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BizReport : Advertising archives : June 04, 2007

Ad trade groups ask FTC for help

Two trade groups, leery of the recent online ad buyouts, have asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for assistance in ensuring that online advertising competition remains strong.

by Kristina Knight

The letter, sent by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A's) and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) said (via MediaPost), "Advertising on the Internet is one of the fastest-growing sectors of marketplace promotion. Therefore, ensuring its competitiveness is critical for all participants."

Many online advertisers and online advertising platforms have worried that deals such as the Yahoo/Right Media and Google/DoubleClick buyouts or the addition of 24/7 Real Media to WPP's stable of online networks could create monopolies within the online ad world.

Neither the 4A's or the ANA have talked about specific concerns they have with these deals, most advertisers and ad platforms have specifically spoken about the ability to remain competitive.

"I mean, if you're a publisher, you're running all your sensitive campaign information through DART and it's now owned by one of your biggest competitors who you're fighting against for ad dollars," said Sherri Valenti, vice president of marketing for 24/7 Real Media.

Many of the deal detractors say that the online ad world has become such a force because of past competition, and with the larger platforms buying out smaller companies, that competition will begin to falter. With less pressure to have the "next best thing", many wonder if online advertising will simply fade into the background.

Some, however, aren't worried about the deal, saying that Google or Yahoo owning a smaller platform simply changes the boundaries. They pontificate that larger companies buying out smaller platforms will actually increase the reach of ad campaigns based on these previously-small platforms, ensuring the survival and thriving of the online ad community.

Tags: FTC, Google, online advertising, Yahoo

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