I-RECALL: Behind the Hype - Tailor-made banners for net browsers Media owners with Fotino can overlay banner ads on an individual's web pages.

Fotino is an online advertising technology that allows internet access providers to overlay advertising messages, normally in the form of banners, on websites as well as insert ads into e-mails and between web pages. The technology, which launches this week, has been designed for use by internet service providers, internet cafes and kiosks and aims to offer media owners an extra revenue stream by creating more online advertising space.

Fotino is an online advertising technology that allows internet access providers to overlay advertising messages, normally in the form of banners, on websites as well as insert ads into e-mails and between web pages. The technology, which launches this week, has been designed for use by internet service providers, internet cafes and kiosks and aims to offer media owners an extra revenue stream by creating more online advertising space.

Characteristics Online ads such as banners or boxes appear on a browser's web page - overlaying both the existing content and any ads - and are targeted according to the media owner's profile of that particular surfer.

A user can either interact with the graphic, move it or close it. In e-mails, marketing messages are inserted at the base of the e-mail as text so that the original communication remains usable.

Target audience Any advertiser who wants to reach their target audience online.

Principals Fotino is owned by the Leeds-based company MeltingPoint Technologies.

MeltingPoint emerged from a research project at the universities of Kent and Brunel in 1996. It was founded by the managing director and chief executive, Julian Graham-Rack, who was previously chief technical officer of home shopping at Asda, and chief technical officer, Peter Maude. Lyndon Ratcliffe, previously an account director at Beenz.com, is Fotino's sales and marketing director.

Funding The company was initially backed by European development funds, but is now funded by MTI.

Marketing Fotino will be pitching to advertisers and e-businesses and has no plans for a business-to-business marketing campaign.

Competitors IWeb provides a similar technology to Fotino - its iNotes allows advertisers to overlay ad graphics on the web. DHTML, or dynamic HTML, is often used by online advertisers . It creates advertising graphics that can move across and around the page browser on top of the content.



THE YEAR AHEAD

We're not convinced

It's not a new idea but it is eye-catching. The problem is that those who already have banners on a site might not be happy if media owners let other clients use overlay technology to cover up their ads.



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