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Contextual Ads Added to Ask Sponsored Listings

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The 30,000 advertisers using Ask Sponsored Listings just received a new channel for displaying their ads as IAC has announced the launch of a contextual advertising channel.

The contextual product is integrated into the Ask Sponsored Listings (ASL) platform and allows ASL advertisers to seamlessly extend their pay per click advertising campaigns to content pages. Reaching over 34 million unique users each month, the ASL content advertising network will launch with sites from IAC’s portfolio of brands including Match.com, Ticketmaster, Evite and Citysearch.

Ask has obviously completed a lot of research on existing contextual ad offerings as they’re promising enhanced customization for  publishers.

  • Customization of ad look and feel (background color, font, layout, graphics)
  • Customizable relevancy settings to meet user experience goals
  • Editorial control of advertisers (competitive advertiser blocking)
  • Editorial categorization of site pages is supported

“We’re trying to solve the full equation for advertisers and publishers. Advertisers can expand their existing Ask Sponsored Listings campaigns with the same features, function, and control when they target the content network. For publishers, we’ve tried to differentiate it from what’s out there. We’ve talked to lots of publishers, including some IAC brands, to get a sense of what they’re looking for,” said Paul Vallez, head of Ask.com’s search marketing product division.

ClickZ reports the product will initially role out to mid-size publishers in May with a self-serve model coming later this year.

So, what’s a “mid size” publisher? This is the area that Ask is trying to muscle-in on, but what exactly does a mid-size publisher look like, anyone care to speculate?

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