Avenue A Stakes Out Wireless Web

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Avenue A, Seattle, an online ad serving firm, will make its move to the wireless Web next month through a deal with wireless application service provider 2Roam, Redwood City, CA.


2Roam enables Web content providers to adapt their sites to the wireless Web. 2Roam's larger clients include eBay, sports e-tailer FogDog.com, shopping service Shoppinglist.com and messaging service JFAX.com.


Through the agreement, Avenue A will deliver ads on wireless Web sites enabled by 2Roam and will track consumer response rates to those ads.


"The wireless Web is simply another digital medium that everyone wants to try," said Scott Lipsky, co-founder and chief technology officer at Avenue A.


Each mobile phone has a unique identification number that enables Avenue A to track ads that phone users click on, when they visit the advertiser's site and when a purchase is completed, Lipsky said. He added that some advertisers provide consumers with coupon numbers for special discounts online or for use at the advertiser's offline retail center, also enabling Avenue A to track purchasing behavior.


Avenue A serves more than 90 high-end online advertisers, including Microsoft, Eddie Bauer and Gateway. Lipsky said many of the firm's clients have expressed interest in advertising on the wireless Web, but he would not disclose names.


Avenue A plans initially to serve text-based ads within content and interstitials on wireless sites. These ads will allow consumers to click to the advertiser's wireless Web site, obtain a coupon number for a specific product discount or dial a customer service phone number.


"Wireless Web ads are most likely a good fit for advertisers looking to target impulse buying consumers," said Terri Franklin, an Avenue A spokeswoman.


Avenue A expects to form partnerships with other wireless Web ASPs in order to expand its access to the medium, Lipsky said, adding that it is too early to provide further specifics.
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