AvantGo Nabs Offline Advertisers

On the heels of several weeks of roller coaster-like market activity following its

IPO, mobile content technology play AvantGo Monday announced that it has landed

several offline advertisers.

In the space of less than a month, AvantGo had its public offering and hit an

immediate high of $27.75; posted quarterly earnings; and tumbled to $8.75 on

reports of widening losses — $10.9 million — due to costs associated with

enhancing its infrastructure.

With about $24.6 million in cash remaining, AvantGo, which makes software that

enables users to surf the Web or view content from cached channels, needs to boost

its stock price — both to enable AvantGo to command a higher per-share price if it

seeks to pursue a second offering. The recent push to sign offline advertisers

could serve to reassure investors, in addition to boosting revenue.

On a lighter note, the spate of new, traditional advertisers — which include

Bank of America, Intel, Sun Microsystems and Nortel Networks — indicates that

offline companies at least are considering emerging media as a viable advertising

venue.

San Mateo, Calif.-based AvantGo touts as its selling points an uncluttered ad

environment — its ads take up a larger relative amount of screen real estate than

with the PC-based Web; — a customer demographic of 1.2 million relatively young,

affluent consumers; and its interactive ad capabilities, which enable advertisers

to build surveys, promotions and other features into ads.

“When people think of mobile advertising, they often think of text-only ads, but

we are able to deliver graphics, text and interactive functionality, just like the

Web, that capture users’ attention and translate into successful wireless campaigns

for our advertisers,” said AvantGo Mobile Internet general manager Mike Aufricht.

Bank of America’s Credit Card Acquisitions unit recently launched its first

wireless credit card marketing campaign using interactive ads on AvantGo’s service.

“Using AvantGo, customers have the ability to apply for a credit card wherever

they are by completing and submitting their credit application on their PDA devices

or directly responding on their Internet-enabled phones,” said Ed Ortiz, North

America director for strategy consultancy iPlato, which oversaw the campaign for

BOA.

“This application represents an easy and effective way for companies to leverage

AvantGo’s existing wireless technology to maximize a fast return on investment.”

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