B2BWorks Goes Global

B2BWorks, America's largest business-to-business ad network, is going global. The company announced yesterday it had signed an agreement with AdSociety, a Hong Kong based ad network. The companies will refer clients that want to advertise in new markets to each other.

Advertisers will be able to buy a range of online advertising from each company, from banner campaigns to microsites, newsletters, sponsorships, rich media and email.

It is a first global agreement for B2BWorks, which recently appointed Deborah Malone as its director of international development.

"We work with dozens of their clients now," Malone says, although she could provide no examples, because the programs for the advertisers are still being developed.

Malone says AdSociety is similar to B2BWorks because both serve as ad networks, although AdSociety primarily represents business-to-consumer sites. Many Asian companies seek to advertise on U.S. sites, "so it made sense to partner with them," she says.

Asian advertisers will buy advertising on B2B sites through AdSociety. "They'll buy locally through AdSociety and have the advertising delivered," she says. The companies will split the revenue, although she declined to say how it will be split.

American companies wanting to buy advertising on Asian sites can buy it through B2BWorks, which will get it from AdSociety, but Malone says that probably won't happen at first, because of AdSociety's B2C prevalence. "They're trying to develop a B2B network, but at this point there's more potential for Asians to work with us."

AdSociety is based in eight Asian countries, with Japan and Korea especially strong. There was $96.8 billion in B2B Internet commerce in Asia last year, 22% of the world total. This year, it is predicted that 24% of the world's total will come from Asia.

As business between U.S. and Asian countries grows, online business will grow with it. "Asia presents huge trade opportunities for U.S. businesses, and many online advertising opportunities not yet realized," says Bill Furlong's B2BWorks' president/CEO. "Our position in the U.S. coupled with AdSociety's in the pan-Asian market allows the two companies to create the first truly global online B2B advertising network."

- Ken Liebeskind may be reached at kenrunz@aol.com

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