GoFish Creates Ad Network to Rep Kids' Sites

  |  February 19, 2008   |  Comments

Children's ad network aims to move in on Disney and Nickelodeon.

Video site GoFish is trying to capitalize on its knowledge of the youth advertising with the launch of an online ad network aimed at children and teens, and thereby compete with kid network giants Disney and Nickelodeon.

The GoFish ad network will target those aged six to 17 on sites including Miniclip.com, girl's site CartoonDollEmporium.com, and Cookie Jar Entertainment's official sites for "Caillou", "Spider Riders" and "Johnny Test," among others. The network will offer packages to separately target kids, teens and tweens, said Tabreez Verjee, president of GoFish.

GoFish must abide by child marketing laws, including the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA) governing the collection and use of kids personal data. The company said it will work with publishers in its network to create a consistent approach to advertising to children.

"We can help publishers out there that want to join our network and educate them as to what the rules are and how to be compliant," said Verjee. "The first benefit that we can provide from a kids advertising perspective is make sure that they are not seeing anything that is inappropriate."

COPPA and similar regulations have sometimes scared advertisers away from lesser known children's sites and led them to the giants of the children's publishing, Disney and Nickelodeon, said Ian Schafer, CEO and founder of marketing agency Deep Focus, and a ClickZ columnist. Schafer said as long as GoFish ensures regulatory compliance, the company can aim for the market segment now owned by Disney and Nickelodeon.

"If you look at the list of top 10 or 20 sites for kids under 15 you're going to get names of sites you've never heard of, and a lot of those sites are repped by GoFish," said Schafer. "This has the promise of being a more cost efficient alternative to reaching a demographic that is historically only been reachable en masse on a handful of properties."

One challenge for GoFish will be to monitor its ad network publishing partners closely to assure compliance on the part of all partners, according to Schafer.

"If one site falters it's not just a problem for the site; it's a problem for the network. In this case the network is really only as strong as its weakest link," he said.

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