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Lycos to introduce

Personal Guide

Lycos unveils its Personal Guide today, allowing users to perform customized searches in four areas: weather, news, stocks and Web reviews.

The guide will enable advertisers to target registered users based on various data including demographic data and ZIP codes, said Lycos Product Manager Mark Stoever. The search engine intends to stand out from similar services offered by Yahoo! and Excite, with more in-depth content, like local news, provided by Reuters and a recommendation engine in the Web reviews section, Mr. Stoever said.

Yahoo! kicks off Visa Shopping Guide

The Visa Shopping Guide by Yahoo! (http://shopguide.yahoo.com) goes live today. "It's a guide to the best shopping sites on the Web," said Tim Brady, executive producer at Yahoo!. "It doesn't have aspirations of being a mall."

While a sponsor hadn't signed at press time, site merchants include Eddie Bauer Inc. and J. Crew. Mr. Brady said that it is considering closer ties with merchants, which could include referral fees paid to Yahoo! for every sale generated off the site. He also said that a Yahoo!/Visa affinity credit card is close to being finalized.

IAB to release online ad

survey results

This week, the Internet Advertising Bureau will release findings of its online advertising effectiveness study, conducted by research firm Millward Brown International. The survey of 16,000 respondents found that banner ads were effective in building brand awareness, communicating product attributes and impacting purchase intent, said Rich LeFurgy, senior VP-advertising at ESPN/ABC News Internet Ventures, and chairman of the IAB. Also significant: "We found there was not a one-to-one relationship between click-through and brand communication," Mr. LeFurgy told Advertising Age.

In other news

USA Net is releasing an updated version of NetAddress, a free e-mail service (www.netaddress.com). New ad formats in its navigation bar and log-out area will be available. Advertisers include Surplus Direct, online sweepstakes company NetStakes and SimpleNet, a Web hosting service. . . . Focalink Communications is set to unveil a two-year deal with Interpublic Group of Cos., making Focalink the preferred provider of ad targeting software for IPG agencies, including

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