Yahoo to kick off new branding campaign

SAN FRANCISCO Tue Sep 22, 2009 3:37pm EDT

The headquarters of Yahoo Inc. is shown in Sunnyvale, California May 5, 2008. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

The headquarters of Yahoo Inc. is shown in Sunnyvale, California May 5, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Robert Galbraith

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Yahoo Inc said it would kick off a $100 million branding campaign next week as the No. 2 U.S. Web company seeks to revive growth and redefine itself under Chief Executive Carol Bartz.

The global campaign, "It's You," comes a few months after Yahoo said it would outsource its search technology to Microsoft Corp.

The deal with Microsoft remains on track to close in early 2010, Bartz said during a news briefing in New York on Tuesday to introduce the marketing campaign.

Bartz declined to comment on recent reports that Yahoo is seeking to sell certain businesses such as Zimbra, a provider of business email and calendar services that Yahoo had acquired for about $350 million in 2007.

Yahoo is also seeking as much as $500 million for its small business Web hosting group, sources told Reuters on Monday.

"Most of our assets are very core to the company. Those that aren't, where it makes sense we will sell and where it makes sense we will shut down," Bartz said.

Yahoo's collection of websites were the second most visited Internet properties in the United States in August, behind Google Inc, according to comScore. Yahoo also faces growing competition from a new crop of social networking websites such as Facebook, which recently announced it reached 300 million users.

"The company needs to reinvigorate their brand. Maybe this is kind of a first step in that," said Kaufman Brothers analyst Aaron Kessler.

Yahoo executives on Tuesday promised more product launches such as the redesigned version of its Internet homepage that incorporates third-party websites like Facebook.

The multimedia campaign will be launched in the United States next week, in the United Kingdom and India in October, and other countries next year.

Yahoo shares fell 14 cents at $16.90 in late-afternoon trading on Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Richard Chang)

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