Eisenberg Communications Group Inc. (ECG) and WebRep said they will merge and partner with Ryan Steelberg co-founder of IMGIS Inc. to form 2CAN Media Inc.
The merger combines Eisenberg’s resources and expertise in online ad sales and WebRep’s site-focused advertising representation powered by IMGIS’ ad management technology, AdForce. The stock deal was valued at $14 million.
The new company said it will be “the industry’s largest Web advertising representation company.” ECG will bring sites including Frommers/Macmillan Publishing, CitySearch, Motor Trend, GoTo and Internet Travel Network. WebRep will bring National Geographic, Entrepreneur Magazine and Kiplinger Online.
Integral to the merger is an exclusive licensing agreement with IMGIS, developer of the AdForce service, an end-to-end advertising management solution for ad networks and large Web sites.
IMGIS co-founder Ryan Steelberg, who was the catalyst behind 2CAN Media’s formation, will serve as the new company’s interim CEO. Jeffrey Eisenberg, president of ECG, will serve as 2CAN’s vice president of business development, and Michael Hess and Neil Monnens, who currently head WebRep’s management team, will become 2CAN’s vice presidents of advertising sales and marketing, respectively.
2CAN Media said it currently is raising $8 million in private financing, of which a significant portion has already closed. The merger and acquisition by Steelberg represents a $14 million stock buyout of WebRep and ECG, each receiving $7 million in 2CAN Media equity.
Steelberg said: “We’re creating an exceptional alternative to existing ad representation models, and believe 2CAN will re-define how the Internet advertising industry will move forward.”
2CAN said it has engineered a three-tier market strategy to support its national brand building representation program. “The sales model that we have created for 2CAN Media allows a Web site to enjoy a continuous stream of revenue from day one,” said Eisenberg. “Web sites’ excess inventory is fulfilled with impression buys from 2CAN MediaPlus, while 2CAN Media’s traditional ad rep divisions focus on individual site sales, thus maximizing sell through and increased revenue.”
2CAN said it will launch an unduplicated site-focused sales model that targets Web sites with high consumer brand awareness and large impression volumes. This unit will initially be segmented into WebRep and ECG. It will serve as the primary revenue engine for the company, representing more than 300 million impressions monthly. The division’s strategy is to focus on individual site ad sales rather than network sales. 2CAN Interactive Sales will have offices in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit and Chicago with an 18-person national sales force serving the advertising community.
2CAN’s Market Research division will leverage the market data obtained through its licensing agreement with IMGIS and other database partners to become a communications channel for the company. This research arm will extend into data mining to provide subscription-based reports and proprietary market segmentation panels.
Finally, 2CAN will launch MediaPlus, a specialized division that will focus on demographic and locale-based ad sales.
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