AdTech Strikes Deal With Gannett For Online Ad Service

Dirk Freytag of AdTechSignificantly increasing its U.S. presence, AOL's AdTech has won the right to manage online advertising for the Gannett Co.'s entire network of Web assets.

The rollout ultimately will include all of Gannett's local newspaper Web sites, the digital properties for its 19 local broadcast markets, and USAToday.com, along with various targeted-media properties, such as Gannett's network of mom's sites.

"Beyond the deal itself, we believe this will help us break through in the U.S. market," said Dirk Freytag, CEO of AdTech, which is part of AOL's digital ad business Platform- A.

The deal, said Freytag, has been in the works for 15 months, while the ongoing rollout is expected to be completed when USAToday.com joins the mix in February.

"We decided to wait until February with USAToday because we didn't want to interfere the Olympics and a number of other events," Freytag explained.

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AdTech's HeliosIQ ad-serving solution is now delivering more than five billion monthly ad impressions across Gannett's online network, according to Freytag. The integration of USAToday.com is expected to add an addition 2 billion monthly impressions.

Apart from Gannett's properties, AdTech is presently delivering about 15 billion monthly ad impressions stateside, and 85 billion worldwide.

The Helios IQ ad-serving platform enables Web publishers to manage, serve and evaluate online ads campaign including display, video and mobile formats.

Chris Saridakis, Gannett senior vice president and chief digital officer, said HeliosIQ's ability to scale, while remaining flexible, were key to Gannett's decision. "Gannett can now enable national and local advertisers to engage with any audience segment they could ever hope to reach," he said.

Launched in late 2007, Platform-A includes AOL's ad network giant Ad.com, behavioral targeting firm Tacoda, mobile ad network Third Screen Media, contextual ad network Quigo, Buy.at, and the Germany-based ad management firm AdTech.

In March, Lynda Clarizio, then-president at Ad.com, replaced Curt Viebranz to head up AOL's Platform-A unit.

According to Freytag, Clarizio's mandate to streamline Platform-A's operations have been evident. "We've been given one voice to customers in the areas of media and technology," he said. "There's no barrier anymore."

At the beginning of the month, AOL announced plans to restructure its U.K. operations with several executive changes.

Brendan Condon, the head of Platform A International, announced that Michael Steckler--existing managing director of AOL U.K.--would be repositioned as head of Platform A's U.K. operations.

In addition, Kevin Cornils, managing director of Ad.com U.K., decided to leave the company. Cornils was also CEO of Buy.at, the affiliate ad network that AOL acquired earlier this year.

Gannett Co. operates 23 TV stations and publishes 85 daily newspapers in the U.S., including USAToday. The company also owns nearly 900 non-daily publications in the U.S., as well as USAWeekend, a weekly newspaper magazine.

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