Orange buys Unanimis

Orange has acquired Unanimis as it prepares to make a fresh assault on the online advertising sales market.

Orange handset

Unanimis – valued by industry insiders at £10-15m – sells online ad inventory for a number of publishers including broadcaster Five, flight comparison site Skyscanner, motoring association The AA and classified ads site Gumtree.

The London-based ad sales house also sells inventory for mobile sites and has an affiliate channel following its acquisition of Global Direct Media this year. Unanimis’s turnover for the year to June 2008 was £21.7m.

The acquisition indicates a fresh offensive by Orange into the online ad sales space. An estimated £385m was spent through UK networks in 2008.

Orange first launched its own online ad network in February 2007, representing third-party sites such as Pokerzone TV, TV Guide, Sidestep and All Approved Cars.

But a year later all but Pokerzone pulled out and signed deals with new sales houses. At the time Orange said it was reviewing its work but remained committed to its clients. It continues to handle sales for sites Ents24, MyVillage and ViaMichelin.

Last month Orange confirmed a partnership deal with mobile ad firm Blyk to offer its subscribers ad-funded services.

The acquisition follows the recent appointment of former TradeDoubler and 24/7 Real Media employee David Buckle as head of international client sales at Orange.

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