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IAR Bits and Bytes

Washingtonpost.com revenues surge; Sponsorwise inks deals; Sprinks readies ad push.

Washingtonpost.com Revenue Surges

The Washington Post Co.’s washingtonpost.com saw revenues surge on strong local and national advertising, the company reported Tuesday.

In the first three months of the year, the company’s online publishing unit, which is primarily comprised of washingtonpost.com, took in $9.5 million in revenues, a 27 percent increase from the same period a year ago. The company said local and national advertising increased 78 percent and the job-listings section grew 17 percent.

The solid results follow up on a week of good tidings for the online publishing industry from the likes of New York Times Digital, Knight-Ridder Digital, and Tribune’s online arm.

In 2002, The Washington Post Co. reported online ad revenues rose 60 percent from 2001.

Sponsorwise Inks Client Deals

Sponsorwise, a Web-based outsourced marketing tool, announced it signed up three more customers for its online sponsorship proposal management tool.

Ace Hardware, U.S. Bank, Hyundai and AT&T Wireless have all inked deals to use Sponsorwise for Corporations, which allows clients to sift through the thousands of sponsorship pitches by using it as a filter. Properties with sponsorship proposals are directed to the Sponsorwise site, where they fill in the details of the event, including its target audience.

“The companies making the push do lots of razzle-dazzle,” said Burt Cummings, Sponsorwise’s vice president of marketing. “By and large, companies don’t care about that up front.”

Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed, but Cummings said customers usually pay $10,000 per mailbox with some volume adjustments.

Fremont, Calif.-based Sponsorwise, which launched in 2002, now has nine clients, including Land Rover, Jaguar, Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse.

Sprinks Rolls Out Ad Campaign

Paid search provider Sprinks said it would roll out its first-ever ad campaign next week, as the company tries to gain traction in the red-hot search sector.

J Walter Thompson Technology Communications Group will manage and create the ad push, which will feature a mixture of print and online ads. Print ads will run in media publications like Ad Week, Ad Age and Media Week. Online ads will appear on Media Post, Internet.com and iMedia Connection.

The first ads will run on Monday, featuring the tagline “Ads closer to content are closer to customers.” The campaign’s budget and duration were not disclosed.

Sprinks, a unit of Primedia’s About, hopes to generate some buzz for its paid listings products, including its contextual advertising. While much attention has been paid to Google’s recently unveiled content-targeted ads, Sprinks offers a similar product, which serves up paid listings on relevant pages of partner sites like iVillage and Forbes.com. Sprinks had offered contextual advertising on About pages since last October.

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