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Mercury Mail changes name

Mercury Mail, an advertising supported e-mail information service, on Aug. 12 will change its name to InfoBeat (www.infobeat.com) to more accurately reflect its services. With the name Mercury Mail, "there was no brand connection across the product families," said Vandy Van Wagener, CEO of InfoBeat, referring to the e-mail service's seven content areas.

The e-mail service also named Softbank Interactive Marketing for its advertising representation. Graphic ads cost $20-$30 per thousand impressions for graphic ads, and less for text-only ads.

Poppe Tyson lays off eight employees

Poppe Tyson, New York, laid off eight employees last week in a plan to integrate its interactive and traditional media departments.

Included in the layoffs are Bob Storch, partner-media director, and Cheryl Benton, senior VP-general manager. General manager of the interactive division, Sherry Szydlik, has been promoted to overall general manager and director of creative services of interactive. John Young assumes traditional creative responsibilities.

The layoffs align the New York office with the integrated departments at Poppe Tyson's other branches, and it's expected Poppe Tyson Interactive eventually will change its name back to Poppe Tyson to reflect that unified approach.

LinkExchange adds new content areas

Ad network LinkExchange announces today the introduction of 1,600 content categories for fine-tuned ad targeting, including more than 4,000 sites in its sports category alone. Among its advertisers so far are Yahoo!, Microsoft Corp., ABC TV and Universal Studios.

In other news

Excite named James Desrosier exec VP-marketing. Mr. Desrosier was formerly VP-chief marketing executive at Infoseek Corp. and assumes the responsibilities of Bill White, formerly senior VP-marketing at Excite, who left last month. . . . MCI and Progressive Networks turned the switch on RealNetwork last week. First to use the broadcast Web network are ABC News, Atlantic Records, ESPN, Home & Garden Television, JAMtv and the Seattle Mariners. . . . Element Studios' wedding site The Knot signed ad contracts worth $500,000. Advertisers include Eastman Kodak Co., Banfi Vintners and Lord West Formalwear. . . . Online national business directory BigBook introduced SiteBuilder to help small businesses build Web sites.

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