The Expedia-owned travel search site will for the first time offer graphical ads alongside its CPC text ads.
Expedia-owned travel search and directory site TripAdvisor will begin showing banner ads on its site this week, in addition to the site's current pay-per-click text ads.
Travel-focused ad network and sales representation firm Travel Ad Network (TAN) will sell the ads exclusively. TripAdvisor will continue to sell cost-per-click (CPC) campaigns to existing and new clients via its internal sales force. Only one graphical ad will be shown on each page, either a 728x90 banner or a 300x250 medium rectangle, according to TAN founder and CEO Cree Lawson.
TripAdvisor features user-generated content including travel advice and ratings of hotels and destinations. It is tightly integrated with other Expedia-owned sites, including Expedia.com and Hotels.com.
Lawson characterizes TAN as the "fusion of a rep firm and an ad network," combining the flexibility and expertise of an ad sales representation agency with the accountability and deliverability of a network. Ads can be purchased as run-of-network or for a specific site.
"We offer more accountable ad sales representation," Lawson said. Industry-specific expertise, exclusivity, and targeting capabilities set TAN apart from bigger travel sites or ad networks, he said. Targeting options include IP and geo-targeting, and dayparting.
"There are bigger travel audiences online, but we feel we've aggregated the best travel planning audience online," Lawson said.
Lonely Planet, another travel site that had resisted banner ads, last month announced its intentions to begin showing banner ads sold by TAN.
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Kevin Newcomb joined ClickZ in August 2004, covering search marketing and other online marketing topics. He has been reporting on web-based businesses since 2000.
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