Execs and Accounts for March 14

The Excite Network has signed on with ad technology provider Engage to deploy Engage’s AdManager ad serving and tracking tools across the Excite portal. Rewards-based portal iWon, which formed the Excite Network with its November 2001 acquisition of the Excite portal, has used AdManager for two years. The company will now extend its use of AdManager across Excite, which represents the remainder of the Excite Network’s Web properties. According to Jupiter Media Metrix, the combined audiences of the Excite and iWon portals make the Excite Network the fifth most trafficked online property.

In other Engage news, the ad technology firm has hired Robert Napolitano as vice president of partnerships and alliances. Napolitano has held similar positions for enterprise software divisions of Nortel Networks and Compaq. His additional experience includes general legal counsel and managing contracts and acquisitions for Digital Equipment Corp. Napolitano is chartered with driving sales of AdManager through strategic alliances that will promote Engage software offerings in various markets, including digital asset management, workflow automation and interactive ad management.

Tribune Interactive and Le Monde Interactif have joined the Online Publishers Association (OPA), expanding its current membership to 19. David Hiller, president of Tribune Interactive, and Bruno Patino, chief executive officer and publisher of Le Monde Interactif, will serve as representatives to OPA and were elected to the board. Additionally, Le Monde will assume a primary role in expanding the organization’s activities in Europe.

Patino said, “The OPA has been crucial in raising awareness about the economic fundamentals that will drive the long term success of high-quality online publishers, and make in turn for a richer, better Internet experience for us all.”

Collectively, OPA member sites now reach 58.8 million unique visitors per month, or 53.9 percent of the total Web audience, according to Jupiter Media Metrix .

Byte Interactive has launched a Poland Spring site for The Perrier Group. The site contains a history of the Poland Spring brand, an overview of outdoor life in Maine, a contest giveaway of L.L.Bean gear, and a feature that allows visitors to sign up for home or office water delivery. Byte Interactive also incorporated a viral marketing component into the site, which allows visitors to sign up to receive a postcard with a “Maine escape” photo and a quote. Visitors choose the frequency in which they would like to receive the postcards, daily or weekly, and can forward them to friends.

For more breaking news on account action and executive moves, visit ChannelSeven.com.

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