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With Interest From AOL And Hearst, Solve Media Offers ‘CAPTCHA’ Ad Units

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Aside from pop-up ads perhaps, having to enter a “CAPTCHA” — the process of rewriting a barely readable piece of text to prove you’re not a computer — is one of the great annoyances of using the web. Solve Media has come up with an option to see which is less (or more) frustrating: seeing an ad and copying a line from that into an access box or relying on the usual squiggly lines of CAPTCHA text.

A number of investors and media companies, such as AOL (NYSE: AOL), which has taken an undisclosed amount as part of a strategic investment, are placing a small bet that users will choose the ad option by helping Solve Media accrue over $5 million in two rounds of funding.

A number of major publishers have signed on for trials previously and say they will stick with the Type-In ad unit. The latest is Hearst, which is has just signed on as a publishing partner with Solve Media, joining The Tribune Company ,Meredith Corp. (NYSE: MDP), TV Guide and Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA) in using the service.

The New York-based company’s CAPTCHA -based ad unit, the Type-In, is launching with ads from Toyota, Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), Universal Pictures and others.