Microsoft’s Ballmer Makes His Pitch at Cannes

CANNES, FRANCE Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer came to Cannes with a message for advertisers: His company is committed to the advertising space.

Ballmer outlined his vision of the future of advertising, running through familiar themes that media would become digital, advertising more targeted and content spread across many devices. Microsoft, which generates about $2 billion of its $60 billion of revenue from advertising (and is the sponsoring Adweek’s Cannes coverage on this site this year), plans to play a major role in providing the tools to run campaigns, selling ads on its sites and others and building a credible alternative to Google in Internet search.

For all its advancement, the Internet ad industry is still immature, Ballmer said. “Once you get past the Google search site, you say, ‘Is there a publisher making a lot of money with an advertising- or fee-based model?’ The answer is no,” he said. “We have to ask who will be creating the content.”