Microsoft Prevents Ask.com from Running Ads on Facebook?

ask.com_logo.gifSo, while I was on the phone with Greg Ott, VP of marketing for Ask.com, earlier today to discuss the company’s new multimedia campaign, he told me something very interesting. He claims that although Ask wanted to run ads on Facebook along with sites like MySpace and YouTube, the company couldn’t. Weren’t allowed.

Why? Well, said Ott, it was “because Microsoft won’t let us run there.” As reported here last August, Microsoft is the exclusive seller and manager of all Facebook display ads through its adCenter platform, and provides the social networking site with sponsored text link ads.

If this is actually the case, which I’m attempting to confirm, it’s understandable that Microsoft doesn’t want to faciliate promotion of a competitor. Still, we’re talking about ads on another, non-Microsoft property. Shouldn’t Microsoft simply be the engine for whatever Facebook chooses to sell?

Now that we have Yahoo and Google planning on or hinting at managing campaigns for all sorts of firms, this question will be rearing its head more frequently in the future, I’m sure. For instance, when Yahoo starts to manage ads through Panama on newspaper consortium sites, will it prevent Google or Microsoft from running spots in the biz sections on those sites? The question involves a huge chunk of the Web now that Google owns DoubleClick, which powers ad management for tons of publisher sites.

Makes ya think…

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