MSN, eDiets in $9 Million Ad Deal

eDiets.com will make its largest-ever ad buy with Microsoft’s MSN portal, through a multi-million dollar expansion of an earlier advertising agreement.

The new $9.1 million agreement provides Deerfield Beach, Fla.-based eDiets with online advertising inventory on sites administered through MSN, including MSN WomenCentral, Slate and MSNBC. Some of that advertising will consist of units in which advertisers will be promoted alongside related site content in styles similar to editorial content.

Additionally, WomenCentral and MSNBC will each host a mini-site featuring eDiets content and interactive tools.

MSN also will promote eDiets services by encouraging users of MSN Hotmail to opt-in to receiving newsletters from the online dieting firm.

The agreement represents the largest marketing buy ever for eDiets, which perennially is one of the Web’s largest advertisers. Last month, the company bought about 2.7 million impressions, according to Nielsen//NetRatings’ AdRelevance.

“This agreement represents a significant commitment by eDiets to expand the reach of our company and to support the health and fitness efforts of the MSN network’s audience,” said eDiets Chairman and Chief Executive David Humble. “With the epidemic of obesity becoming more widely appreciated by leaders in the medical, government and business communities, we are pleased that MSN is looking to eDiets as its preferred online diet and fitness resource.”

MSN said the deal highlighted the importance to advertisers of its mass of users. The portal’s sites receive about 81.3 million visitors monthly, just under the number of those visiting AOL Time Warner sites, according to NetRatings.

“This deal demonstrates the value that a growing number of advertisers find in MSN,” said MSN Vice President Joanne Bradford. “MSN offers advertisers a bigger audience and more ways to engage consumers than any other online location.”

eDiets’ latest deal expands an earlier advertising agreement with Redmond, Wash.-based MSN. The firm also currently sponsors areas of MSN rivals Yahoo and iVillage .

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