business news in context, analysis with attitude

• The New York Times reports this morning that Fresh Direct, the New York-based online grocery service, is using local celebrities to increase sales in Manhattan. “Each commercial features a New York celebrity receiving a FreshDirect package at home and making small talk with the deliveryman,” the NYT reports. “The celebrities will include the former mayor, Edward I. Koch; the celebrity chef, Bobby Flay; and the supermodel, Paulina Porizkova.”

The ad campaign reportedly is partially timed to blunt the entry of Trader Joe’s into the Manhattan marketplace; its first store there is scheduled to open on 14th Street near Union Square in a couple of months.

• A new study done by marketing research company Parks Associates suggests that US consumer spending for online entertainment such as gaming, music and video services will grow 260 percent in the next five years, reaching $9 billion by 2010.

The study also says that the number of worldwide consumer broadband subscribers will grow from 184 million in 2005 to more than 360 million in 2010.
KC's View: