The Coalition for Advertising Supported Information & Entertainment last week issued a controversial proposal to standardize Web banner ads on a grid system. Such a system would force Web publishers to redesign their sites to fit the guidelines, which suggest six ad formats and sizes. Although publishers believe standardizing ads makes economic sense, some, including Rich LeFurgy, acting chairman of the Internet Advertising Bureau, say publishers shouldn't be forced to redesign their sites. The IAB will consider CASIE's proposal and poll its own members and others starting this week, Mr. LeFurgy said.Freemark Communications, a Cambridge, Mass., provider of free, ad-supported e-mail, is searching for a new CEO after founder Robert Young stepped down. Mr. Young will continue as chairman. Ameritech recently invested in the company and is believed to be exerting more control over its management. Freemark has about 20,000 subscribers who see ads when they send or receive e-mail messages. Competitor Juno Online Services currently has about 570,000 subscribers.
Discovery Channel Online won the Cool Site of the Year award at last week's ceremony sponsored by Apple Computer, People and InfiNet. Other winners: HotWired, Still Cool Site of the Year; Mignon Khargie and Elizabeth Kairys, Cool Web Designers, for zine Salon; Alta Vista, Cool Search Engine; and Netscape Navigator, Cool Browser.