MODEM PLANS MORE FOCUS ON MEDIA

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Modem Media is putting new emphasis on the "media" part of its name.

The Westport, Conn., interactive agency is creating a new specialty service to advise media Web sites on a variety of issues including evaluating Web rep firms and setting ad pricing models.

Modem's first media client is AT&T WorldNet Service, also an interactive advertising client. The agency is about to sign another media-only client.

"It's a pretty exciting way of leveraging the media expertise here," said John Nardone, director of media and research services, who will oversee the business.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST?

Modem claims the work doesn't conflict with the agency's Web media buying for other clients because it isn't repping sites.

"We are in no way, shape or form compensated for bringing clients to WorldNet," said Bob Allen, an agency partner.

Still, Modem is treading very close to territory staked out by Poppe Tyson, whose Mountain View, Calif.-based Poppe.com interactive unit repped several Web sites until it was spun off into a new company called Doubleclick.

AT&T last week signed 10 charter advertisers for WorldNet, including Modem clients MasterCard International, J.C. Penney Co. and Delta Air Lines. Charter ad packages cost $30,000 for a guaranteed 1 million impressions.

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