As Web sites scramble for advertising revenue and advertisers apply
increasing pressure to make sure those ads are working for them, a new
service has come up with a way to get attention: bribing users
into looking at Web site ads.
CyberGold, to be introduced today, will offer to pay its members just for paying attention to
online advertisements. Once a member is signed up, all they have to do is
respond to interactive sales pitches that have been geared toward specific
groups and in return get credits, or "CyberGold," that can be traded for
subscriptions, or merchandise. The company says it is a Web-based translation of the old sales concept of "I'll buy you
lunch if you listen to my pitch."
CyberGold is the brainchild of software entrepreneur and now
chairman and CEO Nat Goldhaber, former head of the Apple/IBM-partnered Kaleida Labs. Advertising maven Jay Chiat and marketing guru Regis McKenna sit on
the company's board.
Users don't earn credits if they don't read and interact with the ads, but
exposure to them is voluntary. Company officials say they plan to beta
test the system this summer and
launch the service in the third quarter of this year.
The service is being introduced as advertisers are spending an increasing
amount of their budgets on Web sites, and are correspondingly showing more
interest in measuring the effectiveness of their Web ads.
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