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Clickmango's Rowland resurfaces as communications chief at uDate

LONDON - Toby Rowland, the co-founder of the health website Clickmango whose collapse two years ago marked the beginning of the end of the UK dotcom boom, has been named communications chief of online dating site uDate.

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His remit will be to raise uDate's profile with an aggressive marketing campaign and a £1m-plus budget for next year using advertising and PR.

His appointment at uDate follows the site's recent hiring of tech PR agency Gnash Communications to promote its service ahead of the planned marketing drive slated for next year.

Derby-based uDate has grown to be the world's number two online dating service with around 11m members and 225,000 active subscribers. It turned a profit last year of nearly £1.5m on a turnover of £6m, making it the most profitable UK-based internet company.

Rowland, the son of business magnate Tiny Rowland, has acted as a business development consultant as well as working for an advertising agency in the two years since natural health retailor Clickmango closed as spectacularly as it launched only months earlier.

Rowland said the previous four years had been a learning period and had given him experience in taking a business from start-up to multinational. "This experience has taught me that online exchanges like uDate and ebay.com are winning formulae in this new internet era."

President and chief executive of uDate, Mel Morris, said after two years of growth in the online dating market, it was imperative that the uDate brand builds recognition both offline and online in its key territories. "Toby's experience in aggressively building brands is a crucial factor in taking uDate to the next phase," he said.

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