Ad Pepper Buys Norway Firm, Builds in Scandinavia
ad pepper is a European-owned marketer of Internet advertising, sponsorships and e-commerce solutions that launched last year with offices in Germany and Denmark. It now has 21 offices in 13 countries, including four in the US.
"We are serious competitors to both DoubleClick and 24/7 Media," said Philip Ellison, an American who acts as the company's spokesman.
"What is important about this acquisition is that it gives us expertise - and an edge - in the whole promotion area of advertising. We had a start-up in Oslo but we're looking for a variety of solutions to meet customer needs and not just relying on tried and true banners.
"If promotions prove to be a good form of advertising in Europe and if it appeals to advertisers, that's where we want to go. We want to know about it and build our expertise so we can broker it for advertisers.
"Promotions are not creative pieces like banners stripped across a Web site, but are more driven by text references that lets surfers see what is behind a promotion, what the products are and how they can benefit from them."
AdWeb has a health Web site that is one of the largest in Norway with 11 million page impressions per month. It also has leading pharmaceuticals as clients.
The merger, ad pepper CEO Ullrich Schmidt said, "greatly augments our abilities in the growing online sponsorship market in Scandinavia and underscores our commitment to innovative beyond-the-banner ad solutions."
The company is already heavily engaged in Scandinavia with offices in Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Helsinki. Each office is managed separately but reports to the managing director for the region.
"In Scandinavia it turns out that Danes will sell a lot to Danish advertisers who want to advertise to Norwegian and Swedish customers, so that there is a lot of overlap in audiences and in Web sites visited," Ellison said.
The trend, Ellison explained, definitely makes the region an area of synergy. "Scandinavia may be a small market, but it is very intense and shows a lot of interest in innovation, so it's important for us to be there," he said.
"We're also looking very closely at the opportunities for mobile Web access, and we believe that when it takes off it will take off first in Scandinavia."
He said ad pepper was already looking beyond Wireless Application Protocol to phones now in development that have browsers on them and go directly to the Web.
Other technology on the horizon, he said, would transmit rich text and color via a hand-held computer connected to a mobile phone over a broadband connection.
"Nobody is doing this yet, but it is being developed and is in the realm of possibility," he said. "We're already seeing a lot of interest in mobile ads."
One possibility, he said, was targeting people who are physically near a store with ads that beep on their cell phones and say, "Hey, if you walk over here in the next two hours we'll give you five bucks off your purchase."