24/7 Media in major b-to-b e-mail push; signs deal with VerticalNet

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New York--In a bid to counter its slumping business-to-consumer business with a b-to-b boost, 24/7 Media Inc. has introduced the 24/7 Mail Business Alliance, a database of 1.3 million business e-mail addresses. Separately, 24/7 announced it would begin representing Horsham, Pa.-based VerticalNet Inc. in 24/7 Media's online ad network. The database allows users to contact prospects based on criteria such as industry, size and zip code. Most of the contacts are at small to midsize businesses.The VerticalNet deal will give 24/7 Media's advertisers access to the 59 industry-specific sites of VerticalNet, the once high-flying b-to-b company. The deal comes two months after 24/7 Media's rival, DoubleClick Inc., also signed a pact to represent VerticalNet on DoubleClick's ad network.24/7 Media is increasingly focusing on b-to-b. Its core b-to-b lists include The Economist's international e-mail list. Its stock is trading in the 9-cent to 16-cent range, off a 52-week high of $10.44. Earlier this month, 24/7 Media began seeking shareholder approval for a reverse stock split to keep its listing on Nasdaq, which requires a minimum bid of $1 a share. 24/7 Media's moves come as it aggressively builds its sales efforts. Last month, it tapped Christopher Manning, a TV Guide sales veteran, as senior VP-national media sales, a new position.

--Philip B. Clark

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