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Women a consuming interest

Publishers and advertisers are targeting women consumers online as their numbers on the Internet hit record levels, spending a projected $3.5 billion online by the year 2000.

Publishers and advertisers are targeting women consumers online as their numbers on the Internet hit record levels, spending a projected $3.5 billion online by the year 2000.

A report published today by Jupiter Communications revealed that women account for 37 percent of Internet users and spent $368 million online this year.

By the year 2000, the number of women on the Internet will reach 43.3 million, nearly 47 percent of all online users. More than 4,000 women participated in the survey, which was posted on the Women's Wire Web site.

Jupiter executives denied that the study was designed to exploit stereotypes about women and shopping. "This is not about stereotypes," Yvette DeBow, editorial director at Jupiter said today. "This is about women who deal with financial services online and pay bills and make investments. Women are often intimidated by brokers, and we found that they will begin to go online for services that make their lives easier."

The survey also found that women are spending less time with general surfing and are focusing more on career and family information.

Some publishers are already catching on. Hearst Corporation has already launched HomeArts online, and more than a dozen sites are targeted specifically to women carrying ads for such brands as L'eggs, Revlon, and L'Oreal.

"Women represent a very significant portion of consumers and shopping is going to be one of the big money makers on the Web," DeBow said. "Sites and services that don't address women markets will be missing a large segment of the market."