Phonevalley, Microsoft Strike Mobile Alliance

Alexandre Mars of Phonevalley

Phonevalley, the mobile marketing arm of Publicis Groupe, announced an agreement Tuesday to create customized mobile ad programs on behalf of Microsoft that will run across properties including the Microsoft Media Network, Bing and MSN.

The partnership calls for Phonevalley and Microsoft to develop packaged mobile ad offering across six categories: luxury, retail, entertainment, automotive, travel and financial services.

An automaker, for instance, might use the joint service to create a customized mobile Web site showing specific product lines and new cars. It would also encourage consumers to visit local car dealers through a "test drive" booking tool and a dealer locater. Such a mobile ad effort would also incorporate Microsoft ad technology to power behavioral targeting and other features to improve results.

The tailored mobile programs that also include research and measurement will be rolled out in 14 markets worldwide, including the U.S., the UK, France, Italy, Spain and Germany. The move appears to be aimed in particular at helping Paris-based Phonevalley establish a bigger presence in the U.S. mobile market. Whether it will actually lead to additional business is another matter.

"As mobile advertising becomes more of a mainstream digital advertising medium, our collaborative work will help advertisers plan, execute and measure their mobile campaigns e untapped potential of mobile advertising," said Charles Johnson, general manager at Microsoft Mobile Advertising.

Phonevalley is also part of Publicis' VivaKi Nerve Center, which has teamed with Microsoft and other online video providers through its Pool initiative to develop new standard video ad formats for Madison Avenue.

Alexandre Mars said the new mobile collaboration would further cement the relationship between Publicis and Microsoft.

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