WINSTAR INTERACTIVE UNVEILS NEW BIZ MODEL: WEB SALES CO. TO REPRESENT SELECT SITES FOR ADS, CONTENT, E-COMMERCE

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Trying to differentiate itself in an increasingly crowded field of online ad rep firms, WinStar Interactive is pursuing a new model for Internet representation.

WinStar Interactive, the online ad sales subsidiary of WinStar New Media, New York, will represent a select list of large, branded Web properties, as opposed to repping a network of sites as its competitors DoubleClick and 24/7 Media do. And in addition to selling advertising space for its sites, it will also broker electronic commerce deals, content syndication deals and other business relationships.

"We are looking at this as a much broader model than just ad sales," said President Bobbie Haflin, who joined WinStar earlier this year after serving as VP-sales at sales network AdSmart Corp.

PUBLISHING BACKGROUND

Prior to her online ad sales career, Ms. Haflin was a senior executive at several publications, including associate publisher of Gruner & Jahr's McCall's

WinStar has signed N2K's Music Boulevard, weather site Intellicast, Bloomberg Web Networks, the PGA tour site and other high-traffic destinations for ad sales representation, as well as completing an e-commerce deal with Bloomberg, although the company did not elaborate on terms.

"I like their model better than other [ad network] models," said Beverly Westle, manager of advertising for Bloomberg Web Networks, which sells ad space on more than 30 co-branded pages on sites such as USA Today Market Scoreboard powered by Bloomberg and CNET's News.com powered by Bloomberg.

SOLD AS A NETWORK

"Most of the Web companies that rep you put you into a network and don't rep you site-specific," she added.

Added Michael Sikillian, senior product manager at Intellicast, "I was looking for someone to rep Intellicast as a premium site," adding that he talked to virtually every ad network in the business, including DoubleClick, 24/7 Media and Cox New Media.

Prior to selecting WinStar, Intellicast used Zulu Media, formerly the Softbank Network.

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