Execs & Accounts For April 15, 2002

TripAdvisor, a travel-focused pay-for-performance search engine, will handle campaigns for Expedia, Travelocity and Radisson.

Through the agreements, Needham, Mass.-based TripAdvisor will promote cost-per-click links to Expedia, Travelocity and Radisson in search engine results for air, hotel and vacation packages.

The three companies’ agencies, Avenue A , Click Here and PinPoint Media brokered the deal.

TripAdvisor said its CPC-based ad deals typically deliver click-through rates in excess of 10 percent, a staggering improvement over the norm for banner advertising. The secret, it says, is that its engine provides highly relevant keyword-based results. That’s the same recipe for success followed by Overture and FindWhat , both of which have turned profits in recent quarters.

EasyAsk, a firm that provides search technology for Web sites, has signed three new customers: LenoxCollections.com, the e-commerce site of Lenox Collections; women’s retailer J. Jill; and online discounter SmartBargains.

“Lenox Collections, SmartBargains, and J. Jill chose EasyAsk over our competitors because they knew that we could help improve site performance, boost revenues, and minimize time spent on site maintenance,” said Bob Alperin, chief executive officer and president of EasyAsk.

CRM software developer Onyx Software Corp. has chosen Waggener Edstrom Inc., a strategic public relations agency specializing in high-technology and science businesses worldwide, to provide media and analyst relations support.

The Waggener Edstrom team will partner closely with Bellingham, Washington, -based Onyx to develop corporate and product positioning programs, and provide media and analyst relations support. Waggener Edstrom also will support Onyx’s forthcoming Enterprise CRM 4.0 product launch at a midsummer event in Seattle.

Cost-per-click ad network ValueClick Europe has added five new automotive clients to its vertical market showcase. Fiat, Renault, Alfa Romeo, Peugeot, and Lancia have all turned to the ValueClick media network to create awareness, build their brands, drive qualified traffic to their sites, and generate leads.

“With positive results from these automotive clients such as Fiat, who achieved a .302 percent click thru rate, it is obvious that our approach to category targeting is successful,” stated Dave Yovanno, executive vice president of sales and marketing for ValueClick.

Through its domestic and international network, ClickAgents network, and OnResponse network, ValueClick offers marketers and advertisers a number of category targeting strategies.

iMakeNews, specializing in customer acquisition and retention through permission-based e-newsletters, has named Claude Sheer and Tom Simons to its board of directors.

Sheer is a partner with Barn Ventures, LLC, which works closely with early-stage technology companies on strategy development, market positioning, organizational management and fund raising. He joined Barn Ventures after holding several senior executive positions with the international media and marketing company, Ziff-Davis, over 19 years.

Simons is president and creative director of PARTNERS+simons, one of the largest independent advertising communications firms in New England, which he co-founded in 1989. He has more than 20 years of advertising experience, and has received awards for artistic and creative direction of ads for Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Staples, Charles Schwab & Company, and other major firms.

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