aQuantive Developing Rich Media Tool

aQuantive is preparing a rich media tool that will go head-to-head with DoubleClick’s Motif product, CEO Brian McAndrews told an audience at the Avenue A Publisher Summit earlier this month.

“We…. feel we need our own solution, given that our main competitor, DoubleClick, came out with one,” said McAndrews in his address at the event.

An integrated rich media management tool would further bolster aQuantive’s online marketing offerings. In addition to ad technology unit Atlas DMT, the company owns interactive agencies Avenue A and i-frontier, and in December acquired SEM firm GoToast. The new tool would likely get an early leg up in the market if aQuantive’s agency units use it to deploy rich media campaigns for their clients.

The implications for third party vendors of rich media are uncertain. The appearance of Motif last year was widely thought to pose a threat to these companies, since it enabled the creation and tracking of rich campaigns alongside traditional campaigns. But challenging the likes of Eyeblaster, Unicast and PointRoll may not be aQuantive’s intention. Prior to his remarks, McAndrews indicated the company would work closely with third party vendors to ease delivery and reporting of online campaigns.

“We have hopes to make working with existing rich media suppliers easier,” he said.

After the conference, McAndrews and an aQuantive spokesperson said the company had no further comment on the upcoming product, describing it as “still in the developmental stages.”

When it launches, aQuantive’s rich media product will be the first answer to emerge from DoubleClick’s field of competitors since Motif launched last year. That product’s market success to date is up for debate. Motif has been embraced by 40 online publishers, but it hasn’t been the category-killer some had expected.

While the major ad servers have yet to launch their own rich media tools, at least one rich media services company is moving in the other direction and trying to break into ad serving. Checkm8 is now trying to move in on the top ad servers’ market share with a new platform, dubbed AdVantage, that comes packaged with rich media creation tools.

Rich media vendors, meanwhile, are looking for ways to ease ad creation and deployment for their agency and advertisers clients. Eyeblaster recently launched a publisher spec database to simplify the job of deploying rich media ads on its platform.

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