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Argent Capital Acquires NetVoucher Ad System

Argent Capital Corp. said it has acquired the NetVoucher.com Advertising System from Optimize Inc. of Birmingham, AL. Financial details were not disclosed.

"NetVoucher is a state-of-the-art breakthrough in Internet advertising," said Christopher A. Millar, Argent president and chief executive officer, in a press release. "NetVoucher allows local merchants to develop a Web site to communicate directly with shoppers in their community through advanced technology."

"Search engines on the Internet presently give shoppers choices from all over the world," said Jim Thompson, CEO of Optimize, which developed the NetVoucher software. "NetVoucher instead provides consumers information about their local merchants where they can more easily shop."

The system works like this: A mother is searching for a pair of shoes for her child. She goes onto the Internet and reads the Web pages of the local shoe stores. She makes her decision and receives a redeeming voucher for the shoes, plus discount vouchers, value added benefits and even prizes.

"We have identified a national network of sales and marketing professionals to rapidly deploy NetVoucher in every major metropolitan market in 1999," Millar said. "NetVoucher membership is free to consumers, who can easily locate a shopping area and type of merchant, select the local merchant, purchase the best product at the most attractive price and avoid shopping all over town. Retailers are able to change their advertising anytime they want to by simply going online."

Beta testing of the system began in Alabama this month and the service will be available nationwide in March, Argent said.

Argent Capital was created in February 1998 when Sunport Medical Corp. merged with the newly formed Argent, which immediately acquired Clearview Capital Corp., a California-based mortgage banking company. Argent is engaged nationally in providing a full range of financial services, including financial planning products and insurance.