DoubleClick Signs AltaVista to Three-Year Ad Pact

Ad network DoubleClick Inc. in New York City signed AltaVista to a three-year advertising services agreement.

Compaq Computer Corp. which owns AltaVista, will continue to use DoubleClick’s DART (Dynamic Ad Reporting and Targeting) technology for the delivery of ads on the AltaVista site. In addition, DoubleClick will retain domestic, international and local ad sales representation for the core search and directory sections of the AltaVista site.

AltaVista will continue to develop content zones and manage its sponsorship and e-commerce partnerships with other marketers. AltaVista said that down the road it may assume full ad sales responsibilities for a limited number of clients. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

The new agreement has comparable economic terms to an earlier agreement and is binding on both parties for the three-year term. The previous agreement, now being replaced, was cancelable by either party with three months’ notice.

“This is an excellent day for DoubleClick,” stated Kevin O’Connor, CEO of DoubleClick. “We are thrilled that Compaq is clearly demonstrating a commitment to making AltaVista a premier portal. This new long-term agreement not only guarantees the continuation of that relationship, but also provides the management of both DoubleClick and AltaVista with the opportunity and incentive to identify new and lucrative areas where we can work together.”

DoubleClick has worked with AltaVista since December of 1996. DoubleClick sold ads that target key word searches on AltaVista pages and created sponsorship opportunities for major advertisers. In December 1998, DoubleClick delivered more than one billion targeted advertisements through AltaVista.

Separately, DoubleClick posted a loss of $4.4 million for the fourth quarter last year. The company said its revenues for the quarter were $29.1 million, up 167 percent from revenues of $10.9 million for the same period a year ago.

The net loss for the third quarter of 1998 was $4.7 million, and the company posted a net loss of $3.7 million for the fourth quarter of 1997. The net loss for the year ended Dec. 31, 1998 was $18.2 million, or $1.13 per share, compared to a net loss of $8.4 million, or $0.73 per share, for the year ended Dec. 31, 1997.

The company reported revenues of $80.2 million for the year ended Dec. 31, 1998, a 162 percent increase over revenues of $30.6 million reported for the year ended Dec. 31, 1997.

DoubleClick said its Internet traffic remained, “extremely strong” in December. Over the month, the company had delivery of 5.3 billion ads, or more than 172 million customer viewings a day–up 69 percent from September.

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