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Pay-to-surf site cuts 35 percent of work force

AllAdvantage lays off nearly 150 employees, adding to the 160 workers who were let go earlier this year.

AllAdvantage, a dot-com company that offered cash to people who visited its Web site, laid off about 35 percent of its staff in an effort to cut costs and change strategies.

AllAdvantage said Friday it laid off nearly 150 employees, effective immediately. About 230 people remain at the company, according to an AllAdvantage spokesman.

The cutbacks are meant to reduce costs and ?rebalance the company,? said AllAdvantage spokesman Alex Gourevitch. Most of the remaining employees are now concentrated on selling and creating advertising services.

?We?re giving up on our goal to create new services for our members through our viewbar,? he added. ?Our development will be more in the business-to-business market, (including) new advertising products. And for companies that are interested in managing the data they have about their users, we?re going to create new services to help them do that.?

The cutbacks follow two rounds of layoffs earlier this year. In July, the company laid off 60 people and in August another 100 were cut.

The Hayward, Calif., company has built its business by offering consumers cash for using its browser to surf the Web. In exchange, consumers allow the company to collect personal data about their online shopping habits. Advertisers then pay the company to reach people interested in products they sell.

This summer, the company started offering members the chance to win a daily sweepstakes instead of getting paid daily to surf. It also formed an ad network to sell space on third-party sites and formed partnerships to sell members low-cost products and services.?

But since the market downturn in April, the company has struggled to find investors. In the first three months of the year it paid $32.7 million to its members but collected only $9.1 million.