IAR Bits and Bytes

Dell to Give Away BMWs to Shoppers

Dell will give away 32 luxury automobiles to winners of a contest designed to encourage sales of the PC maker’s laptops and desktops.

Beginning Friday, Austin, Texas-based Dell will give consumers who purchase a PC an entry into the daily drawing for a new 2003 BMW 330i — valued at more than $41,000.

The new sweepstakes follows similar contests during the previous two months. In July, Dell gave away $50,000 in cash to 30 winners. In August, the grand prizes were a $50,000 combination of travel and cash.

Spending was not disclosed, nor were details about the success of previous efforts. The company did say that “thousands” of customers registered during the August promotion

“Customers have overwhelmingly responded to our sweepstakes the first two months, but we think the car giveaway will be the best,” said Erin Nelson, director of acquisition marketing for Dell’s U.S. consumer business.

Thruport Teams with UltraDNS

Alexandria, Va.-based ad server Thruport is aiming to thwart domain name server lookup failures, through a new deal with UltraDNS.

UltraDNS, based in San Mateo, Calif., operates a network comprised of two redundant networks and nine domain name service nodes located across the world, each continuously updated with the most current DNS directories.

The idea is that by linking a Web site to this network, content and ad delivery will be faster and less error-prone. As a result, the site should see higher ad delivery volume. Site operators using the UltraDNS network receive a 100 percent connectivity guarantee.

“Most users, and even IT professionals, are not aware of the importance and impact of DNS to ensure connectivity,” said Thruport Chief Technical Officer David Moser. “In fact, DNS lookup — the fundamental process by which an Internet address is converted into a physical IP address — constitutes the second most frequent reason for user connection failure.”

Thruport said it would resell UltraDNS’ service to clients of its hosted ad service. The company will offer the service in both customer-administered DNS or a fully-managed version.

Verizon, Univision in SuperPages Deal

New York-based Spanish-language media giant Univision Communications is teaming up with Verizon’s publishing unit

As a result, Univisoin Online will syndicate information from Dallas-based Verizon Information Services’ SuperPages.com en Espanol site, the only national, online Spanish-language yellow pages directory.

The partnership comes a year after Verizon launched SuperPages.com en Espanol, in a bid to tap into the fast-growing U.S. Hispanic/Latino population, more than half of which speaks Spanish.

It’s a win for both players — Univision gets extensive yellow pages listings, while Verizon boosts SuperPages.com’s exposure to the Spanish-speaking market.

“This alliance broadens SuperPages.com’s reach, increasing the value for our advertisers targeting the online Hispanic American community,” said Patrick Marshall, group vice president of marketing for Verizon Information Services.

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