More ads than you can poke a click at

While there were no specific figures available for Australian sites, Bryan said the company was serving up 1.5 billion advertisements to 1700 web addresses worldwide everyday. He said the results showed that more businesses were beginning to understand the value of advertising online.

AltaVista was one of DoubleClick's biggest international clients, Bryan said, while financial software company Quicken, and investor sites Stockhouse and InvestorWeb, along with AltaVista's "new face of Australia" GoEureka, were among the company's larger local clients.

Gour Lentell, executive chairman of Sydney-based ad-server Sabela, which was purchased by US counterpart 24/7 Media in January, said the local outfit had consistently doubled its output to Australian sites every three to four months for the past 18 months. The company had also doubled its output to international sites over the past three months, he said.

On average, Sabela serves about 250 million ads a month to Australian-based sites, a figure Lentell expects to significantly increase. He said Sabela had plans in place to increase its capacity to serve ads 12-fold this year, and expects to be serving a billion ads a month worldwide within a year.

Meanwhile, in the US DoubleClick has relented to pressure from privacy advocates and consumers saying it will hold off on plans to combine online and offline data that it collects on consumers. The company said the decision was made in response to feedback from hundreds of consumers regarding its plans to link specific names and addresses to data gathered through its online advertising network.

DoubleClick said it had not given up on the plan, however, saying it would delay the move until government and industry set up new privacy guidelines.

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