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MasterCard International will pay an undisclosed sum to be the exclusive credit-card sponsor of two sites that officially go live Oct. 1, and The sites -- owned by ad sales rep network WinStar Interactive, New York -- will offer savings from online retailers through the MasterCard Exclusives program. TV, print and online ads will promote the sites via MasterCard's "Priceless" campaign from McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York.

HotSocket plugs into sales on the Web

HotSocket ( today launches a Web-based sales channel that delivers offers tailored to consumers from companies selling products or services. HotSocket, which buys banner space for clients and creates sites linked to the banners, uses its proprietary technology to collect information and adjust future consumer offers. goes shopping with partners program

Product information site today launches Preferred Partners, a shopping platform that connects consumers with online merchants and MySimon (, an online comparison shopping site. The platform lets shoppers make purchases by linking to the site where a product is sold. Online merchants that have signed on include and Value America.

Microsoft scores $10 mil in insurance ad initiative

Microsoft Corp. sold a total of more than $10 million in advertising on MSN to Allstate Insurance Co., State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. and Ohio Casualty Group as part of a new push to package insurance ads with relevant content. The MSN Insurance Initiative, being announced today, will tie life insurance, auto insurance and homeowners and renters insurance to insurance-related topics on MSN's CarPoint, HomeAdvisor, MoneyCentral and related sites.

Flycast adds e-commerce for sites in its network

Flycast Communications Corp. today announces Flycast Valet, which gives the more than 1,200 small- and medium-size Web sites in its network the ability to conduct e-commerce. Valet's e-commerce capabilities come from a partnership with, an Internet infrastructure company. The service should attract

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