New Internet browser to search for Canadian content

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TORONTO -- Digital Equipment Corp. has launched a new AltaVista Internet search site for the Canadian market.

AltaVista Canada is billed as offering the most comprehensive index of Canadian content on the Internet, which is used by an estimated 29% of Canadian adults.

Joining Digital in the site are regional phone company TELUS Corp. and Interdynamix Corp., both of Edmonton, Alberta.

An advertising campaign promoting the new site is expected within a few months. An agency has not yet been chosen and the project could remain in-house or move to TELUS AOR Margaret Kool Marketing of Edmonton. "We want to stay away from traditional media at this point," says project spokesman Sandro Berardocco at TELUS Advertising Services.

DoubleClick Canada handles advertising on the site, which started January 14 with ads from Digital itself, Scudder Canada mutual funds, Citizens Bank of Canada, online Yellow Pages and an online shopping service from the national Sympatico Internet provider.

AltaVista Canada has set 250,000 page-views a day as its initial usage target. "We're doing well but we're not there yet," says Mr. Berardocco.

Sympatico's banner ad keeps close to the national flavor of the new site, reading "Shop Online. Shop Canadian."

TELUS Advertising Services cites the new AltaVista offering as recognition that the Canadian market is a sophisticated one. Double- Click delivers about 20 million ads a month to Canadian users.

Copyright January 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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