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Web commentary site 'Suck'-umbs to ads

Suck, the irreverently sarcastic Web site, is going commercial. The site (http://www.suck.com), a subsidiary of HotWired Ventures, on May 6 unveils Suck 2.0, featuring four new content areas and five advertisers, including McKenzie River Corp.'s Black Star beer; Big Book, a Web Yellow Pages; Web zine Tripod; and "The East Village," an online soap. An eight-week sponsorship costs $20,000; 100,000 page views are guaranteed every four weeks.

Taking ads was a financial necessity to keep the Suck humor going, said Rick Boyce, HotWired ad director. But while the first sponsors weren't a tough sell, the site's name (not to mention the fact that the Sucksters have skewered and plan to keep skewering big corporations over and over again) is probably enough to scare some bigger clients away.

Cahners offers peek at planned supersite

Cahners Publishing Co. is offering sneak previews to potential advertisers for its Cahners Manufacturing Marketplace, a Web supersite that will combine resources from the company's 12 publications serving the manufacturing sector. Although the site isn't scheduled to go live until October (a beta site is expected in July), the company already has booked about $1 million in advertising.

Cahners officials told Advertising Age's Business Marketing the company also is working on a comparable online offering that will build upon Cahners' franchise in the entertainment sector, which includes publications Variety and Billboard.

Zine for game lovers to bow on Web

SpotMedia Communications on May 1 launches GameSpot (http://www.gamespot), a Web zine for PC gaming enthusiasts. Advertisers include Creative Labs, LucasArts and GT Interactive. Sponsorships range from $1,500 to $9,600 per month.

Agency interactive work growing: Survey

A survey of 203 ad agencies by the American Association of Advertising Agencies reveals 180, or 89%, use interactive media in some form. Three out of four said they are building or maintaining Web sites. The survey also found that 73% have been involved with interactive projects for less than two years.

Internet game developer Interactive Imaginations named Greg Stuart to the new post of exec VP-director of marketing, from senior VP-director of interactive communications at Wunderman Cato Johnson, New York... Microsoft Corp.'s new online magazine, edited by ex-New Republic Editor Michael Kinsley, will be called Slate and will bow this summer...Howard Blumenthal has quietly left as editor of CompuServe's WOW! online service. No replacement named yet.

DISCUSSION OF THE WEEK

Last week, we reported that Procter & Gamble wants to buy Web ads only on a cost-per-click basis. So far, at least one Web publisher, Yahoo, has sold ads to P&G. Is this the death knell for the cost per impression? Share your views on Ad Age's Digital Media forum (http://www.adage.com/InterActions/index.html). Send e-mail to IMM Editor Debra Aho Williamson at imm@adage.com, or Associate Editor Kim Cleland at Kimcleland@aol.com.

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