LookSmart Bars Pornographic Advertising

Category-based Web directory LookSmart said it will not accept pornographic advertisements on LookSmart.com, reflecting its focus on serving its growing mainstream audience, which is 60 percent female.

In addition to the ban on pornographic advertising, LookSmart does not publish information on adult-themed Web sites in its 800,000 editorially selected site listings in its directory.

“As a trusted source of online information, we want to provide content and advertising that reflects the values and interests of our company, users and partners,” said Evan Thornley, co-founder and CEO of LookSmart. “LookSmart was founded on the principles of editorial quality and integrity, which is why the LookSmart directory contains no pornographic Web site listings. We believe our stance in rejecting pornographic ads from our sites will strengthen the trust our users have with us.”

“We realize this position requires us to forego revenues that many of our competitors quietly accept,” said Thornley. “However, we believe the value of our user franchise and trust over time will far outweigh this.”

The move follows a similar action recently by Infoseek just prior to the launch of its Go Network portal in conjunction with the Walt Disney Co.

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