ONLINE AD MANAGING HEATS UP

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CMG information Services, a company with stakes in some of the most-trafficked sites on the Web, is preparing to enter the online ad management business.

The Wilmington, Mass.-based backer of Lycos, Freemark Communications and GeoCities in August will begin testing ADSmart, proprietary database software that will compete with DoubleClick and NetGravity.

OCTOBER ROLLOUT PLANNED

After a test on Lycos, ADSmart will roll out in October with Planet Direct, a CMG venture announced last week.

A combination of CMG services like electronic Yellow Pages, free e-mail and a search engine, Planet Direct will be offered free to Internet service providers. ADSMart will also create its own network of sites.

"We can offer a larger, more targeted audience to advertisers nationwide," said David Wetherell, president-CEO of CMG. Ads on Planet Direct will cost from 5 cents to 15 cents per impression.

New York-based DoubleClick has assembled a network of 35 sites and offers its 60 advertisers the ability to target their ads by demographic; ADSmart will do the same.

LICENSING AN OPTION

For sites that don't want to join a network, ADSmart will license its software, similar to NetGravity's model.

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