Microsoft launches MSN adCenter

Monday, September 26, 2005

Microsoft announced today the official launch of MSN adCenter in France and Singapore. adCenter allows advertisers to target specific demographics using information provided by Microsoft's Hotmail and Microsoft Passport Network users.

"The launch of adCenter in France and Singapore is a great first step to delivering on our global vision to connect advertisers to consumers in a much more meaningful way," said Yusuf Mehdi, senior V.P. of MSN Information Services & Merchant Platform.

Advertisers will be able to target ads based on geographic location, gender, age range, time of day, and day of the week. If MSN has no information on the visitor it will display ads based upon keywords. Additional features include a cost estimator and a site analyzer that will recommend keywords based on the content of the advertiser’s website.

MSN currently has a contract for Yahoo ads that runs through 2006, and they are expected to slowly phase them out, although MSN has not confirmed this.

adCenter has been in testing in France and Singapore since March. Testing in the US will begin in October. Microsoft plans to eventually sell ads on websites outside of MSN.

This initiative is a part of a broader strategy that Microsoft has launched to compete against Google's AdWords service, in operation for several years, which allows advertisers to bid on specific keywords and ensure ad placement on the company's search engine and other online properties. Microsoft's chief executive vowed to "kill Google" in an expletive-laden tirade against the firm, according to US court documents filed by Google.

Many internet users choose to block web page advertisements from both Microsoft and Google, using several different techniques of ad filtering, such as adblock in the firefox web browser.