24/7 Media Hurries to Roll Out European Server

New York-based ad network 24/7 Media is scrambling to implement its ad serving product in Europe, following the closure of CMGI-owned AdForce last month.

CMGI’s June shutdown of AdForce, which is presently in liquidation, potentially opened the doors for chaos among companies using the firm to serve their ads. For one thing, the closure of AdForce — which serves 24/7 Media’s ads in Europe — apparently caught the Alley-based company’s executives by surprise.

24/7 Media had, some months earlier, transitioned its domestic publishers over to its Connect ad serving product. But following the AdForce shutdown in June, chief operating officer Tony Plesner told internetnews.com that 24/7 Media didn’t have a contingency plan in place for an immediate AdForce closure, and would have to move up its timeline for a Connect rollout in Europe.

Plesner said the company had discussed taking six weeks “to commence the cutover,” but acknowledged that the company would have to speed things up.

So far, it looks like 24/7 Media is following through on that plan, which spokespeople said would ensure its 250 European publishers aren’t left in the lurch.

“We will finish well before they shut down,” said spokesperson Mitchell Simmons. “We had anticipated 45 days, but [24/7 Connect general manager] Vivienne Dacey … stated we would complete it well in advance of the six-week scheduled we had given ourselves.”

Simmons said the company began the transition during the last week of June and should be finished by the first week of August.

In all, some 250 publishers — including MSN, SkyNet and EuroInvestor — will have been switched over by the time the European procedure is complete.

Dacey, who is also a senior vice president at the company, said in a statement that the implementation of Connect in Europe “achieves multiple goals,” only one of which was a reduction of “24/7 Media’s reliance on third-party systems.”

“We’re confident that 24/7 Connect will deliver the dependability and precision targeting that European marketers require,” she said. “The enhanced campaign management features are designed to provide significant operational advantages and flexibility.”

Despite the assurances, past problems with an AdForce transition raises questions about how stable the company’s new European ad serving solution would be, at least initially.

In October, during 24/7 Media’s effort to switch U.S. publishers to Connect, Dacey contacted sites to inform them that the company was working on resolving reporting and technical glitches stemming from the change-over. Executives later downplayed the problems to internetnews.com.

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