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DoubleClick launches ad service

DoubleClick is introducing a program that allows advertisers to even further target their ads to users.

DoubleClick, the company known for creating an advertising network that plants cookies in people's browsers, today is introducing a program that allows advertisers to even further target their ads to users.

As part of a larger marketing campaign, in which the network is packaging a compliment of its products, to offer what it says will be a closed-loop solution for advertisers, allowing them to serve up ads and get their own results.

The company also is introducing a service, called Boomerang, that it says will deliver personalized ads directly to users who access companies in the DoubleClick network, which the company says reaches 40 million users a month.

DoubleClick gets information from Web surfers by planting cookies--digital tags that remain on a user's computer every time a surfer visits a site in the DoubleClick network.

The cookie contains a unique number assigned to the surfer. While privacy advocates have at times complained about the practice, DoubleClick says it maintains privacy because it never actually identifies people by name--just by their digital codes.

In fact, most people have DoubleClick cookies in their cookie files, which can be found by searching for a file called "cookie."

Once the cookie is planted, the surfer is then identified every time she visits another site in the network. Each time she does something on the site, DoubleClick can add the information to its database about that user.

With the service Boomerang, it can use the information to send specific targeted ads to the customer. If, for instance, the Web user shops for ties on one site, and later she goes to another unrelated site in the network, the site selling ties can send her an ad, explained David Rosenblatt, general manager of the Closed Loop Marketing Solutions, the name DoubleClick is giving to its suite of advertising products.