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It appeared that eBay’s Online Media Exchange was stalled in April when the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau pulled out of the test. But now Oxygen Media has given the project a small degree of viability by agreeing to participate in the program’s beta with its Oxygen network, WSJ reports. So far, the OME has signed up several major advertisers, including Home Depot, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and Intel. All serve on the project’s steering committee. Several media executives are also on the committee, including Bill Cella, vice chairman of Draft FCB; Steve Grubbs, CEO, Omnicom’s new Fuse Sports and Entertainment Group North America; Ray Warren, president of Carat USA; and Peggy Green.
Despite the clout of its committee members, the exchange has yet to attract any other TV networks. One of the problems has been the lack of ad money raised. The group of advertisers working with eBay won’t disclose their ad budgets for the site, but the WSJ cites unnamed sources who say that the total ad dollars committed to the initial pilot over the next 60 days will be about $5 million to $8 million. Initially, advertisers said they aimed to raise about $50 million for testing the site. Home Depot said it plans to use the exchange this week, while Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard plan buys within that 60 day period.
Women-oriented Oxygen isn’t fully distributed — reaching only about 73 million homes, compared with 94 million for a network such as ESPN — so it may not be the best test but it is willing to experiment. Lisa Gersh, president, Oxygen: “If there is a process where we are going to be exposed to more advertisers, we think that’s an opportunity.”