do we have a bidder?

Whether motivated by soft hearts or bottom lines, media buyers will be logging on to the Ad Club of Los Angeles’ Web site this week in the hope of securing space for their clients at rock-bottom prices.

About $3 million worth of donated ad inventory, mostly from major print publications, is set to go on the block beginning April 23 as the ad club kicks off its annual charity drive. Buyers who log in and register at www.la-adclub.com can link to the auction and place a bid on a full-page ad in Reader’s Digest, Fortune and a number of other publications.

“The opening bids are usually less than half what the rate card is,” says ad club co-chair Zach Rosenberg of Horizon Media. Proceeds from the auction go to the Advertising Industry Emergency Fund.

This year’s drive is the second to be held on the Internet. The move to cyberspace has paid off. Last year, $1.8 million of inventory was donated, up from about $1 million a year earlier.