Leading marketers increasingly are looking to purchase online advertising space on an upfront basis, so as to secure prime inventory. About.com CEO Scott Meyer said: "What's different is that advertisers are leading the upfront instead of the publishers. They are inviting their key publishers in. It's flipped around."
Alloy Media + Marketing has agreed to sell ads for IAC/InterActiveCorp's teen-oriented virtual world, Zwinky, which boasts 7.5 million visitors per month. Alloy already packages inventory from teen-focused online properties Habbo Hotel, Meez and RockYou for network buys.
Automakers are expected to ramp up global ad spending on online media, while scaling back TV and newspaper advertising in 2008, although overall domestic ad spending by the industry is expected to be flat or slightly down in the new year, according to a report by research firm Kelsey Group.
Chrysler is promoting its Dodge Grand Caravan with a holiday push that lets Facebook members send customized messages to friends via an application the automaker developed for the social-networking site. The "Holiday Letters" campaign, created by interactive agency Organic, is meant to position Chrysler's Caravan as a minivan that fosters family togetherness.
Companies should think twice before developing their own social-networking applications, as the movement has yet to prove itself as solid an investment for businesses as other online communications technologies such as instant messaging, according to a report by information and technology research firm Gartner.