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MySpace Appeals to Advertisers

It’s 2008, and the media seem to have moved on from one social network obsession to the next—but today MySpace refuses to become irrelevant. MySpace announced new metrics and branding platform, called the Community Branding advertising platform, to appeal to advertisers. The platform is currently in beta testing.

What makes the new Community Branding platform different? As MySpace says in their release:

“Community Builder is the next evolution of the MySpace brand profile — a more flexible solution that puts creative freedom and control into the hands of advertisers to ensure that a community stays dynamic and interesting in between major campaigns and projects,” said Bryce Emo, Senior Vice President of Sales, MySpace.

Six Apart Launches Blog Ad Network, Blog Services

Blog software company Six Apart acquired creative agency Apperceptive, a company that built blogs for sites such as The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, BoingBoing, and iVillage. Now they’re launching an advertising network for blogs. They are also venturing into design, programming, and blog marketing services.

As an ad network, Six Apart is competing with Federated Media Publishing, Glam, Blogads, and others. Here’s how it will work – they will get advertisers, bloggers put the ads up, and the two share revenue (not sure what the payouts are like, but I believe it’s typical to get 20-30%). Six Apart is working with Adify to provide back end support so bloggers can see their payouts and manage their account.

Blockbuster Sued Over Facebook Ads

Blockbuster is being sued over their Facebook advertising campaign. Texas resident Cathryn Elaine Harris says Blockbuster violated the federal Videotape Privacy Protection Act. The company used the Facebook Beacon that told what movies she rents.

Harris says Facebook didn’t get her written consent to share the information. She filed a class-action suit, and is asking for at least $2,500 for each violation of the statute. The law was passed in 1988 after a newspaper obtained the video rental records of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork.

Beacon works by tracking what people on Facebook purchase on other websites, including Blockbuster’s site. Then it tells your Facebook friends in hopes that they’ll want to also want to buy similar products.

Good News for AOL: Platform-A Dominates

Crazy, but true: there’s actually good news for AOL again today. Hot on the heels of yesterday’s news that AOL’s advertising arm, Platform-A, signed a deal with Verizon comes comScore’s report today that Platform-A and AOL were the top ad network in the US last month.

comScore’s report include this encouraging stat:

Platform-A, the AOL ad network that combines Advertising.com, Quigo and Tacoda, served ads to 170 million U.S. Internet users in March, representing 91 percent of the total U.S. online population, to rank as the top ad network. On a stand-alone basis, Advertising.com would rank as the top ad network with a reach of more than 167 million Internet users.

Yahoo and Google rounded out the top three:

comScore: top US ad networks, Mar 2008

AOL Signs Online Advertising Deal with Verizon

Last week they were suing each other, this week they’re signing a big advertising deal. Time Warner owned AOL has signed an exclusive online advertising deal with Verizon.

AOL will manage the account through their advertising subsidiary, Platform-A Advertising. Verizon will use Platform-A’s sales force and for the bulk of their online and mobile phone advertising.

The deal includes managing Verizon’s display and mobile advertising network. The two companies are involved in a recent lawsuit. On Monday, Verizon sued Time Warner Cable (which owns AOL) over false advertising for their FiOS high-speed Internet service.

In the past few months since Microsoft made their intentions to buy Yahoo known, the online advertising industry has been a saga (like a soap opera!).

Yahoo’s Quality Score Change Effective Next Week

At the end of February Yahoo! Search Marketing announced that minimum bid prices for ads would not be set. Instead the minimum price you pay for each click would be based on value and quality. The changes start next week and will be gradually rolled out.

That means the automatic 10ยข minimum bid will be discontinued. Minimum bids will vary rather than be set. Instead higher quality ads will start paying less per click. If your ad is low quality your minimum bid will be higher. So you can’t buy your way to the top, you have to earn it – with clicks and a valuable landing page.

Improving the quality of your Yahoo! ads, and make them more relevant to searchers, will get you better rankings and you’ll pay less too. Yahoo followed Google’s lead last year when they introduced the concept of a quality score.

Throwing Up Online Ads to See Which Ones Will Stick? Not For Long

By Michelle Greer.

33% of consumer time is spent online, and yet internet advertising only accounts for 7% of advertising spending. Unfortunately, these users often have the attention span of a three month old golden retriever when it comes to online advertising. Advertisers have to think smarter to capitalize on this untapped market.

How are ad networks making sure that ads actually connect to the products and services they want to buy? Here are just a few highlights from the Rubicon Project’s report “Q1: Ad Network Landscape, Trends and Outlook”:

  • Ad networks are shifting to cost-per-action and cost-per-engagement model rather than charging for impressions.
  • Behavioral targeting methods are being deployed, which can modify what ads show up based on previous click and browsing behavior.