December 3, 2004 11:42 AM PST

Firefox fans promote browser in Europe

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After the success of The New York Times ad fundraising campaign, Firefox fans have turned to Europe, placing a publicly funded advertisement for the open-source browser in a German newspaper.

A fund-raising campaign set up by European Firefox fans raised more than $93,000, the majority of which was used to fund the full-page ad, which appeared Thursday in the business section of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The ad included the names of all those who donated money to the campaign.

Hagen Merzdorf, one of the founders of the fund-raising Web site, said the campaign was such a success that after paying for the ad, it had money left over, which it donated to Mozilla Europe, the European affiliate of the Mozilla Foundation.

The ad included the word "FIRE!" in large letters across the top, as well as more information about Firefox, before listing the names of the 2,403 people who contributed.

"Hundreds of programmers have together developed a revolutionary Web browser," part of the ad said. "They have worked on it voluntarily and are giving it to the whole world."

The ad design was popular among many people, according to Merzdorf. "We had a lot of feedback on the ad," he said. "There were some people who said they would have done it differently, but most people were happy about the ad and said the layout was good."

Mozilla Europe has been unable to provide figures on the number of Web hits it has experienced since the publication of the ad, but the campaign Web site had 45,000 hits on the page that allows users to download the ad image, Merzdorf said.

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