Y&R Teams With High-Tech Firm for Web Ads

Young & Rubicam Inc. has forged a “global technology partnership” with Mediaplex, a San Francisco company that, through proprietary tools, can modify Web ads in real time to meet individual consumers’ needs.
Terms of the deal, which runs for three years, were not disclosed.
All units of Y&R Inc. may access Mediaplex, but chiefly the partnership benefits The Digital Edge, the Web spinoff of Y&R’s The Media Edge. Another likely Mediaplex user: Wunderman Cato Johnson. The deal further illustrates Y&R Inc. CEO Tom Bell’s commitment to new technology.
Mediaplex, a public company that projects $44 million in revenues this year, gains access to many Y&R Inc. clients. At TDE, there is interest from AT&T, Royal Caribbean, Wine.com and TrueLink.com, said Alan Schanzer, TDE svp and managing director.
“For a Digital Edge to go ahead and build this kind of technology, it doesn’t pay out in the end,” Schanzer said. “We’d much rather go to the experts.”
Launched in November, TDE claims billings of about $30 million.
Mediaplex, which also provides third-party ad serving for placing ads on the Web, has the ability to change the terms of a banner ad or e-mail offer based on the profile of the person who clicks on it and real-time business data, such as inventory and pricing.
A consumer clicking on an offer to get a credit card with a 4.8 percent interest rate, for example, might see the offer drop if he were to reject it as too high.
Explaining the appeal of Y&R Inc., Tim Favia, evp of corporate development at Mediaplex, said, “It’s a blue-chip name with a great customer base that has a legacy of doing innovative things with technology.”
The nonexclusive teaming does not affect Mediaplex’s relationship with other ad industry clients, including McCann-Erickson Worldwide and Publicis & Hal Riney.