The Butler Didn’t Do It

“SAN FRANCISCO – After spending the last decade building its brand around a cartoon character named Jeeves, Ask.com wants everyone to forget the dainty butler and remember its long-overlooked Internet search engine as the next best thing to Google.To make its point, Ask.com is jettisoning Jeeves as its corporate mascot on Monday and unveiling a retooled Web site that’s designed to make it easier to find and use its search technology.

The makeover, which will be supported by an advertising blitz beginning in mid-March, marks the 10-year-old company’s latest attempt to be taken more seriously as it tries to catch up with the Internet’s top four search engines — Google Inc., Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO – news), Microsoft Corp.’s MSN and Time Warner Inc.’s America Online.

Ask.com also is trying to live up to the high expectations of media tycoon Barry Diller, whose e-commerce conglomerate InterActiveCorp bought the Oakland, Calif.-based company for $2.3 billion last summer.”

Ok, the headline is hokey, but I like it.

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