Media Networks Starts Mobile Ad Geo-Targeting Service

Delivering more relevant ads to cell phone users based on their location has long been the promise of mobile advertising. Media Networks Inc., a division of Time Inc., aims to move closer to that goal with a new geo-targeting service that delivers ads based on mobile users' ZIP codes.

In launching the mobile service, Stamford, Conn.-based Media Networks is working with sites including AccuWeather, MovieFone and Fandango, which collect ZIP codes from users seeking local weather reports or movie times. The company plans to expand the platform to other sites that have a user-initiated ZIP code entry form.

By requiring ZIP codes to deliver ad impressions, the company says it better ensures that ads will reach the targeted location more consistently than other geo-targeting systems, especially those relying on cell phone area codes or remote servers.

For Media Networks, which has long specialized in providing demographically and geographically targeted advertising in national magazines and online, the new initiative marks its entrance into the mobile realm. Matt Fanelli, director of digital media for the company, declined to name advertisers that may use the new service.

Existing clients include Hofstra University, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Arizona, Turnberry Associates, Provident Bank and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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