Global Online Retailers from Google, eBay, Discovery Channel, LinkedIn Gather to Discuss Importance of Virtual Marketing

Annual Electronic Retailing Association Leadership Conference Reveals Latest Strategies to Reach Over 195 Million American Mobile Consumers, 57 Million Bloggers

Washington, DC, January 10, 2007 --( Electronic Retailing Association, the only industry association representing direct response marketing companies and major retailers that use electronic media to sell goods and services to consumers, will hold its 15th annual Mid-Winter Leadership Conference & EXPO on January 28-30, 2007 at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel in Miami Beach, FL.  This convention brings together the most profitable companies in the industry for three full days to celebrate the power of networking, to discuss changing consumer behavior, and to highlight the latest trends in social media and mobile devices. Heavily focusing on new media channels, such as text-messaging and online communities, this conference aims to assist direct response marketers in becoming more retail savvy in the ever-growing multi-channel environment.

More than 700 attendees will gather to hear top business leaders from leading multi-channel and Internet companies address integrating direct-to-consumer marketing with the energy and innovation of new and emerging technologies. Some notable attending companies include eBay, Google Audio, Discovery Channel Store, LinkedIn, SmartReply, Eluma, Third Screen Media, and Webside Direct. Fortune 500 CEOs, direct response and interactive marketers, product and channel professionals, advertising agencies, brand managers, merchandisers, and planning executives are also expected to be in attendance.

Mobile and text-message advertising has quickly become a significant channel for multi-channel marketers, allowing retailers to connect with elusive, on-the-go consumers. According to the Yankee Group, every month over 350 billion text messages, also known as “SMS messages,” are exchanged across the world’s global networks, with 15% of these messages being classified as commercial, or marketing, messages. With over 1.4 billion mobile phone subscribers throughout the world, 89% of brands plan to use text and multimedia messaging marketing by 2008. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 195 million, or 65.5%, Americans own a mobile phone, while over 90 million belong to online groups and over 57 million read blogs on a regular basis.

The media are encouraged to attend this news-making forum with unlimited access to:

Fortune 500 CEO's and business leaders
Latest trends in mobile and text message marketing
Keynote and guest speakers from leading companies engaged in online customer loyalty, mobile marketing and social networking
Industry breakout sessions in three distinctive tracks: Multi-cultural Media, Mobile Marketing and Online Multi-channel Strategies
Peer networking with decision-makers at companies across multi-channel and Internet retailing vertical markets
Exhibit hall with participating companies showcasing all aspects of the multi-channel direct response industry
The 3rd Annual Latino Awards of Excellence – known as the “Oscars” of the Latin American direct response industry, co-hosted by Latina celebrity Rashel Díaz

For more information on ERA's Mid-Winter Conference, visit ERA's website at

Registration for the convention is now available online at Registration is complimentary for credentialed members of the news media. There will be no on-site media registration. All media must register no later than January 18th, 2007.

Representing a more than $300 billion market, the Electronic Retailing Association ( is the only trade association in the U.S. and internationally for major companies in the multi-channel electronic retail industry, which includes long- and short-form commercials, live shopping channels, the Internet and radio. ERA counts industry leaders like Guthy-Renker, HSN, QVC, ShopNBC and eBay among its member companies.

Media Contact:
Lauren Meley
301-913-0010 x127
Enten & Associates
Kirk Monroe