Winstar Interactive to Rep uBid.com

Web sales rep and online marketing agency Winstar Interactive Media will handle ad sales for CMGI B2C and B2B auction site uBid.com, the companies said this week.

Winstar Interactive replaces niche ad network WiseAds as a seller of uBid’s inventory.

Ad sales on e-commerce sites represents an unconventional niche industry, since most retail sites focus on generating revenue through transactions, rather than via ad sales.

Nevertheless, some networks like WiseAds have managed to make a name for themselves dealing excess inventory on e-commerce sites. WiseAds was recently acquired by content network About.com for integration into its Luna Network of affiliates.

uBid ad sales director Brian Williams said the change in his company’s representation stemmed in part from a desire for a dedicated sales force.

“What we were looking for is a company that can dedicate a sales team specifically for our business, and Winstar is able to do that,” Williams said. “We’re leading the business to consumer space, and we needed that dedicated support.”

Williams also said that his company hopes to turn advertising into a significant revenue generator, bucking conventional practice among e-commerce sites and expediting profitability.

“In addition to continuing to expand our core businesses and announcing new businesses, in order for us to continue growing and achieve profitability we need to diversity our high margin revenue streams,” he said.

“Advertising is designed to become a very significant part of that. Its revenue is perceived by uBid and CMGI executive management as a significant part of our business,” he added.

Williams declined to specify how heavily uBid anticipates advertising’s impact on its revenue, or on new business initiatives the company will be launching.

The news means that the online auction site is solidifying its advertising needs, having earlier this month announced that fellow CMGI company AdForce will handle serving and targeting for its on-site advertising.

Winstar Interactive executives were understandably pleased about the decision, which has it representing a site with than 1.5 million registered users and which receives more than 3 million monthly unique visitors.

“Winstar Interactive Media only represents Web properties that have strong brand recognition, significant traffic and a heritage of online innovation,” said Winstar Interactive senior vice president John Durham.

“We look forward to working with uBid to create integrated sponsorship packages and business partnership programs,” he added.

Winstar Interactive adds uBid.com to a roster that includes several high-profile clients, including Bloomberg, Individual Investor Online and Office.com, which is owned by Winstar Interactive’s parent company, Winstar Communications, a broadband carrier and e-commerce company.

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