List-management and database marketing firm Worldata announced last week that it has bought back publisher CMP Media Inc.ís 50 percent interest in online ad-placement service WebConnect for an undisclosed sum. Roy Schwedelson, CEO of Worldata, Boca Raton, FL, said he approached CMP, Manhasset, NY, to buy back WebConnect because he thought it was in the best long-term interests of Worldataís clients to be served by one company. ìI felt that in the joint venture state, [WebConnect] was in no-manís land,î Schwedelson said, adding that Worldata plans to aggressively market the ad-placement and tracking service. He said WebConnect has about 75 clients in the hi-tech, financial and catalog industries. He projected WebConnectís 1998 revenue to be about $10 million. ìThe message that we are trying to get out is that banner advertising on the Web is a direct response vehicle, and if youíre going to be [advertising online] Ö the company you should be looking at is WebConnect, because the others [online ad firms] do not have the expertise, the track record or the history [of Worldata],” Schwedelson said.
WebConnect spokeswoman Catherine Jarrat Koatz said CMP decided to sell back its interest in WebConnect to focus its efforts on building on the growth of its own Internet product line. Schwedelson started WebConnect in 1994. CMP, a major publisher of technology-oriented magazines, invested an undisclosed sum of money into WebConnect in August 1996, while simultaneously transferring management of its lists to Worldata. Schwedelson said Worldata still manages CMPís lists. WebConnect offers advertisers Web-site visitor tracking and measurement and immediate online reporting so they can analyze and modify their Internet marketing efforts.