Ad Industry Roundup: IPG; NYTCo.; IAB; IPG; Facebook; Coke; Meebo

IPG’s investment strategy: Forget Interpublic Group’s ad strategy; their investment activity is much more interesting… At the Deutsche Bank conference this week, IPG CEO Michael Roth reviewed the company’s decision to take a less than .5 percent stake in Facebook two years ago — or, a year and a half before Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) took its 1.6 percent piece of the social net. The ad holding company also revealed additional investment activity, including holdings in online video site Joost and word-of-mouth marketer BzzAgent.

NYT offers self-serve ads: If your online ad budget is under $10,000 per campaign, don’t bother contacting the NYTCo.’s sales team; you can now set it up yourself. The Times is starting to offer a customized, self-serve ad platform powered by AdReady, part of a trend to try to attract small business dollars with DIY solutions.

IAB partners with pubs to block regulation: The Interactive Advertising Bureau is opening up its membership to web publishers, as it hopes to form a wider alliance to combat federal and state regs aimed at curbing behavioral ad targeting. The IAB is concerned about two bills currently wending their way through the New York and Connecticut legislatures that appear to take aim at ad networks.

Facebook delivers FedEx to users: Tired of Zombie bites? See what you think of FedEx’s new Facebook app, “Launch a Package,” which lets users send a virtual gift to other members. Omnicom digital shop Atmosphere BBDO claims the new app, released in early June, has provided a boost to the microsite it created for FedEx, launch-apackage.com.

Have a widget and a smile: Soft drink maker Coca-Cola is testing of its new Facebook widget, CokeTag from Linkstorm, as a marketing tool. The basic object of Coke’s app is to promote music associated with we8 as a cultural exchange between Chinese and western artists. The marketing program is part of Coke’s larger effort tied to the Summer Olympics in Beijing. Coke hopes other artists and companies will use CokeTag as a vehicle to advertise their brands as well.

Meebo chats with advertisers: From widgets to instant messaging… Meebo has deals with Sony (NYSE: SNE) Electronics, Universal Pictures, the band Weezer and others to allow users of its messaging site to share branded content with others. The company unveiled a series of marketing tools aimed at its 35 million users, including a MediaBar that will deliver video, games, applications, news, and other content; it’s also introducing a text ad program called SparkAds.

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