INTERACTIVE;EXCITE PACKS MARKETING ENERGY

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Excite is preparing an $8 million ad campaign to capitalize on its rapid growth.

The search engine today launches its next-generation search technology and an expanded database of 50 million URLs, up from about 10 million (http://www.excite.com).

Excite later this summer breaks its first advertising from Foote, Cone & Belding, San Francisco. The campaign will run primarily online, but also may include TV, radio and print.

"Our marketing will reflect the attributes of our technology: quick returns on searches with a high degree of relevance," said CEO George Bell. "Excite technology will help increase consumers' curiosity and help strengthen our branding campaign."

As one of the newer search engines (it launched last October), Excite is catching up quickly. The company already boasts such brand extensions as Excite Search, Excite Reviews, Personal Excite and Excite City.Net.

POPULARITY RISING

Last week NPD Group's PC-Meter reported that Excite had risen to the fifth-most trafficked site on the Web during April and May, surpassing both Lycos and Infoseek.

It is acquiring the McKinley Group, developer of the Magellan Internet guide; is syndicating Web reviews through newspaper members of the Tribune Media Syndicate and is planning a cable TV series about the Internet this fall on the Discovery Channel.

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