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TotalNews tries real-time banners

The news aggregator is the latest firm to offer a Java-based ticker that displays real-time headlines in a traditional banner-style Web advertisement.

Online news operations now have an obvious way to advertise--let their headlines do the talking.

News aggregator TotalNews today joined a growing trend by launching a Java-based ticker that displays real-time headlines in a traditional banner-style Web advertisement.

The concept is basically a scaled-down version of "push" technology.

Dubbed Headline Ad-Solution, the technology allows Net users to click on a story that interests them within an ad banner. TotalNews says this approach is more enticing than a flashy logo.

Site designers can alter the ads any time--when a big story breaks, for instance--using a password-protected Net site.

"The Internet is about how to find information," TotalNews president Roman Godzich said today. "This will let content providers build channels into an ad to show different sections of their site."

TotalNews will get paid for building the ads and on a per-impression basis. Godzich said three advertising agencies already are interested.

TotalNews is clearly following a market trend to take advantage of technology that allows advertisers to provide real-time, multimedia ads aimed at increasing the effectiveness of online advertising.

Headline aggregator and online ad agency Digital Pulp provide similar features.

On Monday, Darwin Digital, a division of the Saatchi & Saatchi ad agency, unveiled an almost identical product called NOW, for "news on the Web." The technology was created to let its clients, including Time New Media, deliver up-to-date information via banners.

But TotalNews may have an angle of its own on the news market. The site aggregates headlines from major sources such as MSNBC, National Public Radio, and CNN Interactive. That could make it easier to pitch the product, although TotalNews has had some legal scraps with some of the companies in the past.

On June 5, TotalNews reached a settlement with some media giants, including the Washington Post and Dow Jones, to no longer display their news stories within a frame on its Web site. The companies agreed instead to grant TotalNews a "license" to link to their stories.

TotalNews said it won't use other companies' headlines in banners to advertise its site, however. "I wouldn't use somebody else's headline. Aggregation sites should advertise their services on the banners. This technology works best for content sites," Godzich said.