The Economist is to charge a $48 (30) subscription to access a revamped Website which, from this month, includes full weekly contents and a searchable archive of the international title. Subscribers to the print version of the magazine will continue to get free access the Web edition.

Online advertising spend grew to $129.5m (81m) in the first quarter of 1997, according to estimates by the US-based Internet Advertising Bureau. The total, up 18 per cent over the previous quarter, compared with the previous leap of 45 per cent in ad revenues over the third quarter of 1996.

Intuit, the financial software company, has paid $40m (25m) to acquire a 19 per cent stake in search engine company Excite, which last month launched localised versions of its search tools in the UK and other key European markets. Excite says the investment will allow the company to avoid a second stock offer to capitalise expansion.

Hasbro is to launch a series of pilot electronic kiosks at retail sites later this month, aimed at promoting its range of board games. The project, handled by BMP subsidiary Bellco, features interactive versions of Hasbro games including Mastermind, Boggle and Connect Four. Kiosks will appear in WH Smith, and Hasbro is also hoping to secure sites in Toys R Us and Hamleys.

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