Advertising.com Tests Waters in Wireless Arena

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Internet ad network Advertising.com, Baltimore, Md., this week launched a global ad network for wireless devices that the company claims is the first of its kind.


John Ferber, the company's chief Internet officer, said that while the wireless marketplace represents a considerably small consumer population, it is crucial for Advertising.com to get an early entrance into this new arena to learn how to successfully target its consumers.


Wireless technology presents a new challenge for ad servers because it does not download cookies. To combat this Advertising.com is using the first 20 percent of the campaign to serve advertisements to every site in its network. The firm will then target specific sites for ads based on consumer response. "We call this the learn vs. earn method," Ferber added.


Advertising.com is able to serve banner ads, text links and interstitials, ads that appear for a few seconds as users navigate from page to page, on its wireless network. The firm also is developing couponing campaigns, Ferber said.


Beyond Interactive, a global online advertising agency in Chicago, recently signed a deal to deliver its clients' ads on the Advertising.com wireless network, Ferber said. He said that Advertising.com has signed agreements with 12 advertisers, including Beyond's clients, but would not disclose their names.


Advertising.com has 24 Web sites on its network, including WapMX, a European travel and weather site, and TagTag, a site that allows consumers to build their own Web sites. Advertising.com's network can be accessed over any WAP enabled device, which includes carriers such as Sprint PCS, AT&T WorldNet and Verizon Wireless, Ferber said.


The wireless services will be available to advertisers free of charge until the end of the month. "Until we build and test the network, we can not guarantee a specific number of impressions," Ferber said. In July, Advertising.com will charge on a CPM basis, he said, noting it is too early to disclose pricing specifics. The firm hopes to gain $1 million in revenue per month by the end of 2000.
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