DoubleClick Debuts Site Directory

The new directory lists about 7,000 properties, including those owned by AOL Time Warner, Yahoo, and Microsoft’s MSN, as well as the 1,700 included in DoubleClick’s own category-based Reach network and its high-end Brand network.

Aimed at media buyers, the directory aggregates Web sites’ information to make it easier to put together a media plan — for instance, by tracking down sites that accept rich media creatives. To enhance the offering, New York-based DoubleClick also said that it’s working to integrate audience reach and demographic data from @plan, a research group that it owns, and comScore Networks, a panel-based audience measurement firm with which it has an alliance.

For publishers, DoubleClick pitches the effort as a way to display information on sites’ types of acceptable media, audience data, and contact information — making it easier to reach global advertisers through a centralized location. Additionally, sites will be able to post promotions and discount offers for a fee; advertisers and agencies are expected to opt-in to email updates from the directory, listing the special offers.

The service is reminiscent of those already offered by companies like VNU-owned Standard Rate & Data Service, which over its 80-year history has built up a brisk trade in the publishing of media directories, including one for Web media.

Like the DoubleClick directory, Des Plaines, Ill.-based SRDS offers publisher contact info, links to research from the Audit Bureau of Circulations and BPA, and advertising opportunities in its directories for publishers to promote their titles or sites.

But DoubleClick is betting that advertisers and media buying agencies will turn to its directory because it will be integrated with other online media tools. For one thing, in addition to @plan and comScore, the company plans to integrate the directory with its recently acquired media planning service, Adgility.

“For the first time, marketers have access to a powerful planning tool that provides a single source for the planning information marketers need to plan their online campaigns,” said Chris Saridakis, senior vice president of DoubleClick’s Global TechSolutions. “Just as centralized planning tools have become invaluable for marketers in the offline world, we are confident that this product will deliver significant benefits to both our advertising and publishing customers online.”

DoubleClick did not disclose eventual pricing for the new offering, which is available for free to users of the company’s DART for Advertisers ad server. But already, the firm said Grey’s Beyond Interactive, Havas’s Arnold Worldwide and independent shop AKQA. Next year, the company plans to expand the service as a separate, standalone offering to all advertisers and agencies, rather than just DART clients.

The move follows months of DoubleClick’s efforts to focus its business on its technology for Web and email ad serving, its research business, and its tools for marketers — rather than its site representation division.

That unit has seen sizable restructurings during the past twelve months, culminating earlier this month with the resignation of Global Media head Barry Salzman, and the sell-off of DoubleClick’s money-losing European ad network to a German rival.

DoubleClick executives said they would continue to pursue a strategy in U.S. and Asian media sales for the meantime, while considering longer-term “options” for the business.

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