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U S WEST Dex, DoubleClick Sign Four-Year Pact

U S WEST Dex has signed a four-year deal with ad network DoubleClick Inc. that ensures Dex's continued role as the exclusive third-party reseller of the DoubleClick Local network in U S WEST's 14-state region.

The new agreement, which continues one announced last August by the two companies, was prompted by the overwhelming success of three market trials of the product in the last quarter of 1998, U S WEST Dex said.

Dex will focus on providing its customers advertising solutions that allow geographic and category targeted advertising on the premium sites represented by DoubleClick. DoubleClick, through its network of top-branded sites, provides inventory and technology supporting the service. Financial arrangements were not disclosed.

"Dex and DoubleClick both win through agreeing to a longer-term commitment," said Jim Smith, president and CEO of U S WEST Dex. "DoubleClick's premium network sites and world-class targeting capabilities helped our market trials exceed all expectations. That demonstrated to us the need to secure a long- term deal with DoubleClick."

"This agreement and the success in the market trials is evidence that there is tremendous opportunity in the local Internet advertising market," said Kevin O'Connor, DoubleClick's CEO. "With its strong local brand, sales force of more than 1,000 and relationships with more than 500,000 advertisers, Dex is without peer in its appeal to us as a sales channel in its 14-state region."

Dex trialed the local banner ads product in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Phoenix and Salt Lake City. "We enjoyed tremendous success during our trials, and also learned a great deal," Smith said. "First and foremost, we learned there is significant demand on the part of small businesses to localize the global medium that is the Internet."

In exchange for exclusive rights to market the product in Dex's region, Dex has agreed to purchase specific inventory levels. Dex said it will immediately begin a territory-wide rollout of the local banner ad product. Advertising packages will be available in nine categories, sold in increments of 5,000 impressions and priced at $250 per month.

For example, a car dealership in Seattle can now reach Seattle Internet users on national sites. DoubleClick Local allows for that car dealer's ads to appear on national sites only when a user in his area code is searching one of DoubleClick's Network sites for information on cars.