Forbes - Ad networks do not add value, Ray Ozzie interview, CNN starts wire service, simplyhired looks overseas, Aol opens up to social networks, I'm a PC campaign goes public, Group M - Ad market to be hit for another 3 years

Forbes.com CEO Jim Spanfeller issued perhaps the strongest rebuke of the ad network model during the panel, when he was asked whether he believed these companies added value to his business, and flatly said, "No." "If you are a content creator and you use ad networks, you are traitor to your creed," Spanfeller added, who called the trend of more publishers using third party ad networks to monetize excess inventory "very, very troubling."

As the man who took over Bill Gates' job as Microsoft's chief software architect, Ray Ozzie gets to figure out where the company will place its next big technological bets. And he has been putting lots of chips on the table this week. In an interview at the company's Professional Developers Conference here, Ozzie answered questions about Microsoft's new Windows Azure cloud computing platform, the next version of its flagship Windows PC operating system, and its plans to offer Web-based versions of its widely used Office programs -- all of which were unveiled over the past two days.

UK advertisers are moving from traditional leaderboard banners to MPUs and other new formats, according to new research. The findings, from Yahoo's ad exchange company, Right Media, show that MPUs (Mid Page Units) are now the most popular online ad format in the UK during the first half of 2008.

CNN is courting newspapers -- and possibly competing with The Associated Press -- with a new wire service the cable network plans to launch soon, with plans for an all-expenses-paid, three-day summit in December to show off its news gathering capabilities. In a letter to numerous newspaper editors, CNN is boasting its new CNN Wire will "provide stories of interest to your newspaper and online readers -- breaking news, national, international, business, politics, consumer, medical, and more. We are talking to a variety of newspapers and newspaper groups, large and small, about this project."

Job search engine Simply Hired is expanding its operations into Canada, UK, Australia and India. The venture-backed startup was once an acquisition target for Google, and was recently called outfor showing enormous jumps in traffic numbers that may have had something to do with shady tactics.

The latest spots are a compendium of consumer-generated content based on "I'm a PC," which began airing last month. The new ads, which began running yesterday, string together what Microsoft calls "real PC users" from around the world who uploaded a video to Windows.com. Additional spots will be created using user-generated content from the site, Microsoft said, meaning that anyone who visits Windows.com and uploads a video has the chance to star in a future ad.

As part of its open strategy, AOL today unveiled a new feature allowing users to access social networks including MySpace, Facebook and Bebo directly from the Web portal's redesigned home page.

Inspiration for advertising can come from anywhere but this is probably the first time the lowly highway rumble strip provided any. Honda's new flock of Civic spots document an effort to turn a portion of California road into a data-storage surface and a new car into a musical instrument. It was a rare sort of undertaking that didn't just create new ads but made musical and road engineering history in the process

Scanzoni, speaking here on a panel assembled by the International Radio and Television Society, said the downturn would last significantly longer than the dip experienced in 2001. "This will take longer to get out of than one or two quarters," he said. "It will be a very slow process. We could be going through this in three years." Next year, he said, overall media spending could be down 2-3 percent -- or flat at best. Scanzoni didn't get much argument from the other industry players on the panel, including Bill Koenigsberg, CEO of Horizon Media; Peggy Green, vice chairman of Publicis Groupe's Zenith Media; and Brian Weiser, svp at Interpublic Group's Magna.







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