Independent Ad Firm Challenges 24/7, DoubleClick in Asia

With 80 sites and 300 million monthly page
views in Asia, Hong Kong Internet ad firm Space Asia Media is giving U.S.-based
ad giants 24/7 Media and DoubleClick a run for their money in
Asia.

Space Asia has also signed up some key online publishers to its network
that include Sohu, Alta Vista Asia, ZDNet Taiwan, Singapore Press Holdings,
PC Home, The China Times, Foodeasy and Utusan.

According to company founders Collin McIntosh and Matt Harty, Space Asia
has been attractive to publishers and advertisers because it provides
advanced ad management and tracking technology and an independent,
experienced team of consultants. Including its regional director, Space’s
management team has close to 30 years in Asian advertising and media sales.

“We know Asia. We haven’t been flown in,” says McIntosh, Space Asia’s
managing director. “We have an independence.”

McIntosh refers to the fact that the Asian franchises of 24/7 and
DoubleClick are operated by Internet content providers and therefore cannot
be independent advertising networks.

24/7 is operated by China.com Corp.,
which has four portals in China and is managing America Online’s operation
in Hong Kong. Sources say that DoubleClick has partnered with
Tricast, which also runs CNET, E!Online, and MTV in Asia.

“I think that their business model is not complimentary to publisher’s
interests,” says McIntosh. “It’s not complimentary because on the Internet
you can gather a lot of information about a publisher’s user base.”

If a publisher’s information is in the hands of an advertising firm who are
tied to the publisher’s competitor, this presents a strategic problem for
the publisher, continued McIntosh.

For its ad management technology, Space Asia uses Engage’s highly scalable
Accipter AdManager 4.0 which schedules and targets ads, rotates inventory,
and generates customized reports.

However, Accipter’s major advantages over other ad management solutions
include its worldwide geo-targeting database and the opportunity to utilize
Engage’s Global Knowledge database to profile visitors to sites. This
provides more accurate demographic and behavioral data for publishers,
indicates McIntosh.

The Global Knowledge database contains anonymous profiles of thousands of
users and is so valuable that Engage competitors like AdForce are queuing up to use it.

Although such advance ad tracking technology is not that useful in Asia’s
nascent Internet advertising industry, Space Asia projects that will be
valuable in the not to distant future.

The firm is helping to build the Global Knowledge database in Asia. “We are
gathering clickstream in Asia,” says McIntosh. “This will allow Asian
publishers to track the demographics and behavioral patterns of users that
come to Web sites.”

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