AdFusion is expected to launch in September, enabling media buyers and sellers to research, negotiate, track and execute media placement transactions online.
“If someone would have suggested this business plan to me three years ago, I would have told them that the industry is based on phone calls and faxes, and to forget the idea,” said Gary Seehof, chairman and co-founder of AdFusion, Los Angeles. “Internet use has grown considerably in this industry in the past few years, and there is a tremendous need to integrate administrative work online.”
Media sellers will be able to view offers for space from buyers, and buyers will be able to search for inventory based on type, time slot and demographics. The buyer can bundle this inventory to create a media package. The system also will enable buyers to view Nielsen ratings of each media space in the form of cost per points.
Seehof said all negotiation, research, planning and deal tracking are performed within the AdFusion program. However, he said, if a deal is completed, the actual monetary transaction takes place independently of the program. AdFusion will collect 1 percent to 3 percent of each transaction.
He said AdFusion is in discussions with potential users, but he would not disclose names.
Competitors include AdOutlet.com, BuyMedia.com and OneMediaPlace.com.
The AdFusion system will undergo beta testing in September, with a full-scale launch expected in early October. Seehof is demonstrating the product at trade shows nationwide and has been running advertisements in trade publications such as Advertising Age, Adweek and Red Herring. AdFusion is also developing television, radio, outdoor and online affiliate marketing campaigns, Seehof said, adding that it is too early to provide specifics.
AdFusion received $4.5 million in first-round funding from BCI Partners, Teaneck, NJ, and from other, undisclosed investors.