AOL Wants To Own Display Advertising; Greitzer on Google Ad Exchange Plans; Right Media Starts Display Extension

AOL Platform-AAOL has grabbed “Mr. Microphone” and gone on a PR spree regarding display advertising.

Today’s Wall Street Journal article by Emily Steel, “Chief to Focus AOL on Becoming Display-Ad Leader,” tells CEO Tim Armstrong’s side of the display ad story as AOL will be trying to lay claim to leadership held by Yahoo! and Google. Besides their BidPlace ad network/exchange strategy and an improved sales force, AOL’s Armstrong hopes to “beef up its analytical tools to help advertisers reach consumers more effectively.”’s David Kaplan interviews AOL exec Jeff Levick about Platform-A revealing that the economics of oversupply of inventory may lead to fewer placements per page “including the removal of most ads from the AOL home page.”

Also, AOL will be targeting the little guy, according to the article, and move beyond servicing large advertisers and ad agencies. We’d assume this means focusing on local, geo-targeted display advertising. Given display’s position at the top of the purchase funnel, display isn’t going to make sense for ROI-focused small advertisers that do not have “geo” as a targeting option.

Another Levick quote points to the importance of publisher relationships to any ad network’s future survival: “’s growth is limited to our ability to strike exclusive relationships with publishers and to work directly with advertisers.”

Need more AOL?

Razorfish fish, Matt Greitzer, burnishes the ad exchange nameplate saying that even though “the ad exchange market is a tiny fraction of the $30 billion global search market, we think it’s a channel worth betting on” in a MediaPost article. Greitzer says that the next version of Google’s DoubleClick ad exchange will offer “several major upgrades from its predecessor, the most notable of which are impression-level bidding and the on-boarding of Google Content Network inventory.” Furthermore, Greitzer says that there’s room for improvement in the new exchange as Google’s sales force is starting to “look like an ad network.” Read more here.

Former CEO Jim Spanfeller ( Q&A here) reveals to Folio’s Jason Fell that he resigned to “take equity stakes in client projects” and that “he plans to launch a media management firm later this year after he leaves Forbes.” Apparently no truth to the rumor that he was forced out by’s owners, Elevation Partners, or that he will be backing up Bono during U2’s upcoming North American tour this fall.

BizReport’s Kristina Knight says that ad network, Burst Media ( Q&A here), formed a partnership with Anchor Intelligence ( Q&A here) as “Burst members [will get] better access to site traffic quality and offer advertisers improved ad performance” with AI’s participation.

Rob Beeler, VP of Content and Media for AdMonsters, reports that last Wednesday’s Network Ad Ops Forum in London with co-host, IASH, was a success and that 70% of conference attendees were at an AdMonsters event for the first time. Among other observations, Beeler writes:

“It was also interesting to hear to the extent that most vendor solutions are not designed with network ad operations in mind. Managing campaign exclusions, implementing redirect tags, working with hundreds if not thousands of publishers all came up as things network ad ops teams face on a daily basis. A lot of knowledge about these issues was exchanged over the course of the day.”

Right Media blogYahoo! Right Media Exchange’s Shoen Yang of Agency Professional Services announced the “Display Extension” on the Right Media blog:

“The solution not only tackles the cross-channel attribution question via Assist Reporting, but also makes those insights actionable with Search Retargeting. And for search agencies who want to move into display, we provide the technology and the display creative/media guidance to help make it happen.”

Visit the RMX blog for more info.

OMMA Magazine’s John Capone discusses Eyeblaster’s new Dwell Time metric with Eyeblaster’s Dean Donaldson who tells Capone, “Time is a key measure of building a brand” and “that his research shows that consumers are more willing to engage with brands when they don’t have to click away, and will do so for between 15 and 60 seconds longer than they would view a TV spot.”

AllThingsD’s Peter Kafka says that Viacom has cracked the code on video advertising. “Do it with a short ad at the beginning of the clip, and then another ad that pops up while the clip is running” is the key according to Kafka’s Viacom source. He adds:

“Viacom (VIA) says the intro-and-overlay package works best for advertisers’ ‘brand lift,’ which it defines via metrics like unaided awareness, aided awareness and purchase intent.”

A new local website initiative by ESPN looks to capitalize on hometown heroes and fans says the New York Times.

Google is on the verge of hiring new privacy counsel to help protect it’s web search and ad business according to eWeek’s Google Watch.

Ohhh, this isn’t nice. But, it is funny. Have you seen this latest, Big Honkin’ video with personfications of the Google search engine and DoubleClick display advertising services? You will now.

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1 Comment

  1. Re: AOL – the self-service model does not just help small, local advertisers (in fact, they may be the last to step in). The opportunity is actually the large number of medium size and large DR advertisers who are familiar with search (and may only market on search). AOL needs to drive them to test and succeed in display.

    To do that, AOL needs to invest in education of these advertisers as to how to correctly evaluate display performance. The WSJ article speaks of this briefly in the last sentence re: providing analytical tools to help advertisers.

    All the big players – Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL – need to invest in this education. It’s time to move off the studies that make the case that display works and to start educating markets as to how to do it.