Ad Industry Roundup: MySpace; Microsoft; Google

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MySpace’s new look is better for ads (sub. req.): This summer’s MySpace homepage revamp is now more hospitable to brand advertisers, says Pali Research’s Rich Greenfield. So far, Sprint (NYSE: S) and Wendy’s have been spurred to take advantage of the cleaner look and feel of the page. The revamp allows MySpace to “reach far beyond the ‘social media’ advertising category and to target far larger portal advertising budgets.” Greenfield also finds MySpace is pricing Friday homepage ad buys at a premium, as entertainment companies are finding the placement more attractive.

Microsoft was June’s number one display advertiser: ComScore (NSDQ: SCOR) reports that Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) was the top display advertiser in June with 5.5 billion display ad views. Microsoft’s rise was tied to a promotional campaign for Windows Live Search, which included ads for the Windows Live Search cashback program and its games. Coming in second was perennial big display spender University of Phoenix which had 4.7 billion. After the online college’s parent, the Apollo Group, bought ad net operator Aptimus last August, the school canceled its multi-million contract with AOL’s (NYSE: TWX)

Google opens Ad Manager wide: After debuting in limited beta last March, Google Ad Manager is now live. Created as an ad serving management tool for publishers, it’s now available to anyone with an AdSense account. The rollout is part of a wider set of tools that Google (NSDQ: GOOG) hopes to market as a complement to DoubleClick’s offerings, such as that unit’s Revenue Center, an ad delivery program.

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Jamie Poitra

Google AdManager is an exciting addition to the playing field. However, they can't be a truly serious contender until they provide serving options in addition to the Javascript method. Many organizations need reliable methods of serving ads for mobile, and email offerings as well as for their traditional web sites.

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