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Web ads appeal to the senses

Online advertisers will try just about anything to get precious clicks. Their latest lure: scratch and sniff Net banners.

Online advertisers will try just about anything to get precious clicks. The latest lure: scratch and sniff Net banners.

Well, it's more like click and listen. Banking on its trend-setting reputation the Gap is trying to make surfers believe they are "smelling" a fragrance online. The new ad banners are part of GapScents' Mother's Day promotion on the Web.

Visitors to Digital City on America Online can click on a scent's name, such as "Earth" or "Dream," to hear a sound that "captures the essence of each fragrance. "Each scent also has a page of content devoted to it.

The Gap isn't the only company asking online consumers to use their virtual nose.

Ralph Lauren has a site dedicated to his pricey fragrances, as does Donna Karan.