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LookSmart abstains from adult advertising

On the heels of a similar move by Infoseek, the Web directory says it will no longer accept pornographic ads.

    In a move aimed at its "growing mainstream audience," Web directory LookSmart today said it will no longer accept pornographic ads on its site.

    The move comes on the heels of competitor Infoseek removing adult-oriented advertising from its site, as the portal got ready to launch the Go Network, its joint effort with part-owner Disney.

    Privately held LookSmart noted that the ban on adult ads was in keeping with its policy to not offer information about adult sites in its directory, which it said holds 800,000 editorially selected sites.

    Although LookSmart said it is looking to better serve its audience, which it noted is 60 percent female, the firm admitted it is turning its back on a lucrative ad category.

    "We realize this position requires us to forego revenues that many of our competitors quietly accept," Evan Thornley, cofounder and chief executive of LookSmart, said in a statement. "However, we believe the value of our user franchise and trust over time will far outweigh this."