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Macromedia Forges Flash Ad Alliance

Macromedia Inc. Thursday formed the Macromedia Flash Advertising Alliance to build standard practices around Macromedia Flash by both improving the user experience and delivering positive experiences for advertisers.

The first initiative of the alliance was the creation, availability, and adoption of the Macromedia Flash Tracking Kit, which provides a standard way to easily track clickthrough and other elements of Macromedia Flash-based ads.

America Online, Bluestreak, CNET, DoubleClick, Engage, Excite@Home's Enliven, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, MSN, TBWAChiatDay NY, 24/7 Media, and Unicast are among the charter members of the alliance, which plans to offer a clear, standardized path for rich media advertising to be authored, delivered and tracked effectively.

The Macromedia Flash Tracking Kit enables developers and ad serving networks to assign "click codes" to Macromedia Flash advertisements. This tracking tool allows developers and ad serving networks to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns. Ad serving networks such as DoubleClick, Engage, L90, TargetNet, and 24/7 Media have pledged their support of this new tracking method, which can be downloaded for free from the Macromedia Rich Media Advertising Resource Center.

"Rich media advertising delivers engaging user experiences and great return on investment for advertisers," said Tom Hale, senior vice president of product marketing for Macromedia. "Macromedia Flash is a perfect technology for rich media advertising, and we created the alliance to ensure advertisers have a consistent delivery platform to effectively communicate their brands online."

The alliance will address the critical issues advertisers are facing as they begin investing in rich media. Membership in the alliance is free and open to all in the rich media advertising space. The alliance will meet quarterly to address a broad range of topics that will be crucial to reducing cost and increasing the deployment of Macromedia Flash advertising, such as tracking standards, dimension standards, and wireless advertising. Companies interested in joining the alliance, which meets for the first time on Jan. 17, can send e-mail to mfaa@macromedia.com or get additional information through the Web site.

"Unicast is driven to make the Internet the most effective advertising medium ever created, and Macromedia Flash is a core technology in that vision," said Allie Shaw, vice president of global marketing for Unicast. "By participating in the alliance, we can ensure the Unicast SUPERSTITIAL format and Macromedia Flash are on the same page moving forward. Our mutual goal is to ensure that online advertisers consistently have the highest capability for engaging consumers via a standardized, uniform ad format."

Macromedia and DoubleClick Inc. worked together to create the Rich Media Resource Center to educate publishers, advertisers, agencies, and developers through examples and case studies of successful rich media campaigns. On the site, advertisers can learn eight crucial steps for creating a successful campaign, while site publishers can learn how to overcome the obstacles of deploying rich media.