IQ News : Insurance Firm Eyes Toolbar Ads

Illustrating again that every chunk of Web real estate is potential ad space, InsWeb, San Mateo, Calif., has signed with San Francisco-based Alexa Internet to advertise on the “What’s Related” feature of the Netscape 4.5 browser and on the user’s toolbar. For the campaign, which began over the weekend, Alexa will serve InsWeb ads within its toolbar when users visit an automobile or auto insurance-oriented site. As part of the deal, InsWeb is guaranteed a link as one of the top two choices listed in the toolbar when users click on Netscape’s What’s Related button.
Alexa is a free, downloadable tool providing ancillary information about Web sites via proprietary software. Alexa also serves ads within a box on its tool bar. Site information provided in the toolbar includes to whom the site is registered, how many visits it’s received and a What’s Related feature specifying the top 10 sites users visit afterwards. At the top of that list are two paid placements from advertisers that are separated from the remaining eight listings by a tasteful gray line. Both the tool bar ads and What’s Related links can be targeted to Web users.
In an agreement signed last June with Netscape, Mountain View, Calif., Alexa Internet–a company founded by technology pioneer Brewster Kahle–provides the software for a similar “What’s Related” feature, which is integrated directly into the 4.5 browser.
Terms of the InsWeb deal were not disclosed. An Alexa Internet spokesperson said that at peak times Alexa was serving as many as 34 ad impressions per second. The campaign will run at least through year’s end. Other What’s Related advertisers include CBS MarketWatch, HouseNet and First Auction. –Susan Kuchinskas