Partner’s Woes Prompt DoubleClick Asia Revamp

DoubleClick’s Asian ad sales joint venture will see restructuring, which involves an exit from the media business, as the result of the floundering of its majority owner, Web publisher Asiacontent.com.

New York-based DoubleClick partnered with Asiacontent.com in 1999 to form the Hong Kong-based technology and media representation venture, DoubleClick Media Asia Ltd. After several quarters of lackluster ad sales, Asiacontent.com, also based in Hong King, announced plans to liquidate its business, a move that shareholders approved last week.

In a bid to continue and to shore up operations in the area, DoubleClick International Internet Advertising Ltd., a subsidiary of the U.S. online advertising giant, will seek agreements with the management of regional offices in Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

DoubleClick said it hopes to keep on current local management, and that it would work to secure new, ongoing ad serving deals with the three units.

The company also said it continues to look for options for DoubleClick Media Asia’s operations in China and Singapore, and expects agreements with the offices to be finalized by the end of the quarter.

In addition to shoring up the regional offices, DoubleClick said it intends its units in Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong to focus on sales of ad serving and email technology, which the company said represents a robust market. Advertising representation, meanwhile, is likely to be abandoned by the offices.

“These businesses in Asia have grown significantly during the first half of this year. In order to continue this growth it makes the most sense to run the businesses under local ownership,” said Scott Knoll, managing director of Asia at DoubleClick’s TechSolutions division. “The restructure of this business venture would enable DoubleClick to focus on its core technology and email services business.”

DoubleClick’s TechSolutions business counts about 230 customers in Asia, including Dell , Ikea, Ming Pao Daily News and Eachnet. At its height, DoubleClick Media Asia employed about 66, and represented about 140 Web publishers including AltaVista, Real Networks and ZD Net Korea to more than 650 advertisers.

U.S. executives have said that DoubleClick’s Japanese subsidiary, which is publicly traded, will be the only portion of the company selling advertising inventory. Earlier this month, the firm sold its North American media network to L90, now MaxWorldwide .

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