American Express' IDS subsidiary changed its name to American Express Financial Advisors to raise its profile. The investment services unit, with $133 billion under management and a network of 8,000 adviser-agents, has similar hopes for the Web site it launched in July.

"Our objectives are awareness and client acquisition," said John Wright, a spokesman. Current clients "are certainly welcome, but right now there are no client service functions on the Web site."

The site delivers stock quotes and descriptions of Amex products and services. The biggest surprise? "People are downloading prospectuses," Mr. Wright said. "We put them out there for regulatory reasons." (

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