Direct Tech

COST-PER-CLICK NETWORK GOES LIVE Direct response advertising solutions provider Flycast Communications of San Francisco recently introduced Flycast CPCnet, a new cost-per-click online advertising network. The network is designed to meet the needs of both advertisers and publishers who prefer to operate...


Direct response advertising solutions provider Flycast Communications of San Francisco recently introduced Flycast CPCnet, a new cost-per-click online advertising network. The network is designed to meet the needs of both advertisers and publishers who prefer to operate within a pay-for-performance environment.

Through the network, advertisers can pay for a given number of clicks, and therefore receive responses at a preset cost per response. Flycast CPCnet also provides a new network option for the increasing market of smaller Web publishers that are looking to maximize Web advertising revenue but do not yet meet the inventory requirements of the CPM-based Flycast Network. See for more information.



Adobe Systems of San Jose, Calif. has released its PDF Merchant software, an e-commerce solution for publishers. It’s a server-based application that secures electronic content for distribution and sales via the Internet.

Adobe PDF Merchant is designed to provide publishers, authors, resellers and distributors the security and confidence to deliver electronic books directly to consumer devices. The software can be integrated with existing e-commerce and transaction servers, creating a seamless solution for encrypting volumes of Adobe PDF files and selling them over the Web. Once the content is secured, PDF Merchant creates an ‘electronic key,’ which can be used within Adobe Acrobat software, or the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software to unlock and read the material.

Go to to learn more.


Natick, Mass.-based e-commerce software developer CommercialWare recently announced the availability of its Instant On software solution.

Based on its Mozart order management and fulfillment software, Instant On provides organizations with the ability to launch an e-commerce business in fewer than eight weeks. Instant On delivers end-to-end e-commerce capabilities including order entry, purchase order processing, fulfillment, warehouse management, inventory control, and accounts receivable/payable.

The condensed implementation timeframe is made possible through pre-configured software.


Smith-Gardner of Delray Beach, Fla. has just launched an automated e-mail Response Management System (ERMS). The solution, available with Smith-Gardner’s WebOrder system, expands the system’s customer service capabilities by providing an interactive technology tool that quickly and efficiently routes, tracks and responds to inbound customer e-mails.

ERMS expedites the routing and organization of customer feedback, offering merchants timely examination of customer trends and issues that occur on their Web sites. The feedback can be categorized and tracked to identify promotional opportunities, increase Web site design effectiveness, and address potential sales obstacles.

ERMS is designed to handle the majority of incoming messages without operator intervention. Incoming e-mails are passed through a customer knowledge repository where letters are automatically composed and filtered for immediate e-mail response to the customer, or routing to a customer service agent for final review prior to release.

From Karen Howe’s dining table: Creativity, COVID and Cannes

ICYMI, The Township's founder gathers the best of the best campaigns and trends so far.

Cannes Base Camp

By Karen Howe

I’m attending Cannes from the glory of my dining room table. There’s not a palm tree in sight, yet inspiration and intel are present in abundance.

Cannes Lions is a global cultural pulse check. The social course correction in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and BLM has delivered far greater diversity in the judging panels as well as the work. And we are all better for it.

I’m proud to say that creativity defeated COVID, which speaks to its power. Great work and big ideas flourished, despite unimaginable odds.

The work from the past two years spans a vast emotional range. From the profundity of Dove’s “Courage is Beautiful” to the hyper exuberance of Burberry’s “Festive,” they are opposite ends of the spectrum, but each answered a need in us.

Take note, the ascendency of gaming cannot be understated. Smart brands have embraced the channel. It makes sense, because gamers participate to meet others around the world, not just to play. And they represent a huge and powerful community. That’s why QSR Wendy’s gamified their iconic gal in RPG’s Feast of Legends.

Burger King sponsored the unknown Stevenage Football Club, transforming the team into online heroes and vaulting BK into the fray at the same time. Once again, the brand embedded itself in culture.

The birth of gaming tourism arrived when Xbox snuggled up to travel guides and created a brilliant baby: a travel guide for gaming worlds. It, too, embedded itself in culture.

From the standpoint of social good, Reporter Without Borders showed how it worked with Mindcraft for its “Uncensored Library” to bypass press censorship, with Minecraft providing a loophole to a space where young people could be educated. It provided youth with a powerful tool to fight oppression: truth.

COVID changed us in unexpected ways. We learned how to pay attention again and there was a notable lack of 30-second commercials. Instead, longer format content thrived. Apple’s WFH was seven minutes long. Entertainment reigned king, so we find ourselves returning to our advertising roots.

Seeing competitive brands form partnerships was one of this year’s other great surprises. The brilliantly simple “Beer Cap Project” by Aguila to reduce binge-drinking saw the brand reach out to competitive beers to join in. Aguila put incentivizing (keyword: free) reminders to drink water, eat food and get home safely on its bottle caps from all sorts of fast food chains, ride-share co’s and H2O brands.

On a personal level, I’m so proud of Canada again this year. Given that it was two years of work from all over the world being judged, even making the Cannes shortlist was an accomplishment. Canada is herding in the Lions in tremendous numbers – and it’s not even over. Fingers are crossed.

KAREN-HOWE-PIC-higher-rez-300x263Karen Howe is a Canadian Cannes Advisory Board Member and founder of The Township Group