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Welcome to CyberCritiques, Interactive Media & Marketing's monthly review of the latest online marketing efforts. Send comments and suggestions to [email protected] or [email protected]

Marketer: American Express Corp.

Address: Keyword "AmEx" or "ExpressNet" on America Online

What's there: This is really two areas in one: a private section for AmEx cardholders to check balances, make payments and learn about special offers; and a related section marketing AmEx to everyone else. There are places to read AmEx-owned Travel & Leisure and Food & Wine online, check out cardholder benefits, post travel-related questions on a bulletin board and download photos of hot travel spots.

Who created it: Ogilvy & Mather Direct's Interactive Marketing Group, New York

Comments: This area succeeds in not alienating non-AmEx cardholders by offering plenty of information and databases accessible to all, plus you can apply for a card online. The information is very deep and is presented in a clean, clear manner. You'll eventually be able to subscribe to AmEx magazines online, but that feature wasn't available yet when we logged on.

Marketer: Reebok International


What's there: Everything you wanted to know about Reebok, from the construction of its athletic shoes to its work on human rights causes. History of the company, an "ask the pros" section featuring Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz, bulletin boards.

Who created it: OnRamp, New York.

Comments: This is one of the first 'net sites we've seen that has an active bulletin board. Comments range from raves to criticisms about Reebok shoes to subjects having nothing whatsoever to do with Reebok. In general, the information here is adequate and interesting, but somehow we'd expect something cooler from Reebok.

Marketer: Spencer Gifts


What's there: Information about Spencer Gifts stores and locations; a limited product catalog featuring five items.

Who created it: BTG Corp., Vienna, Va.

Comments: For $400 you can be the proud owner of a neon shark. Or, for significantly less, a lava lamp in a choice of colors. And you can order them using your credit card online. But while the kitsch is there in the small product assortment, it's absent in the tone of the site, which is surprisingly serious.

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