have another opportunity for showing national pride: Portugal is also hosting the Robocup 2004 - robot football championships. Beckham, Figo, Zidane and Larsson shouldn't get too worried yet, as the "ultimate goal" of a robot team beating the winners of the human world cup isn't expected to be achieved until 2050...

COMDEX 2004 cancelled

COMDEX, the trade show that was once the focus of the global technology calendar has been cancelled for 2004, although the exhibitors have promised a return for the event in 2005 after reshaping "with the cooperation of information (IT) industry leaders". Does this represent the end for all technology trade shows? Probably not. In fact the IT industry has seen smaller specialised trade shows increasing in importance: a trend that has also been reflected in the European electronics industry. Despite this disappointing news for the tech show industry, Electronica 2004 looks like being yet another big success, with strong exhibitor support.

CIE (France) launches email newsletter

CIE has launched an email newsletter giving readers a preview of what each issue contains just before they receive it. Like the EPN newsletter, the email is a preview of the items in the magazine, sent out just before the printed copy. It will be interesting to see what long-term effect this has on readership: will engineers be more or less likely to read the magazine if they can read the stories on the web before recieving the publication through the post?

SUPERCOMM show opens today

SuperComm, "the world's largest annual all-inclusive exhibition and conference for communication service providers and private network managers" opens today. After years of depression, the communications industry is actually beginning to be optimistic about the future. Check out all the news at the SUPERCOMM Daily News site.

House of representatives delay requirement for biometric passports

Not directly related to the European electronics media, but very important for most technology marketeers in Europe, the US House of Representatives has voted for a one-year extension to the requirement for passports with biometric information from countries participating in the visa waver programme (VWP). This legislation was to be introduced on 26th October 2004, effectively meaning that almost everyone would require a visa to enter the USA, as none of the biggest countries particpating in the VWP were going to be able to meet the deadline. Of course, it remains to be seen whether countries will be able to issue suitable passports by autumn 2005...

Nokia leaves, then re-joins WiMax Forum

It's easy to see the difficulties that comms equipment manufacturers experience when trying to decide which emerging standards to support. The politics are often more important and more complex than technical issues. A great example is see with Nokia's departure from the WiMax forum, which was followed by them rejoining the forum a little more than a month later.

Svetlana leaving the IEE

Despite doing a great job of updating the IEE's magazines, particularly the flagship IEE Review, Svetlana Josifovska is to leave the IEE at the end of June. We'll bring you news of her successor soon.

Embedded World 2005 Conference call for papers

Weka have issued a call for papers for Embedded World 2005 (which will be held from Feb 22nd to 24th). This show has managed to draw in both exhibitors and visitors, despite the industry downturn, and the politics that surrounded its launch a couple of years ago. Although still primarily a German show, rather than a true international event, it remains the leading embedded show in Europe.
You currently have lots of time, with a September 13th deadline for the abstracts and December 15th deadline for final papers.

In-Stat/MDR Electronic Design Forum, California

A new conference? The industry must be picking up! In-Stat/MDR - famed for the Microprocessor Forum and Embedded Processor Forum - has annouced a new forum, the Electronic Design Forum. This will be held in San Jose on 7th October, focussing on interconnects at both board and system level.

Automotive Electronics Congress website is now live

Reed has been planning an automotive conference to run alongside the Mondial de l'Automobile, and the website for this event is now live. Clearly this will be an important event for any electronics supplier that is serious about the automotive market, as the main show is one of the key automotive shows in the world, attracting the biggest names in the business. Currently the congress is billed as 250 attendees, 50 speakers and 20 exhibitors. Speakers from BMW, Renault and the Jordan F1 team have been confirmed for this event.

WIlmington sells industrial titles to Datateam

Wilmington has sold its industrial titles, including the web portal to Datateam. The sale includes the magazine Electronics, as well as other well-known titles such as Automation, Instrumentation, Electrical Engineering and Design Solutions. Hopefully this will mean the opportunity for more investment in Electronics, which has struggled to win market share of the advertising in the UK, despite its lovely editor, Jo Bennett. The office will relocate from Gravesend to Maidstone on 21st June.

BPA changes name

BPA International, the most influential audit body for the electronics media, is now BPA Worldwide. The relaunch has brought a funky new logo, and is designed to reflect their "expanding global reach". At Napier we regularly use audit information as part of the process to help clients select the optimum media, but it is by no means a simple process, nor can it be the only factor in the decision. A circulation audit tells you nothing about whether anyone actually opens the magazine, the time they spend reading it, or whether it is passed on to anyone else to read. For more information about how to compare and evaluate audits, and what other factors you should take into account when selecting media, give me a call.

Interestingly the move from being "International" to "Worldwide" was perhaps a little optimistic: driven by the fact that the BPA now audits in "more than 20 countries" (just 22 currently).

Check who really reads your email

Although we're trying to keep this blog focussed on the marketing for the European electronics industry, we thought that this web servce we saw featured on CNET was just too spooky to leave out. DidTheyReadIt places a tracking device (basically a transparent image that is only one pixel big) into the email, and then records when the email was opened, for how long it stayed open. If you are worried, you can always turn off automatic download of images in email (but this is only available in a few mailreaders, such as Outlook 2003) or get some software to block the email tracking - just type "email tracking blocker" into Google.

Wilmington sells industrial titles

Wilmington has sold it's industrial portfolio of magazines (Automation, Industrial Design, Electrical Engineering, Electronics, Factory Equipment, Instrumentation, Irish Manufacturing and Process & Control ) as well as the website to Datateam Publishing. Staff will all move down the road to Maidstone.

Microsoft introduces minimum 10 year product support

It's not just the telecom industry that demands long-term support. Microsoft has just announced a policy of 10 year support for business and developer products.

Colin Holland adds another job to his portfolio

Not content with being editor for Embedded Systems Europe and, as well as covering embedded products for Electronics Express Europe, and supporting Charlton Athletic, Colin is now editing news stories for Microwave Engineering Europe.

Online advertising hits $2.3Bn……in 1st quarter!

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) - who have been tracking online ad revenues since 1996 have announced that the first quarter of 2004 was a record-breaking year, with $2.3Bn of advertising revenues. Despite the dot-com crash, there's still money to be made by websites! We can't really draw any conclusions about the electronics industry, as this survey just looks at the top 15 sellers of online advertising and then extrapolates to produce a figure for the whole market. You can also read a bit more about this on CNET.

New editor for Microtechnology Europe

Nick Flaherty has been appointed as the editor of Micro Technology Europe, and will take over at the start of July. Although it is sad to see Paul Gregg step back to become Consultant Editor, we believe that this is a very positive move for the magazine. Micro Technology Europe was recently acquired by David Williams, and this is one of many changes he has made to strengthen the title. Recently it was announced that the magazine would no longer make "production charges" for editorial that appears in the product news section.

April fooled Google?

Google, the search engine, has shown how difficult PR can be. They announced that they were to launch an email service, GMail, which offers an unprecidented 1GB of storage. the release came out on 1st April, journalists thought it was a joke! On the other hand, perhaps it was all cleverly planned to get more coverage?

Don't forget Embedded in Munich

If you want to present at the Embedded in Munich conference, which will be held alongside Electronica, you need to get working! The deadline for abstracts is 25th April.

Design und Verification gets new editor

Design & Verification has appointed Andreas Donner as the editor, but he will not be starting until June. He has a a technicla background in electronica, but most recently recently he was editing Computer Guide, a German newsstand publication. This appointment reflects the high level of commercial awareness at Publish Industry Verlag, who have successfully fought their way into the incredibly competitive German electronics publishing market, despite having to achieve most of their growth during a horrid down-cycle.

CIE Launches new website

CIE (Composants Instrumentation Electroniques) the French product book published by Reed have re-launched their website, with a new look and lots of new features. As well as the usual prodcut news, they offer application notes, an events calendar, a section on the distribution market and also a "people page" covering new appointments. With the launch of the Groupe Tests website for both Electronique and Electronique International Hebdo, CIE were no longer the only mainstream electronics title with a good online presence, and this upgrade should keep some readers coming back. Content is an issue with some new sections only having a small number of stories, but presumably this will grow steadily.

Electronique Online

Google goes local

More about Google! A new local search feature has been developed that aims to give search results that relevant to a particular geographical location. It's still in beta, and has problems, but could eventually be a threat to publications from local business directories to newspapers..

Boards and Solutions show planned for the UK

ICC Media, publishers of Embedded Control Europe, and Boards and Solutions, are planning to hold the first Boards and Solutions show in the UK on March 24. The programme has just been announced, and is on their website.