IAR Bits and Bytes

Yahoo! Fronts for FTD.com

Yahoo! will be promoting online florist FTD.com with one of its rare front-page rich media ads, through a deal that continues the Web portal’s efforts to attract deep-pocketed advertisers with premium inventory.

The ad consists of a thin, 40-pixel vertical strip of scrolling text — offering “10 percent off” and “fresh roses” — that expands, on mouseover, into a wider “skyscraper” ad.

In addition to FTD.com, the online unit of 92-year-old floral services giant FTD, Yahoo! has provided front-page rich media inventory to Ford Motor Co., Tricon’s Pizza Hut and PepsiCo. In connection with its new ad campaign featuring Britney Spears, Pepsi also ran a streamed version of its Super Bowl spot on the Yahoo! front page.

A Yahoo! spokesperson said the effort was little more than an experiment, and that the site had no specific plans to offer the front-page placement as part of its standard media kit.

“As part of Yahoo!’s commitment to advertisers and consumers, we will continue to develop and test new advertising units across the Yahoo! network,” said the spokesperson. “Yahoo! continues to leverage the power of the Yahoo! home page, one of the most visited destinations on the Web, to create innovative programs in collaboration with leading advertisers.”

LookSmart Goes After Small and Medium Businesses

Web directory and search engine LookSmart Monday launched “LookSmart Site Promote,” its newest moneymaking plan that targets small to medium sized businesses.

The $29.95 monthly service offers the San Francisco-based company’s existing customers an opportunity to receive even more targeted traffic by suggesting up to ten keywords and phrases to increase the relevancy of the listings and the quality of the leads.

Site Promote sites can appear in the top section of relevant search results (a.k.a. the Featured Listings area) on LookSmart and its partners.

Businesses can sign up for the service without keywords, but the company says the benefits of keywords are search relevancy and click traffic. Site Promote without keywords uses only the words in the title and description for search relevancy; Site Promote with keywords uses the words in the site’s title and description for search relevancy plus the ten chosen keywords. LookSmart also says Site Promotes with keywords are capped at the higher monthly fee, so you receive $10 more traffic by purchasing Site Promote with keywords.

And what kind of results does LookSmart promise? How about 50 to 60 percent more clicks than before?

Site Promote was introduced on a test basis in December 2001. Since then, the platform has attracted more than 2,000 customers.

“We’re pleased and encouraged by customers’ rapid acceptance of Site Promote,” says LookSmart COO Jason Kellerman. “We are committed to introducing more new products and services to meet the critical need these businesses have to acquire online customers at low cost.”

The new service is a part of the company’s LookListings paid inclusion service suite. Featured Listings let businesses to show up in the top three LookSmart search results. Directory Listings and Index Listings enable businesses to place hundreds or thousands of products in search results across the Web, through LookSmart’s directory, which reaches four out of five Internet users, and its search index, reached by 90 percent of top portals and search engines

The company currently has listing partnerships with companies like Microsoft’s MSN, AltaVista, iWon, Netscape Netcenter, Inktomi, AOL Time Warner, Prodigy, CNN, Road Runner, Cox Interactive Media, InfoSpace, and Qwest.

Initiative Media Taps Mediaplex MOJO

Ad network and server ValueClick will provide technology to serve ads for three U.K. clients of Interpublic’s Initiative Media.

The deal has ValueClick’s Mediaplex subsidiary providing its MOJO technology to serve the campaigns of tea manufacturer PG Tips, Powergen utilities and General Motors-owned Vauxhall. ValueClick added that it had secured a commitment from Initiative Media to migrate further campaigns in the near future.

The Westlake Village, Calif.-based company debuted a European version of MOJO only late last year. The technology allows for quick reporting and integration of campaign data into existing databases.

News Around the Web