"We're responding to advertisers' need to be able to buy millions of impressions on the Internet without having to buy from hundreds of different sites," said David Carlick, general manager of Double Click, Palo Alto, Calif., and senior VP-general manager of poppe.com, Poppe Tyson's interactive unit.
Double Click has already signed contracts with about 50 Web sites for its network, dubbed WCLK. The network will launch on April 1 with more than 300 sites.
Double Click has tapped Internet Profiles Corp. and Nielsen Media Research to provide weekly audits of each site that joins WCLK.
"ABC, NBC and CBS can serve big numbers of couch potatoes to advertisers," said Mr. Carlick. "WCLK will be the first network to deliver a huge, audited number of interactive users."
However, the Internet's strength is in its ability to market one-to-one, and many are chary to blanket Web users into an audience of millions.
"Each Web site has its own personality, and they need to be carefully chosen with the specific advertiser's needs in mind," said John Houston, chief technology officer at Modem Media, Westport, Conn. "But I can imagine scenarios where this service could be effective-like making a big announcement or launching a new product."
In addition to the basic network buy, WCLK will also create "subnets," which will still deliver audiences in the millions of users but are more targeted to advertisers' specific markets.
Subnets would include sites targeting the home office/small business sector, health services, education and sports.
For the launch, network buys will be sold in one-week flights. However, as technology develops, Double Click eventually will sell time-based buys-like 3-hour dayparts. WCLK also plans to sell spot buys as well as individual sites.
"I think the network idea is a win-win situation," said Howard Koch, VP-marketing at Etak, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based producer of online maps and a member of the WCLK network. "Marketers will attract consumers from all different areas and be able to convert a greater number of customers due to the audience delivery guaranteed by the network."