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Website roundup

Montreal-based Astral Media has launched a new website at <>. The site has been redesigned to reflect the company's new overall visual identity. The content includes information aimed at a general audience as well as advertisers, the financial community, potential employees and governments. It includes information on the company's 21 television services, 83 radio stations, 8,000 advertising faces and 100 websites, as well as the history of the company and its socially responsible initiatives. "The new site features an advanced design that personifies the high level of performance and creativity that the Astral brand inspires," said Sylvia Morin, vice-president of brand management and corporate communications at Astral. "The section designed for advertisers, notably portions reserved for our radio and digital divisions, provides a remarkable showcase for the offering of Astral's media properties." The new site was developed in collaboration with Fjord, a division of Cossette.

UK clothing retailer Bench has constructed a Canadian online store at>. The site offers the company's range clothing for men, women and children, including specialty products such as yoga apparel, swimwear, outerwear, accessories and gift cards. The site also features a blog and a music player. "The online store provides a platform for the brand to showcase its personality and create customer relationships," said Mitch Gordon, the company's manager of online operations. "Our online marketing plan includes social media tools in addition to being a powerful ally to our exiting retail outlets in Canada as we build awareness for the Bench name." Bench operates 12 stores in Canada and also sells its products at various other clothing retailers.

CBC has launched a new website called CBC Books. The site, located at <>, draws its content from various CBC sources and includes text, audio and video material. This content includes reviews, interviews with authors, readings, best-seller lists, discussion forums, blogs, and an online book club. "The launch of CBC Books is a great way to showcase all of CBC's rich literary content from across our many platforms," said Kirstine Stewart, interim executive vice-president of English services at the corporation. "CBC has had a long love affair with books and this site is another way for us to bring together all of our programming to share with book lovers from across the country."

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