IAR Bits and Bytes

Modem Media President Takes Leave

Norwalk, Conn.-based Modem Media’s president and chief operating officer, Robert Allen, is taking a leave of absence beginning Friday.

The interactive shop didn’t disclose the reasons behind his departure, other than it’s for “personal reasons.” The company also didn’t say when it expects him to return.

Allen will continue to serve as a member of the board of directors of the company, in which True North Communications holds a big stake.

“We know this was a very important decision for Bob to make and we will fully support him during his absence,” said Modem Media chairman G.M. O’Connell. “Over the past twelve years, Bob has played a pivotal role at Modem Media. We look forward to his return in the near future to help us drive to new levels of growth and success.”

Modem Media said that Allen’s responsibilities would be shared by various individuals within the organization while he’s gone.

“We are fortunate to have significant management depth within Modem Media to oversee Bob’s areas of responsibility during his absence and to continue our focus on delivering unparalleled value and service to our clients,” said chief executive officer Marc Particelli.

Earlier this year, Modem Media announced that Particelli, a newcomer to the firm, would be replacing O’Connell as CEO.

BeFree.com Signs New Customers

Marlborough, Mass.-based affiliate marketer BeFree announced several new client wins this week.

New clients include Business.com, day trader brokerage JPR Capital, storage firm Seagate, and GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcares’ Nicorette and NicoDerm CQ.

Business.com affiliates will be paid $0.05 each time a user performs a search or clicks on a related link to the site, while JPR capital is offering undisclosed affiliate incentives.

Affiliate partners in GlaxoSmithKlein’s program earn up to $0.10 for each visitor that registers for a free $3 coupon on either the Nicorette or NicoDerm CQ site. Seagate is offering affiliates 3 percent on each referred sale of one of its removable storage solutions.

Comet Cursor Debuts New Software

Alley-based Comet Systems took the wraps off version 3.3 of its Comet Cursor software. The update adds a shopping and stock cursor to the existing dictionary, encyclopedia and Web search cursors.

The company said its product, which replaces a Web browser’s mouse cursor with an interactive pointer, has been downloaded by over 75 million unique Internet users.

The new shopping cursor delivers comparative pricing information for most products for sale on the Web, and the stock cursor is able to deliver stock prices and other information on publicly held companies.

Also new to Comet Cursor version 3.3 is the addition of the Comet Cursor Companion, a browser toolbar that gives convenient access to Comet Cursor Search.

The price comparison features are provided through separate deals with ClicktheButton.com, DealTime and PriceGrabber.

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