Jumpstart Launches Behavioral Network

  |  September 22, 2006   |  Comments

A new network bills itself as the largest aggregation of in-market car buyers. Are Detroit's pockets deep enough to support it?


Jumpstart Automotive Media has extended its behavioral targeting strategy with the launch of a new ad network dedicated to reaching in-market buyers based on their browsing history.

"With auto makers buying up nearly all of the contextual space on most third-party auto sites, contextual conquesting is non-existent, which is why behavioral targeting becomes a valuable tool to help us serve highly relevant ads to car buyers," said Joe Kyriakoza, Jumpstart's vice president of product development.

Jumpstart has recruited a roster of high-traffic publishers to participate in its new channel, including ValueClick Media, Burst Media, Collective Media, Comcast.net, FoxNews.com and TVGuide.com. Interevco, a company that runs a portfolio of sites including Prevention.com, ThirdAge.com and Marvel.com is also participating.

The San Francisco, Calif.-based company claims its network will represent the "largest aggregated distribution base" of in-market car buyers available to marketers -- a type of online inventory that's notoriously scarce.

On the other hand, Yahoo's warning earlier this week about softness in auto and finance advertising raises questions about future demand for automotive inventory. Detroit is cutting its display ad spend with a big portal on which it's historically relied. It's an open question whether the sector's expenditure on ad networks will also decline, and whether such a decline would be brief or long-lasting.

Jumpstart CEO Mitch Lowe dismissed the hubbub about a Web-wide decline in auto ad spending following Yahoo's gloomy remarks.

"The market for auto ad inventory is robust, with some seasonality," he said in a statement. "Auto ad spending is always lumpy as it heavies up during new model launch periods. The first two months of Q3 were lighter on launches but Q4 and 2007 are heavy for launches. Online 2007 ad inventory is already being committed to at volume and rate both higher than anticipated."

The network play extends a behavioral targeting strategy Jumpstart began a year ago, using technology from Revenue Science. At that time, the company's only media partner was Advertising.com.

Jumpstart, which closed a recent $10 million round of funding from Boston-based private equity firm Alta Communications, reaches more than five million in-market car shoppers per month with advertising programs that include contextual display advertising, behavioral targeting, search marketing and lead-generation.


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