24/7 Media to Cut Overseas Losses

As part of its continuing effort to stem losses and narrow its focus, Online ad network 24/7 Media said it would no longer keep funding its European division, 24/7 Media Europe.

“24/7 Media continues to aggressively act upon its strategies to reduce operating costs and to focus on its core businesses in North America,” said 24/7 Media chief operating officer Tony Plesner. “This focus is essential to our ability to execute our business plan in a difficult market environment.”

In May, 24/7 Media executives confirmed that the company’s European unit was seeking additional funding, which would involve either a strategic partner to share costs for the venture, or an outright buyer. Rumors had floated about the possibility of 24/7 Media hooking up with a large regional media player or ad rep firm.

But 24/7 Media Europe remains “working on that,” said Mitchell Simmons, a spokesman for the unit’s Alley-based parent. “They are evaluating their alternatives as we speak.”

Simmons declined to comment further on the future of 24/7 Media’s European ad network, and deferred questions until the company’s second quarter earnings call Tuesday afternoon.

The news comes just weeks after 24/7 Media transitioned all of the publishers on its European media network over to its in-house ad serving ASP, Connect. That move was launched in response to the closure of CMGI’s AdForce, which had been serving 24/7 Media’s European ad network.

Although the company was forced to scramble after the unexpected closure of AdForce, Simmons said losses associated with the technical changeover were slim.

“It’s our first ASP model over there, and so has very limited costs for us,” he said.

Earlier this year, the company gave signs that it was working to limit its exposure to international markets. In spring, the company announced that it had started a search to find a buyer for its Asian ad serving unit, Sabela Media. Eventually, 24/7 Media sold the client base to New York-based competitor DoubleClick.

Aside from its unit in Europe, 24/7 Media maintains a presence in Asia through a joint venture with Chinadotcom.

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