Advance Signs Up For Microsoft's Ad Network

One newspaper chain not joining the Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) Newspaper Consortium: Advance Publications. The owner of the Plain Dealer and Star-Ledger, along with 23 other dailies, has decided to sign up with Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT). Advance sales staffs will now be able to sell advertising on Microsoft properties — including its Bing search engine — and Microsoft will serve some search and display ads on Advance sites, which reach 8.5 million people each month.

It’s a rare non-win for Yahoo, which has continued to grow the ranks of the members of the Yahoo Newspaper Consortium, even as it has sent some conflicting signals about the alliance’s future (For instance, Yahoo is shopping its HotJobs recruiting site, although its listings are a major reason that newspapers have wanted to join the Yahoo consortium).

The deal with Advance is also a reminder that despite the Microsoft-Yahoo advertising partnership, the two companies continue to compete (and will continue to do so even when the deal goes through). Presumably, however, members of Yahoo’s newspaper consortium too will soon be selling ads on Microsoft’s Bing search engine. Read Ken Doctor’s analysis here.