• Verizon Decides To Allow Abortion Rights Texting
    Exercising the prerogative to change its mind, Verizon Wireless has decided it will allow an abortion rights group to use its network to send text messages to supporters. The company calls the earlier rejection "an incorrect interpretation of a dusty internal policy" that "was designed to ward against communications such as anonymous hate messaging and adult materials sent to children." The policy had been developed "before text messaging protections such as spam filters adequately protected customers from unwanted messages." But the program requested by Naral would have sent messages only to people who had asked to receive them. ...
  • AOL Preparing For Advertising IPO?
    Time Warner may be preparing to spin off AOL's advertising businesses through an IPO early next year. All of those businesses have been grouped together under the name "Platform A," which includes the collection of outward-looking ad networks that AOL has bought over the past few years: Advertising.com, Tacoda, Third Screen Media, Lightningcast, and AdTech. Platform A is AOL's way of turning itself inside-out and refocusing on serving ads outside of AOL across the Web. The former CEO of Tacoda, Curtis Viebranz, will be heading up Platform A. AOL declines to comment on the potential of an IPO, ...
  • CBS EyeLab Offers Short Clips
    To cater to what it believes is the short attention span of online audiences, CBC Corp. today is launching CBS EyeLab, a digital-production studio that will create and distribute short clips cut together from the network's most popular shows. Preliminary network research shows that less than one-third of CBS' Web audience is interested in watching full-length episodes of shows online. CBS says the EyeLab-produced clips will both entertain viewers and serve a marketing purpose by turning promotion into content. The network also plans to sell ads that will be embedded in the clips. The content it offers will look ...
  • Microsoft Updates MSN Video Platform
    Microsoft is rolling out a new version of its video service across its Web properties -- including a range of fresh ad formats -- to take a larger share of the booming online advertising market. The company will introduce the video capability "horizontally" across its entire MSN network as well as to Windows Live, the personalized Web page users can set up which includes its instant messenger. Microsoft is also unveiling three new video advertising formats that will work in conjunction with the new video player services. Advertisers will be able to choose pre-rolls -- ads that run before ...
  • Facebook CEO visits Seattle, Meets with Microsoft
    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's trip to Seattle earlier this week to meet with Microsoft execs lends credence to the reports that Microsoft is contemplating a major investment in the fast-growing social network. Zuckerberg is holding out for a valuation of $15 billion, either from Microsoft or other potential investors possibly including Google (Charts, Fortune 500). Facebook is the closest thing to a next-generation Internet, one structured not around Web sites but people. In the Facebook topology, every data source or service is defined by who else is using it. The company has, in a crude way, solved the critical ...
  • Anti-Drug Nonprofit Commits To Internet
    Partnership for a Drug-Free America is radically rethinking its media choices, reflecting substantial changes in how its intended audiences consume media. The organization is making a major commitment to reaching the public, particularly parents, through the Internet while reducing the amount of advertising it runs on TV television outlets like broadcast networks. In addition to using the Internet, the Partnership is experimenting with ads on cell phones and is even looking into opportunities in the new media, like ads in video games. One new initiative is Time to Talk, which the organization intends as a resource for parents ...
  • Verizon Blocks 'Controversial' Abortion Messages
    Verizon Wireless has rejected a request from Naral Pro-Choice America to use Verizon's mobile network for an opt-in text-message program. The other leading wireless carriers have accepted the program, which allows people to sign up for text messages from Naral by sending a message to a five-digit number known as a short code. Verizon says it has the right to block "controversial or unsavory" text messages. In turning down the program, Verizon, one of the nation's two largest wireless carriers, told Naral that it "does not accept issue-oriented (abortion, war, etc.) programs -- only basic, general politician-related campaigns (Mitt ...
  • Google Defends DoubleClick Deal To Senate
    Google Inc. will tell a U.S. Senate panel today that its $3.1 billion purchase of DoubleClick Inc. will boost competition in online advertising. The acquisition, which would be the company's largest, is one of many mergers in the Internet advertising market, Google Chief Legal Officer David Drummond said. The deals will help make the industry healthier, spurring competition, he said. Google, owner of the world's most popular search engine, announced plans in April to buy DoubleClick to bolster sales of Internet ads that have pictures and videos. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission began a probe in May, and ...
  • Out-of-Context Ads Prove Effective
    MediaVest casts doubt on the belief that online ads are most effective when placed near content related to the product. In a study of consumers passionate about a particular subject area, product ads displayed out of context had roughly the same impact on brand preference as identical placements shown next to related content. While the finding was a small part of a wide-ranging study, it suggests some softness in the long-held belief that ads shown in context are more valuable than those seen out of context. The study is notable because it gauged the most valuable customers: those passionate ...
  • New Microsoft Ad Exec Got Engineering Power
    Before Brian McAndrews agreed to take charge of a crucial piece of Microsoft Corp.'s online advertising business, he insisted on a key condition: He get certain power over the engineering part of the operation. The new job didn't have to include that authority, but McAndrews argued that to succeed in his mandate -- leading the charge against Google Inc. -- he needed it. And in Microsoft's engineering-driven culture, such a term could promise something else for McAndrews: longevity. That Microsoft granted his request illustrates a new approach Chief Executive Steve Ballmer is taking as he tries to expand ...
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