AvantGo Nabs Offline Advertisers

On the heels of several weeks of roller coaster-like market activity following its IPO, mobile content technology play AvantGo Monday announced that it has landed several offline advertisers.

In the space of less than a month, AvantGo had its public offering and hit an immediate high of $27.75; posted quarterly earnings; and tumbled to $8.75 on reports of widening losses — $10.9 million — due to costs associated with enhancing its infrastructure.

With about $24.6 million in cash remaining, AvantGo, which makes software that enables users to surf the Web or view content from cached channels, needs to boost its stock price — both to enable AvantGo to command a higher per-share price if it seeks to pursue a second offering. The recent push to sign offline advertisers could serve to reassure investors, in addition to boosting revenue.

On a lighter note, the spate of new, traditional advertisers — which include Bank of America, Intel, Sun Microsystems and Nortel Networks — indicates that offline companies at least are considering emerging media as a viable advertising venue.

San Mateo, Calif.-based AvantGo touts as its selling points an uncluttered ad environment — its ads take up a larger relative amount of screen real estate than with the PC-based Web; — a customer demographic of 1.2 million relatively young, affluent consumers; and its interactive ad capabilities, which enable advertisers to build surveys, promotions and other features into ads.

“When people think of mobile advertising, they often think of text-only ads, but we are able to deliver graphics, text and interactive functionality, just like the Web, that capture users’ attention and translate into successful wireless campaigns for our advertisers,” said AvantGo Mobile Internet general manager Mike Aufricht.

Bank of America’s Credit Card Acquisitions unit recently launched its first wireless credit card marketing campaign using interactive ads on AvantGo’s service.

“Using AvantGo, customers have the ability to apply for a credit card wherever they are by completing and submitting their credit application on their PDA devices or directly responding on their Internet-enabled phones,” said Ed Ortiz, North America director for strategy consultancy iPlato, which oversaw the campaign for BOA.

“This application represents an easy and effective way for companies to leverage AvantGo’s existing wireless technology to maximize a fast return on investment.”

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