Associated sharpens targeting tools

Associated Electronic Publishing, the online division of Associated Newspapers, is gearing up for its Internet launch by signing deals for key advertising management software.

AEP, a late entrant among national newspaper publishers on to the Internet, is planning to steal a march on rival online competitors by providing the most sophisticated audience measurement data and advertising targeting systems to commercial clients.

AEP’s Net sites will be serviced by NetGravity, the advertising software tool used by Netscape, the world’s busiest Website.

NetGravity’s Ad Server package will allow advertisers to finely target commercial messages to users of AEP’s Websites.

According to AEP’s managing director Paul Zwillenberg: “We are looking at tools which will allow advertisers to target virtually one on one. If someone is interested in information about Mercedes on our site, then, working with us, BMW can send targeted messages to him or her.”

AEP is also investing in Intersé, a software system which allows both AEP editorial staff and commercial clients to track information viewed by first time and repeat visitors to its site, and quantify click-throughs on ads.

Martin Dunn, recently appointed head of editorial of AEP and Associated’s cable TV station Channel One, is currently conducting a review of AEP’s editorial strategy.

Zwillenberg is remaining coy about the editorial content of the planned Internet products, but expects to unveil details before the end of the year.

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