Point-Roll Debuts Top-Roll Ad on iWon

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Rich media advertising firm Point-Roll yesterday introduced a new ad unit for multiple advertisers called the Top-Roll Ad on the iWon.com promotions portal. The Top-Roll Ad features multiple advertisers in the same banner. When the mouse is passed over one of the advertiser tabs a larger banner pops up with the specific advertiser's message.

Two Top-Roll Ads debuted on iWon yesterday. One ad appears on the portal's Money page and features online brokerages including Datek Online Services, Waterhouse Group Inc., Online Brown & Company Securities Corp. and Brokerage America. The banner also will appear on a results page when someone searches the iWon site for the term "broker."

The other ad includes Universal Studio's home video release of the movie "Family Man," BettyCrocker.com, Purina's Beneful, Ford Motor Co.'s Focus, Dove Soap, Sony Corp.'s Vaio computer, Sprint PCS, Discover Card, Universal Studio's release of "Jurrasic Park III" and Gateway computers.

"The Top-Roll Ad is the Internet equivalent of the 'marriage mailer' concept," said Jules Gardner, founder and CEO of Philadelphia-based Point Roll. "The direct mail industry has had great success with aggregation advertisers because consumers want to see a wide range of offers and advertisers benefit by amortizing costs, creating greater reach and frequency and getting a better return on investment."

Gardner also said the Top-Roll Ad format gives publishers the ability to convert non-ad-producing space into ad space by letting advertisers include a large message in a smaller-than-average banner ad unit.

According to Amy Riemer, a spokeswoman for Point-Roll, the Top-Roll ads can be seen with all browsers on a PC, but only in Netscape 4.5 or Netscape 4.7 browsers on an Apple Macintosh computer. She said iWon is working to make the ads available in Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer browsers for the Macintosh.

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