24/7 to Begin 'Personal' Database

Internet network 24/7 Media, New York, will pilot a new system of highly targeted Web advertising sales early next year. The company, which revealed its plans after emerging from a quiet period following its August initial public offering, said it is beginning to construct a cooperative database for the project.

“We hope to deliver the person, not just the page,” said David J. Moore, 24/7 CEO.

The network, which has had some preliminary discussions about the idea with its member Web sites, will begin serious efforts to encourage sites to contribute information from visitor registration forms into the database later this year. Once it has a substantial amount of names, 24/7 will study the data and profile it against information from third-party list companies. Moore could not estimate the database's size.

Although the database is expected to bring a new level of targeting to the company's advertising offerings, Moore was quick to note that the demographics will be offered on a profile basis, not a name basis.

“We are very secure about privacy and we take it very seriously,” he said.

Other strategic plans the company has include exploring new techniques such as sales-tracking technology, which would optimize the amount of money the network makes on its ad sales; expanding its reach through agreements such as the one announced this month with Netscape; and strategic acquisitions.

The company, which offered 3.25 million shares at $14 per share on Aug. 14, was one of the last Internet companies to go public before the stock market began to fluctuate. Moore expects the market may further help the company's acquisition strategy.

“To the extent that other companies might have difficulty going public over the next few months, depending on what the market does, it might help our strategy of opportunistic acquisitions,” he said.

Ideal acquisition targets would include other large Internet advertising networks and companies that specialize in Web technology which would complement the network's ad sales business.

24/7 Media was formed in February through the merger of Petry Interactive, Katz Millennium Marketing and Interactive Imaginations. The network has 2,000 sites, 150 of which are prominent name-brand sites. The company sells approximately 20 percent of its ad space on cost-per-thousand ad sales and the remainder on a click-through basis. On Sept. 21, its stock closed at 11, but it has traded as high as 22 3/4.

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