Yes, folks, gear up for the newest battle between the search engines: whose agency can steal the most customers from one another? While the Google/DoubleClick merger is still pending FTC approval (eight months after the announcement), it looks like this is the next way for search engines to one up one another.
So who is this customer that left DoubleClick for aQuantive/Microsoft? MediaPost reports:
This month, Microsoft will begin serving all contextual ads to CNBC.com and its 2.6 million unique monthly visitors, while the display ad end of the deal is expected to begin in March 2008.
aQuantive and adCenter will both be serving ads on the CNBC site. The NBC Universal property is a financially-focused site, which is doubly good for aQuantive/Microsoft, since they’re trying to target specific segments including the financial services industry.
Since they’re already selling and serving ads for their financial site, MSNMoney.com, they’ve already begun engaging advertisers in that market segment. Their established advertisers appealed to CNBC, and they plan to package advertising on the two sites together in future sales.
And if this is the next battlefield for the search engines, I gotta say that Microsoft’s found a good tactic: prove to their customers that you already have plenty of targeted advertisers and they will come.