Webvan names agency; Loan site narrows search
Webvan Group picked Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco, as its agency of record. Other contenders for the online grocer's business included Saatchi & Saatchi and Y&R Advertising, also San Francisco. Spending could reach more than $50 million. Another San Francisco shop, Lot 21, will remain Webvan's interactive shop. . . . Online loan site LendingTree narrowed its review for an agency for its $50 million account to Lowe & Partners/SMS, New York; the Martin Agency, Richmond, Va.; and Mullen Advertising, Boston. LendingTree is expected to pick an agency by the end of October.
Microsoft, USWeb/CKS join forces for e-business
Microsoft Corp. paid USWeb/CKS $14.9 million for warrants to buy 1 million shares over five years at a price slightly less than what USWeb was trading at last week. Microsoft also is paying $67.5 million over the next year to help the Web services company develop e-business systems based on Microsoft's Windows DNA 2000 software; USWeb will pay royalties to Microsoft.
Chat . . .
So Amazon.com now will let any merchant set up shop at the site for $9.99 a month -- conceivably including direct rivals. Note to Buy.com: Get listed on Amazon, run cheeky ads telling Amazon shoppers to compare your lower prices and be prepared to have some fun. . . . Ask Jeeves will have a balloon float in the Macy's parade. If Mr. Jeeves gets punctured by a tree limb, will the Internet balloon finally be popped? . . . Scott Martin, CEO of a Web start-up named NexBase, was among hundreds of Silicon Valley insiders at a party for the 30th anniversary of ARPANET, predecessor to the Internet. So who did Martin bring as his guest? Headhunter John Rivoir of A.T. Kearney. What better place than a Silly Valley schmoozefest to do some heavy recruiting? . . . PlanetOut's self-described chief homosexual officer, Tom Rielly, says the site is eyeing an initial public stock offering next spring. The gay and lesbian portal last week