Built on top of its existing technology platform, DirectConnect automates access to Undertone's inventory so agencies can target audiences using familiar data.
Four agency trading desks have already signed on to use DirectConnect, including WPP's MEC.
Trading desks often rely on demand-side platforms to acquire inventory through ad exchanges, but supply is limited to remnant placements.
As a result, according to a recent AdSafe Media report, 17% of exchange inventory is considered high risk to advertisers.
DirectConnect seeks to lower that risk by letting advertisers tap into a supply of reliable placements.
"DirectConnect offers advertisers ... the ability to target precise audiences on their platform of choice," said Alan Schanzer, chief strategy officer at Undertone. "Our goal is to offer all our high-quality products to advertisers through buy-side platforms."
DirectConnect supports rich media and in-banner video, while future versions are expected to allow for real-time bidding, pre-roll video, expandable and other ad units.
A division of Intercept Interactive, Undertone has aspirations as a full-service interactive media and marketing firm. Pursuing growth at home and abroad, Undertone received an investment in the range of $40 million to $100 million from JMI Equity in early 2008.
In May, Undertone debuted Qualified Insights, which provides a method to assist companies in analyzing how advertising campaigns influence consumer behavior, interaction, and long-term commitments to brands. Presently, Undertone has roughly 350 sites in its ad network.
In 2007, it launched a search engine marketing and search engine optimization practice, dubbed Undertone Search. The pay-per-click SEM offering encompasses ads on all major search engines, including Google, Yahoo, MSN and Ask.com, and is a fully managed service with Undertone reps managing planning, keyword identification, bid management, tracking and reporting.