DoubleClick to Close Australian Media Arm

DoubleClick Australia will close its local media operations this week. As part of a restructure of the DoubleClick operations, clients being serviced through its Australian Media office will now be referred to the company's regional headquarters in Hong Kong, as the local venture shifts its focus solely onto its TechSolutions business.

The move is a result of DoubleClick redistributing its resources into areas of profitability, according to Barry Salzman, DoubleClick's global media president.

"It is essential that we assess each market individually and align DoubleClick's resources with market opportunities," he said. "Right now, in this location, market demand is coming from TechSolutions, providing publishers and advertisers with outsourced advertising technology and services."

Jason Ward, DoubleClick Media Australia's managing director, identified a changing market as the reason for the company's steady decline in advertising sales over the past three years. "Advertising sales over our network led the company's growth during the initial two years, but in the past 12 months the market has changed significantly. Today's decision is unfortunate and distressing but realistic given market conditions," he said.

Competitors contacted by The Standard said that DoubleClick's withdrawal from the market was more a reflection of DoubleClick's financial position in the US than a comment on the Australian marketplace. However, Ward rejected the claims, claiming that DoubleClick has $US900 million in the kitty, and has been profitable for the last two quarters. He nevertheless admitted that the current quarter would present difficulties, and previous expectations would not be met.

Yahoo Australia & NZ, which is currently expanding its sales team, will take on an employee from the disbanded DoubleClick team. Regarding the closure, Craig Galvin, Yahoo Australia & NZ's national sales manager, said that it was sad news, but noted that in the current climate, it was hard for an ad network to offer a breadth of services.

"It does reinforce our belief that 2001 will be a period of consolidation where networks like Yahoo have the opportunity to gain greater market share and deliver even more solutions to local marketers," he said.

"We've always passionately believed that Australian businesses are looking for integrated online marketing solutions that make the most of a mix of promotions, permission marketing, broadcast, retail, banners and branding opportunities. Destination sites like Yahoo can provide that depth and range of services. It's a lot harder for ad networks to do," said Galvin.

DoubleClick's departure leaves BMCMedia as the largest private independent ad network in Australia.

Courtesy of the Australian Industry Standard http://www.thestandard.com.au

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