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@plan Launches RFP Network

Online market research and planning systems company @plan launched RFP Network, a new service that allows Interactive advertising agencies to digitize and streamline the process by which they have traditionally executed online media buying proposals.

"By introducing a major productivity tool, it is our hope that we will further accelerate the adoption of the Web as a mainstream advertising medium, said Mark K. Wright, chairman and CEO of @plan. "We believe that the RFP Network will cut by more than one-half the amount of time that agencies spend managing and executing the proposal process."

The RFP Network is based on a standardized, template-driven format and consists of a broad database of standard questions.

The execution and distribution are done electronically. The network site resides in a new area of @plan's Gutenberg Advertising System site.

The RFP Network allows a media planner to manage the entire process, and the system's point-and-click interface enables proposals to be digitally transmitted to those Web sites which the agency has designated and to attend to any revisions in the process, the company said.

The designated sites receive electronically a standardized RFP consisting of the information provided by the agency in an initial questionnaire as well as a series of questions that the agency selects from the RFP Network's question bank.

Sites interested in pursuing the business are then able to fill out the RFP form and return it electronically to the agency. Beta launch participants include Young & Rubicam, Starcom IP and EURO RSCG DahlinSmithWhite.

"The RFP Network represents a breakthrough in the way buyers and sellers of Web ads communicate," said David Rowe, Media Director, EURO RSCG DahlinSmithWhite. "The current methods are far too labor and time intensive and rely on old technology."