Starcom-BermanBraun Invests $100 MM In Ad Dollars In Web (Which Is Dead, If You Are Keeping Score)

Starcom MediaVest has struck a deal with production company BermanBraun to spend north of $100 million in advertising across a slew of entertainment sites.

The New York Times calls the four-year deal "a potential turning point for Hollywood's efforts to tap digital advertising dollars. To date, The Times notes, "advertisers have placed small bets on untested digital ideas from Hollywood."

Starcom, which is part of the Publicis Groupe, represents some of world's foremost advertisers including, including Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, and Wal-Mart.

"For BermanBraun, the deal is huge," writes paidContent. "Instead of having to struggle to find a steady revenue stream, the Starcom deal will ease a lot of that pressure -- especially since it will likely attract rivals hoping for good placement."

A more measured Kara Swisher calls the deal "interesting" for premium online content, noting that Starcom will get a "first look" at all of the online properties created by BermanBraun.

"While Starcom gets a first look at the ad placements and content, the deal is by no means exclusive, as BermanBraun can still sell ad inventory across its sites to Starcom rivals," notes paidContent. "But being first in line, and having a hand in selecting ad formats, is a major advantage."

What's more, "Getting regular ad dollars to online properties is critical to the success of digital content, which has remained an experimental spend, compared with offline entertainment," Swisher writes in All Things Digital.

The deal is expected to include multiple BermanBraun properties, including celebrity gossip site Wonderwall.com and health and beauty site Glo.com, and those still in their planning stages.

Laura Desmond, Starcom's CEO, tells The Times that her clients will be able to help shape the sites that are still in development, including a political one for MSNBC.com and a site directed at Latinos. Early next year, meanwhile, BermanBraun is planning to introduce movie and television portals.

Publicis Groupe veteran Brian Terkelsen, the president of Starcom's branded entertainment unit, LiquidThread, has been pegged to manage the iniative from the agency site.
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Tags: deals, digital
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