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PointCast, the faded leader of the failed move to "push" content to the PC desktop, makes a comeback play today with a new identity: EntryPoint, a sleek desktop toolbar offering easy access to news, information and promotional deals on the Web.

LaunchPad Technologies, a '98 start-up backed by Internet incubator Idealab, bought PointCast for a cut-rate $7 million in May. LaunchPad today renames itself EntryPoint ( Its service, launching in September, combines streamlined features of PointCast with LaunchPad's eWallet, a technology that allows consumers to access commerce sites by typing in credit card and address information only once.

President Francis Costello is pushing sponsorship deals including banner ads, promotions and buttons to sites. EntryPoint will spend several million dollars on an online and offline fall campaign, created in-house. Mr. Costello acknowledges PointCast carries the stigma of a fallen leader. But he says it still has nearly 1 million users he hopes to convert to EntryPoint. "Our goal," he said, "is to be amazingly useful to users."

Furniture site awards

Gotham $12 mil account

Furniture seller awarded Gotham, New York, its $12 million account. Gotham will launch a print, broadcast and online campaign geared to the consumer market, as well as the financial and business community. Gotham is the first agency of record for the online retailer.

Web, design shops

combine to form Nuforia

Net Explorer, a Houston Internet services venture, and New York communications design shop Belk Mignogna Associates are merging to create a new company: Nuforia. The company will offer integrated e-business and online branding services. Nuforia launches this week with a handful of clients including Dow Jones & Co., Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., Oakley, PaineWebber and Seagram Americas.

NovaWeb dials up

new ad opportunities

NovaWeb Technologies (www.nova today launches NovaPortal, which allows Internet service providers, PC makers and Web portals to display information about their products and services

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