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Jun 25, 2008

NEWS: French Agency Looks to Unite Disparate Ad Networks

Ed: Is this the vision of non-technical management - the kitchen sink mehtod for alphabet soup management?

French Agency Looks to Unite Disparate Ad Networks

Jeremy Kirk, IDG News Service

Wednesday, June 25, 2008 7:40 AM PDT

French media consultancy Publicis Group is building a technology platform in concert with major Internet players to make it easier for companies to purchase ads on the Web and mobile phones.

Publicis Groupe, based in Paris with subsidiaries such as Leo Burnett, said it will work with Yahoo, Google, AOL and Microsoft, all of which are competing against each other in order to build robust and large advertising networks.

Publicis said the platform, called the VivaKi Nerve Center, will enable an advertiser to access all publishers, other ad networks and ad exchanges through a single interface.

The launch by Publicis is an attempt to address the fragmented online advertising market. Alliances between different companies offer differing levels of access to the consumers a particular company might want to target. Publicis said it wants VivaKi to have the largest audience for advertisers.

"The idea is to give the advertisers the opportunity to reach all the audiences with one point of contact," said Charles-Henri Prevost, vice president of business development for Phonevalley, a division of Publicis Groupe that focuses on mobile marketing and application services.

VivaKi will use Google's DoubleClick as its core ad-serving technology. VivaKi will be hooked into Yahoo's RightMedia ad exchange, as well as eventually incorporate that company's AMP ad management platform, due to be released later this year.

Phonevalley specializes in creating SMS (Short Message Service) and MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) campaigns as well as building mobile Web sites and applications, Prevost said. Phonevalley and Yahoo will be working on a closer technology collaboration on Blueprint, Yahoo's mobile development language, Prevost said.

The collaboration will also include working on an easier way for advertisers to book mobile campaigns, Prevost said. "We are not as advanced as we are on the Web," he said.

Other projects include delivery of customized ads according to geographic region, along with mobile behavioral targeting, Prevost said.

VivaKi will tap into Platform-A, AOL's advertising platform, as well as Microsoft's online properties such as MSN and Windows Live along with Drivepm, a network of publishers.

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