NEW YORK In a further strengthening of its relationship with Microsoft, Publicis Groupe said its Phonevalley mobile marketing agency entered into a strategic agreement with the software giant to create customized mobile advertising, technology and metrics to run across Microsoft's mobile Web properties.
Phonevalley, which is part of Publicis' VivaKi Nerve Center digital operations, will work with Microsoft properties like the Microsoft Media Network, Bing and MSN on packaged solutions that will be offered in 14 worldwide markets including the U.S., the U.K., France, Italy, Spain and Germany.
Publicis said Phonevalley and Microsoft Mobile Advertising would create mobile advertising solutions for six industry verticals: luxury, retail, entertainment, automotive, travel and financial services. For an automaker, for example, the package could include a customized mobile Internet site, which could display specific product lines and new cars and encourage consumers to visit car dealers through a "test drive" booking tool and a dealer locator function. The packages could use ad formats and new targeted mobile media features like that for behavioral targeting developed by Microsoft Advertising.
Last month, Publicis said it was acquiring digital agency Razorfish from Microsoft in a deal valued at about $530 million. The Paris-based holding company had already formed an advertising alliance with the software company, involving online advertising as well as a TV ad exchange.
"Our mobile alliance strengthens the relationships between Microsoft Advertising and Phonevalley's parent company, Publicis Groupe," Alexandre Mars, Phonevalley CEO and Publicis Groupe head of mobile, said in a statement. "It further reinforces VivaKi's strategy to build a market leader in digital communications in an increasingly mobile world."
Charles Johnson, general manager at Microsoft Mobile Advertising, echoed that sentiment: "As mobile advertising becomes more of a mainstream digital advertising medium, our collaborative work will help advertisers plan, execute and measure their mobile campaigns more effectively, and ultimately will enable them to harness the untapped potential of mobile advertising."
See also: "Publicis to Buy Razofish From Microsoft"