24/7 Media Asia to Handle SOHU.com Global Online Ad Sales

Online ad network 24/7 Media Asia will sell and serve ads for mainland
Chinese portal SOHU.com, despite apparent competition between the content site and the
ad network’s parent.

Executives from all parties in Monday’s agreement say they are optimistic
regardless of an obvious overlap in their companies’ offerings. 24/7 Media
Asia is affiliated with U.S.-based 24/7
Media
, but more importantly, is a subsidiary of
Asian content portal chinadotcom Corp. — and thus, competes with SOHU.com.

“The agreement with SOHU is significant for us as it demonstrates our
commitment at 24/7 Media Asia to offer independent services across the
Internet marketplace in Asia, regardless of perceived competitive issues,”
said Peter Yip, chief executive officer, chinadotcom, and chairman, 24/7
Media Asia.

“Together SOHU and the chinadotcom network of portals offer tremendous
value to advertisers through their combined popularity in mainland China,”
he added.

Under terms of the agreement, 24/7 Media Asia will become SOHU.com’s
exclusive global agent to sell its advertising space. 24/7 Media Asia will
also serve advertisements and handle measurement, anonymous user tracking
and optimization.

“Our site is an attractive advertising vehicle due to its high visibility
in the marketplace and its excellent user demographics,” said SOHU.com chief
executive officer Charles Zhang.

“We believe 24/7 Media Asia has the experience and power to effectively
market our site as an important advertising property that enables marketers,
Web publishers and advertisers to implement revenue-generating one-to-one
marketing campaigns that will truly interest our portal users,” he added.

The most lucrative aspect of the deal, however, are the big-name
advertisers carried on 24/7’s ad network — which includes consumer tech
heavyweights like Sony,
Ericsson, and Compaq.

The Chinese online content market is cramped and, so far, unprofitable.
Chinadotcom has been partnering lately to add non-content revenue streams,
and Monday’s announcement suggests that SOHU also is making efforts to ramp
up revenue. Even if it means partnering with a rival.

Yip dismissed controversy about the agreement’s competitive issues,
saying that the agreement has larger ramifications for the good of the Asian
Internet industry.

“The biggest challenge facing Internet companies in Asia today is
developing the market,” he said. “By working together the industry will
help to establish the Internet as a broadly accepted medium for mass
communication.”

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