Platform A Wins Verizon’s Web and Mobile Ad Biz

Verizon has tapped AOL’s Platform A ad network unit for ad management and sales on its Web and mobile platforms.

Platform A will assume sales responsibility for all of Verizon’s online inventory and a majority of its mobile inventory, and will be the only sales organization with the ability to guarantee placement within the Verizon Network. Other parties may offer the inventory as a part of a blind network buy.

Portions of Verizon’s on-deck ad inventory are represented by Millennial Media, which announced its relationship with the carrier earlier this month.

Linda Clarizio, president of Platform A, called the relationship “an expansion of the relationship that Third Screen Media had with Verizon,” going back approximately a year.

This marks the first cross-platform deal for Platform A, which is now working to integrate its various ad network units, including Advertising.com, Tacoda, Quigo, and Third Screen Media.

“I think it reflects how we look at the ad space,” said Clarizio. “Whatever platform works best for [advertisers], we will try. Right now we’re selling video, mobile, and online display.”

“That’s why we see them as such a great partner. They look at the industry the same way we do,” she added.

Platform A served ads to 170 million U.S. Internet users in March, according to data released by comScore. Verizon Communications receives over 29 million unique visitors, according to the same report.

Verizon’s move comes at a time of increased deal activity around mobile ad sales. Sprint’s advertising was originally handled by Enpocket, and was taken over by Nokia’s media network when it acquired Enpocket. In the U.K. Yahoo has deals to power the Web’n’walk Internet service for T-Mobile and Vodafone.

Verizon was unable to comment on the deal with Platform A, nor to clarify Millennial’s ability to openly sell inventory on Verizon’s deck.

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