IAR Bits and Bytes

Perfect Circle Media Launches New Unit, Expands into Travel

New York-based Perfect Circle Media, a unit of Interep Interactive, is launching a creative unit, to specialize in marketing to institutional and individual investors.

The new group, Perfect Circle Media Investor Services, will serve as an adjunct to PCM’s core business in representing financial and business sites. The group will offer services to advertisers including message and creative development, for use on sites represented by the firm.

PCM also said the new unit could offer database services and radio messaging, in conjunction with Interep Interactive’s parent company, Interep , the nation’s largest radio rep firm.

“Traditionally companies were forced to communicate with existing or potential investors through news stories, advertising or expensive direct mail,” said John Abraham, senior vice president of ad sales at PCM. “Perfect Circle Media Investor Services will enable our customers to bypass those potential obstacles and communicate their important company news directly to the investor community at a fraction of what they have paid with the shotgun approach.”

In other PCM news, the unit said it would begin representing travel clients, starting with Airlines of the Web, Webflyer, Flyertalk and iexplore, an e-commerce unit of National Geographic.

The move, executives said, is a natural fit with its basis in representing financial sites.

“There could be some tremendous synergy between financial Web sites and travel sites,” said Interep Interactive President Adam Guild. “The most lucrative part of the travel market is business travelers, and PCM now has two channels in which to reach them.”

EyeWonder Supports Pop-Ups

Atlanta-based streaming media ad firm EyeWonder said it has configured its EYERIS video-serving technology to support pop-up and pop-under online ads.

The first advertiser to use the product is Diet Coke, a unit of Coca Cola , which will be using the format to deliver 30-second television spots. The ads will be running on NYTimes.com, TVGuide.com, Sony.com, Real.com and on portions of AOL Time Warner’s Internet sites.

The company’s Java-based EYERIS technology delivers video streams appropriate for the viewer’s Internet connection speed, without waiting for users to click or press “play.”

Despite what many have categorized as growing consumer irritation with pop-up and pop-under ads, the EYERIS ad seems to be resonating with users. EyeWonder said the Diet Coke ads were watched in their entirety by “virtually” all of the recipients, and have been receiving as high as a 9 percent replay rate.

Yahoo! Finance Begins Selling New Ad Unit

Web portal Yahoo! this week launched a new, larger advertising format designed to woo advertisers and better capture users’ attention.

The format, dubbed SuperREC, is sized about 730×210 pixels. Like many other larger ad formats adopted recently by Web publishers, the design is especially suited to rich media — more so than the increasingly cramped-feeling 460×80 banner.

Recent studies have shown that rich media ads are both more eye-catching and effective in branding than static executions or animated GIFs.

The SuperREC, which appears in the middle of the finance.yahoo.com page, is also hard to miss — a second selling point for advertisers looking to reach Yahoo! Finance’s reported 9.4 million monthly users.

Web vacation site Travelocity is the first advertiser using the format.

Espotting Media Launches Bid-Management Tool

Pay-per-click search engine Espotting said it plans to introduce a new automatic bid-management tool next week.

The London-based firm, which competes with U.S. search engines Overture , LookSmart , and Google, said its tool would help advertisers more effectively manage their paid listings.

As with Overture, Espotting’s advertisers bid for positioning in search engine returns, with the advertiser willing to pay the highest cost-per-click fee receiving the top spot.

Espotting’s new service automatically manages and optimizes advertisers’ bids. Advertisers choose the desired position for their listings within the top five positions on a page, enter a maximum bid price, and decide how often their bids should recalculated. The tool will then continue to place the advertiser in their selected position until their maximum bid is reached.

The new tool is similar to services sanctioned by Overture and offered by Google (which doesn’t use an auction model but can offer to cap impressions for its cost-per-impression clients.)

Espotting said the new service comes as part of a site revamp, which also will include a keyword generator tool. That service suggests related, popular search terms that could also prove lucrative to an advertiser.

The firm also said it would begin offering special packages of paid services — such as listings writing and optimization — to ad agencies and bulk users.

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