CarsDirect planning account review

Published on . told Advertising Age it will hold a review in the second quarter of 2000 for its ad account. Kalis & Savage Advertising, Pacific Palisades, Calif., was awarded the account three weeks ago on an interim basis, from Think New Ideas, West Hollywood. The auto site, which launched in May, broke a $20 million campaign in November from Think that included TV, print, outdoor and online.

Jupiter: Local online ads to hit $2.7 bil by 2003

Local online advertising will grow to $2.7 billion by 2003, or 24% of online spending, according to a report released today by Jupiter Communications. The report found that while 58% of today's users access local content, only 14% of online ad dollars are spent locally.

Magnet Interactive puts itself on the block

Magnet Interactive Group is looking for some money, either via an investment or a sale. "We need to do some sort of strategic/financial deal" to allow the Washington and Los Angeles i-shop to expand into other key markets, said Chief Operating Officer Bob Poulin. An ideal partner, he said, would have "deep pockets" and back-end/e-commerce expertise to marry with Magnet's design expertise. Magnet, with 200 employees and '99 revenue of $16 million, works for clients including Nissan North America's Infiniti and Kellogg Co. Meanwhile, SF Interactive, San Francisco and New York, sold a $10 million minority stake to William E. Simon & Sons, a private equity group. SFI will expand into key U.S. cities and develop new services.

Study shows dramatic variation in banner prices

A report out today by Media Metrix's AdRelevance ( demonstrates how prices for banner ads vary dramatically according to the genre of a site. Community sites had an average cost-per-thousand impressions rate-card price of $19.70, lowest in the survey of 115 sites in 21 genres. Sites in reference/education ($60) and computing/technology ($55) were at the top. Rate card CPMs -- which often are heavily discounted -- ranged from $5 to $92.50.

Whittman-Hart to buy USWeb/CKS in stock swap

Whittman-Hart, a Chicago computer services company, agreed to buy USWeb/CKS, San Francisco, in a stock swap to create an Internet services giant. The combined company was worth $14 billion before the deal was made public; both stocks fell the day the deal was announced amid skepticism about whether the merger would work, dropping the combined worth to $9.4 billion. The unnamed merged company will be based in Chicago, with Whittman-Hart Chairman-CEO Robert Bernard serving as president-CEO; USWeb CEO Robert Shaw will be chairman. Whittman recently bought Chicago-based Four Points Digital.

CMGI to buy YesMail; Wal-Mart, Kmart ink deals

CMGI last week agreed to buy permission e-mail marketer YesMail, Vernon Hills, Ill., in a stock swap deal valued at about $500 million. YesMail has a network of 4 million e-mail subscribers and plans to move to Chicago.

Wal-Mart Stores and America Online will develop co-branded, low-cost Internet service designed for Wal-Mart consumers. Wal-Mart will market the Internet service, a customized version of AOL's CompuServe, in its stores and also will distribute AOL 5.0 software that includes a link to Wal-Mart's e-commerce site, As part of the deal, Wal-Mart will promote the Internet service as well as AOL's traditional service through TV, print and radio advertising. No agency has yet been named and spending was undisclosed. The announcement follows Kmart Corp.'s debut of, which will offer free Internet service. Yahoo! will provide free e-mail and other services to consumers using BlueLight's service.

Chat. . .

Move over, here comes The parenting and childcare site and media company based in Foster City, Calif., is set to launch May 2, 2000, which would have been Dr. Benjamin Spock's 97th birthday. CEO and co-founder Ted Shelton is partnering with Dr. Spock's widow, Mary Morgan, whose title is founder, VP-publishing. Mr. Shelton was formerly senior VP-sales and marketing at WhoWhere?, a directory and community services site purchased by Lycos. . . . parted with WongDoody, Santa Monica, Calif., which handled the estimated $15 million account.

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