Netscape unveils ad price cut, new alliances

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Netscape Communications Corp. cut the price of its most popular ad offering--a $30,000 one-month banner with 1 guaranteed million impressions--by 20% to $24,000. Barbara Gore, publisher of the Netscape site, said the price cut wasn't due to a lack of ads or complaints from clients; the site is one of the most popular to advertise on. Instead, it's designed to bring in more clients, she said.

The rate card is effective through October, but don't count on the ad rate staying low for much longer. Netscape is expected to bump up the rate again later this year.

The company also tapped America Online to sell ads to consumer-oriented companies on the Netscape site to consumer-oriented companies, and said it would begin using ad management software from NetGravity.

The AOL deal is puzzling; AOL this week tapped Katz Millenium Marketing, New York, to handle its own ad sales on the Web. The online service has been working for months to define its ad sales strategy for the native AOL service and has vacillated between hiring a rep firm and handling sales in-house.

Softbank Interactive Marketing will handle technology and business-to-business advertising on Netscape's site.

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