MSNBC.com, Universal McCann join mobile platform

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Third Screen Media has signed MSNBC.com as a publisher customer and Universal McCann as the latest advertising client to implement its mobile advertising management and delivery platform.

Universal McCann has licensed the MADX|Agency software to expand consumer ad campaigns to the mobile platform for its clients, which include Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Intel and Sony. MSNBC.com added the MADX|Publisher platform to enable advertising on mobile Web properties, joining 50 publisher customers such as USA Today, MSN and The Weather Channel.

"If you browse the mobile Internet off deck, or outside of your carrier's browser, you can have access to free, ad-supported content," said Jeff Janer, chief marketing officer at Third Screen Media, Boston. "The carriers have not opened up yet."

Third Screen Media is a software and services firm that enables advertising on mobile phones and wireless devices by linking advertisers, publishers and mobile phone carriers on a common platform.

Third Screen Media also signed blastchannel LLC, NCAA football's mobile technology partner. Publishers such as CBS SportsLine and USA Today participating in the network can gain access to mobile advertising opportunities by leveraging Third Screen's agency reach through its sales force and campaign management services.

Universal McCann's addition of Third Screen Media illustrates the growing number of advertisers wishing to expand consumer ad campaigns to a mobile audience. In 2006, campaigns appeared on millions of mobile handsets from major brands in industries such as automotive, consumer packaged goods, hospitality, financial and food and beverage.

In just one year, campaign budget averages have risen from $25,000 to more than $150,000, Mr. Janer said, and these numbers continue to climb with the influx of large brands incorporating the mobile platform into their marketing.

"We have seen a tremendous growth in major brands that are actively advertising on mobile devices," Mr. Janer said. "And this is not even going through the carrier's portal, which we expect to open up in 2007."

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