Pac Bell's giant regional Web site is close At Hand

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Pac Bell's giant regional Web site is close At Hand

Something big is at play in California.

Its name is At Hand, a Web site from Pacific Bell that bows with at least 70 national, regional and local advertisers next week.

The site, which is supported solely by advertising revenue, aggregates editorial content, shopping and directory listings for more than 1.2 million businesses in California.

In development for close to a year, the site already boasts about 10,000 static pages. Launch advertisers include American Express Co., Black & Decker Corp., the San Francisco Giants and Strouds, a bath and linens chain. Ad prices range from $300 per month to $30,000 per quarter.

Petry Ventures handles all national online sales for At Hand.

'THE WEB IS A SOLICITED MEDIUM'

"The Web is a solicited medium; not many browse aimlessly," said Carla McMorris, director of marketing, advertising and sales for At Hand. "We built the site for consumers to find what they're looking for; advertising becomes information when consumers are searching for a product."

An ad campaign by CKS Partners, Cupertino, Calif., carrying the tagline "At Hand at play," breaks Sept. 1 in publications including the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle and Wired as well as outdoor boards, posters and online advertising.

PUBLISHERS PROVIDE CONTENT

The site is broken into 13 units, such as entertainment and leisure, and house and home.

Pacific Bell licensed regional content from a handful of publishers, including HarperCollins Publishers, Hearst HomeArts, Los Angeles Times Syndicate, New York Times Co. Magazines Group, Time Inc. and Zagat Surveys.

The site will feature articles from magazines like Food & Wine, Golf Digest, Travel & Leisure, Hollywood Reporter and California Camping. Advertising will be pegged to specific content areas.

Ms. McMorris sees her main competition coming from AT&T's Hometown Network, Yahoo! Los Angeles and Yahoo! San Francisco and America Online's Digital Cities.

"Offering service and convenience to the user is what the regional market is focused on," said Ms. McMorris. "That's exactly our focus with At Hand."

Copyright August 1996 Crain Communications Inc.

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