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(June 11, 2001) ROME -- Yahoo! Italia takes aim at Italy's famous small- and medium-size enterprises in a road show this month.

Yahoo! Italia, the Italian language portal and search engine owned by the U.S.-based giant of the same name, says that the small- and medium-size businesses that dominate the Italian economy have so far stayed clear of the Internet as an advertising and business tool.

The road show is aimed at showing these businesses how they can benefit from an alignment with a multinational player like Yahoo!, said Rosella Migliavacca, the Yahoo! Italia public relations head.

"Our goal is to illustrate how effective the Internet can be and how effective Yahoo! can be," Ms. Migliavacca said. The company said the aim of the road show is to meet with business associations and other groups in each of Italy's three major geographic regions and pitch the value of Internet advertising.

"Instead of waiting for them to come to us, we are going to them," Ms. Migliavacca said.

Yahoo! Italia is the country's fifth most popular Internet site, but, like most of the sector, the fast growth in 2000 has been followed by a lull brought on by a slower economy and declining ad sales. -- Eric J. Lyman

Copyright June 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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