More NewsFalk Buys Into Rich Media With Acquisition

Falk Buys Into Rich Media With Acquisition

The deal's bottom line: The ad server gets greater publisher distribution for its own rich media offering.

Online ad serving player Falk North America has acquired FPBA Group, which owns rich media firm Commflash. The deal brings under Falk’s roof a five-year-old interstitial format that is still in wide use, despite having foundered under production constraints.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

For Falk, the key benefit of the acquisition is the network of publishers already accepting Commflash technology. The company hopes to use these existing relationships as a lever to sell its own AdSolution ad management platform and its integrated rich media product, called AdSolution/fx.

“It’s a great channel for us to educate and upsell to these sites,” said Joe Apprendi, CEO of Falk North America. “Our objective will be to integrate their interstitial format right into AdSolution/fx. Advertisers and publishers will get access to that, plus our entire suite.”

Byron Biggins, VP of sales and marketing for Commflash, joins Falk as business development manager. According to Apprendi, Commflash customers will only benefit as Falk funnels development resources into the newly acquired rich media technology. In addition to the interstitial unit, Commflash also offers expanding, floating and other formats that are less widely used.

“It’s a smart strategic move that’s going to benefit Commflash customers,” said Apprendi. “They’ve never had the bandwidth, capital and depth of product development support [we can offer]. We’re going to grow their business much faster than they’ve been able to do.”

In the last two months, Commflash has run over 100 campaigns on approximately 30 sites, including NYTimes.com, Condénet, Accuweather.com, and Salon.com. Marketers that have used its units include Warner Brothers, Intel, Electronic Arts, MSN, American Express, Nokia, Reebok and Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza.

Falk began offering its AdSolution/fx rich media creation and management product last year, and the company is now preparing to roll out version 2.0. Apprendi said the enhanced platform will place Falk into competition with the dominant rich media ad serving platforms Eyeblaster, DoubleClick Motif and Atlas Rich Media.

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