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Online Advertising Articles
(April 2001)

Unicast Announces Formation of Strategic Advisory Board

New York, NY - April 30, 2001 -Unicast, developers of the superstitial®, the Internet’s Commercial™, announced today it has formed a strategic Advisory Board comprised of executive representatives from thought-leading advertisers, advertising agencies and Web publishers to proactively address and overcome the critical challenges inhibiting the economic growth of the online advertising industry, building upon the proven success of the superstitial to lead that effort.

Agreeing that the superstitial already is a standardized, widely adopted, brand-name advertising format that has been instrumental in attracting traditional advertisers and major brands to increase their online advertising efforts, the Unicast Advisory Board and its member companies will seek to discuss and put into practice mutually beneficial standards for the future development of the superstitial and other Unicast products, with the goal to continually find ways to grow online advertising’s share of traditional media spending. The Board also will address larger industry issues, exploring how advertisers, agencies and Web publishers can best collaborate to continually drive a healthier online advertising economy.

The Unicast Advisory Board is composed of an Agency & Advertiser Committee and a Partner (Web Site) Committee. Each individual committee will meet quarterly, and the two committees will come together to discuss joint initiatives and state of the industry strategies a minimum of two times per year. With member companies representing both sides of the online advertising industry, it is anticipated that the resulting recommendations will have a significant and positive impact on expanded superstitial usage and future Unicast product development. It is also expected that the synergy created by the Unicast Advisory Board’s joint discussions will help shed light on the larger economic issues facing the online advertising industry. The board will address these and other new issues as they arise.

The Agency & Advertiser Committee will focus on getting to the heart of what will motivate budget increases for online spending. The committee plans to explore pertinent issues like buying patterns, cross-media research and comparisons, and effective cross-media integrated advertising opportunities and strategies. Members of this committee include agencies such as Digitas, Fastbridge (a division of Initiative Media), J. Walter Thompson, MindShare Digital Chicago and The Media Edge (a Y&R Company). Advertisers include Intel Corporation, Miller Brewing Company, Nextel Communications, Inc. and Universal Pictures.

The Partner Committee will focus on reviewing the feedback of the Agency & Advertiser Committee, and utilizing this information to suggest ways to make the entire online buying and measurement process easier and more efficient. The committee also will suggest more standardized business models and methods to meet advertiser needs in order to significantly increase media spending online, and provide case studies to support its findings. This committee includes AccuWeather.com, AmericanGreetings.com, CompuServe/AOL, Excite@Home, Mplayer Entertainment Network, SportsLine.com, Snowball.com, Terra Lycos and Walt Disney Internet Group.

"Providing a television-quality advertising experience is critical if the Internet is to compete for and attract significant spending from leading national advertisers," said Richard V. Hopple, Chairman & CEO, Unicast. "Each Advisory Board member has had significant experience with superstitial ad campaigns, and as a group they understand the importance of a cooperative effort involving all of the interested parties in reaffirming and managing the evolution of standards surrounding the superstitial format going forward. This Advisory Board will be key in ensuring that the Internet develops on a basis that maximizes its potential relative to the other media choices available to advertisers."

The first Unicast Advisory Board committee meetings are set for May 8 and 9, 2001, in New York City. One of the first agenda items for each of the committees will be to immediately endorse Unicast’s standard superstitial specifications, solidifying the superstitial as a marketplace standard.

"Internet advertising is at a crossroads. The industry must evolve from being tech-driven to being driven by the needs of traditional advertisers," said Allie Shaw, Vice President Global Marketing, Unicast. "To attract more and more traditional advertisers to the Internet, online advertising must enable advertisers to build brands in ways that are easy to create and easy to buy. This is the only way that the online economy will improve for all parties. Compared to other media, most advertisers tell us that the Internet requires too much time and effort to produce compelling and memorable ad campaigns Already the superstitial format is helping advertisers overcome these obstacles, as evidenced by the fact that 93% of our advertisers are traditional advertisers, and more than 80% of these companies are repeat superstitial users. As we learn from the work of our Advisory Board, we plan to continue our crusade to make online advertising a seamless, easy, lucrative process for advertisers and publishers alike."

About Unicast
Unicast is based in New York City with offices in San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston and London. The company was founded as a joint venture between The MacManus Group [now Bcom3 Group], parent company of D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, and BBN Technologies [now part of Verizon Communications], and is funded by these companies, as well as Grace Capital, Intel and a number of private investors. More information on Unicast can be found at www.unicast.com.


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