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Engage Technologies said it agreed to buy CMGI-owned ad networks Adsmart and Flycast Communications for $2.5 billion in stock. Engage, which CMGI spun off last July, since last March has absorbed Internet ad and marketing ventures Internet Profiles Corp., AdKnowledge and now Adsmart and Flycast. CMGI's move to consolidate most of its ad services at Engage is a departure from CMGI's past strategy of operating separately run but interdependent businesses. The unified Engage will be in a stronger position to compete with rival DoubleClick. Paul Schaut will remain president-CEO of Engage; George Garrick, chairman-CEO of Flycast, and John Federman, president-CEO of Adsmart, will be co-presidents of Engage, until the deals close; their positions at point are to be determined.

CNET to buy mySimon

for $700 million in stock

Web media company CNET said it is buying comparison shopping site mySimon in an all-stock deal valued at about $700 million. CNET, which is changing its name to CNET Networks, will use mySimon to enhance its shopping offerings. Comparison shopping sites experienced heavy traffic during the 1999 holiday season; mySimon experienced 146% growth in traffic from November through December, according to Nielsen/NetRatings.

AllBusiness names shops for $40 million account

Small-business services site AllBusiness.com, San Francisco, named two agencies to handle its $40 million marketing campaign. Butler Shine & Stern, Sausalito, Calif., will handle a $25 million ad campaign. The rest of the budget will be spent on a direct marketing campaign from Miller/Huber, San Francisco, and public relations.

E-mail marketer kicks off

personalized ads

E-mail marketer Expression Engines will officially launch Favemail, an e-mail enhancement product, next week. The free product, which Expression Engines President PJ Stafford calls "personal word-of-mouth recommendations from one person to a friend," allows people to include a colorful ad with a personalized note at the bottom of an e-mail. Users can select images from Favemail's site (favemail.com), create their own promotion or add an ad directly from a partner Web site. Advertisers can post ads on the site for free, but must pay to have their ads promoted and tracked. While Favemail is currently marketed for individual use, Mr. Stafford hopes to tailor the product eventually for use in corporate mail systems.

Omnicom takes minority

stake in Nuforia

Omnicom Group bought a minority stake in Internet professional services company Nuforia, New York, the company that resulted from last year's merger of communications design company Belk Mignogna Associates and technology company Net Explorer. Omnicom will add Nuforia to its Communicade division, which manages a portfolio of investments in interactive marketing companies.

iBelieve launches

$10 million campaign

Christian site iBelieve.com today breaks a $10 million offline and online campaign. Beyond Interactive, Ann Arbor, Mich., is handling online advertising and media; Affiliated Media, Jacksonville, Fla., is handling offline media, and Hanon-McKendry, Grand Rapids, Mich., is creating offline ads, which include mainstream and Christian TV, print and radio. The tagline is "Insert God here."

Chat. . .

Beyond redemption: Software site Beyond.com cut 20% of its staff, announced the exit of CEO Mark Breier and shifted focus from the consumer to the business market. Beyond joins floundering Value America as the latest casualty of 1999 e-tailing. . . . The Metropolitan Museum of Art today unveils its new Web site that's designed to attract new members. Developed by Icon Nicholson, formerly Nicholson NY, the site (www.metmuseum.org) lets users see works of art from the New York museum's collection. It includes a customizable calendar of events as well as access to the museum's online store. . . . EntryPoint, San Diego, successor to content "push" service PointCast, named Phillips-Ramsey, San Diego, as first agency for its $10 million offline account. . . . Heineken USA picked Agency.com, New York, as first interactive agency of record to develop its global e-business strategy. . . . Times Co. Digital, New York, the Internet division of the New York Times Co., narrowed its review for its $40 million account to six agencies: Cliff Freeman & Partners, Deutsch, DDB Worldwide, FCB Worldwide, Ogilvy & Mather and Y&R Advertising, all New York. A decision is expected in early March. The assignment potentially includes work on all the company's brands, including the New York Times on the Web, New York Today, Boston.com, WineToday.com, GolfDigest.com and Abuzz.

Advertising Age compiles

Interactive 100 rankings

Advertising Age is compiling data for the annual Interactive 100 roster of interactive marketing agencies. Data will come from the 2000 Agency Report Questionnaire, with responses due Jan. 31. Go to the top link at http://adage.com/arq to download a questionnaire.

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