Internet Tradeline takes indirect route

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The new medium of the Internet has affected how old media, such as newspapers, are being used. Consider the example of Internet Tradeline Inc., a New York-based company that builds e-commerce Web sites for small and midsize merchants.

But instead of selling directly to these merchants, Linda McCutcheon's company employs such newspapers as The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Chicago Sun-Times as intermediaries. The idea is that the sales staffs at these and other newspapers in about 100 other markets can offer their merchant advertisers inclusion in the shopping section of the newspapers' Web sites--plus the ability to make their own Web sites e-commerce ready.

So far, more than 1,500 merchants have bought Internet Tradeline's service through a newspaper.

"The way we get these merchants, by and large, is we do not market to them directly," McCutcheon said. "We count on intermediaries to sell our solutions as private-label solutions. . . . In a sense, they resell our products."

Now McCutcheon and Internet Tradeline have set their sites on other channels. First, they are courting banks and other financial institutions. Fleet Bank has already signed on, McCutcheon said. Additionally, she eyes specialty and trade publications as potential targets.

McCutcheon joined Internet Tradeline in October. Previously, she was president of Time Inc. New Media, where she oversaw, and other Time Inc. brands. "There are a bunch of us who've grown up in this wacky [Internet] world, and of these people I'm the least famous and poorest," she said.

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