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HolidayBuyer's Guide
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P&G unwraps new site: Pampers

After hoarding more than 100 Internet domain names, Procter & Gamble finally begins availing itself of its Net assets.

After hoarding more than 100 Internet domain names, Procter & Gamble has finally begun availing itself of its Net assets, which range from diarrhea.com to pimples.com, by launching a Web site that pitches--what else?--Pampers.

Last year, the consumer product behemoth's zeal for registering domain names, the cyberspace equivalent of a mailing address, illustrated the growing interest of large corporations in using the Net to hawk their wares.

The company also helped contribute to a significant shift in the way domain names are doled out by the InterNIC, the business that handles name registration. In September of 1995, not long after Procter & Gamble registered most of its addresses for free, the InterNIC began charging users $50 per year for owning the rights to a domain name.

Procter & Gamble's registration frenzy was not limited to the scatological; the company also signed up domains for dozens of its brand names, not to mention more mundane maladies.

Since then, the company appears to have virtually mothballed most of its domain names instead of launching Web sites.

This week, however, Procter & Gamble's Pampers Parenting Institute unveiled Total Baby Care, a site that finally exploits at least two of the company's bevy of domain names. According to the company, the site is designed to provide parents with a kind of digital house call, dispensing advice from qualified doctors on caring for the Pamper-wearing set.