Next month on college campuses across the country, Lexis-Nexis is launching an advertiser-subsidized version of its Web-based Academic Universe service. Charter advertisers include entertainment site Muze and online retail aggregator CatalogLink. Honda said it had been interested in advertising on the service, but backed out because of launch delays.
With an average ad rate of $45 per thousand impressions, the advertiser commitments are enabling Dayton, Ohio-based Lexis-Nexis to offer the service at an approximately 40 percent discount, or $1.52 per student subscriber annually. The service is available on the campuses of more than 650 U.S. universities as long as the student's personal computer is hooked up to a central server that has access to Lexis-Nexis.
Real Media, New York, is handling the ad sales duties plus providing Lexis-Nexis with its ad serving software. The companies anticipate serving more than 10 million ad impressions monthly--broad reach among what is typically considered an elusive demographic. Initially, ad banners will be the only type of advertising on the service.
The ad-supported Academic Universe enables cash-strapped universities to continue using Lexis-Nexis, said Tom Wallman, senior director of academic markets. Still, Wallman is being cautious about the advent of advertising on the service, barring ads from document pages and refusing to accept tobacco and alcohol advertisers. In addition, ads won't be targeted to individual users nor will advertisers be permitted to request a subscriber's personal information for use off the service.--Bernhard Warne