Internet outfits to pay surfers cash and shares to view ads

Net surfers will be offered cash and shares to look at web advertising by two start-up operations - GenClick and

Net surfers will be offered cash and shares to look at web

advertising by two start-up operations - GenClick and

GenClick, which launched this week, is confident of signing up 5 per

cent of the UK internet community in its first year. It is offering

advertisers like Capital One, Fired Up and QXL a free three-month trial

while it builds membership.

’We’re saying to advertisers, ’We’ll experiment now and come back to you

with a proposition when we’ve got 20,000 to 30,000 members’,’ said

managing director Gerri Smyth.

GenClick’s view-for-shares idea is the latest variation on a concept

pioneered by US company AllAdvantage, which pays users to have ads

downloaded onto their computer while they are online.

AllAdvantage, which made its debut last month, has been phenomenally

successful, ranking 21st in PC Data’s top website property listings for

March, with more than 10 million users.

However, AllAdvantage already faces stiff competition from a number of

companies, including BePaid, SharkHunt, WinWin and, which

belongs to eADvant.

Like the others, GetPounds pays users in cash for every hour they look

at ads. BePaid guarantees a minimum of pounds 12 an hour.

Observers have questioned whether advertisers can benefit from the


’We’re aiming to achieve targeted advertising,’ said Stephen Leo,

managing director of eADvant. ’We’ll have a profile based on the

information users have given us, which tells us what sort of ads they


GetPounds, which launched last week, claims it will be able to offer

advertisers up to 40 profiling criteria. Ad rates run from pounds 20 to

pounds 60 per thousand page impressions, depending on the number of

criteria used.

Provided there is a big enough subscriber base, this level of targeting

- in an audience that the ad-view companies claim is highly receptive -

would seem to offer a significant opportunity for advertisers.

But Andrew Gerrard, marketing director of DoubleClick TechSolutions,

questioned whether the profit-seeking punters most likely to be

attracted to such schemes would be appropriate to all brands.

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