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It would appear so, according to this article in MediaPost (reg. req'd):

On Tuesday, some of the nation's biggest advertisers got a pitch from a surprise media buying "solutions provider:" online auction service eBay. Details of the presentation, and the reaction of the ad executives—members of the Association of National Advertisers influential Television Advertising Committee—could not be discerned at press time, but executives privy to the meeting told MediaDailyNews that eBay was invited by the committee to present ideas for building an electronic trading system for buying and selling media.

Recently Google purchased dMarc and Spot Runner launched. dMarc extends Google's platform to a traditional, offline medium and may be the first move as part of a larger, consolidated media-buying platform the search engine is developing. And Spot Runner brings the efficiencies of the Internet to local cable TV ad buying.

Clearly we're starting to see the future of all ad buying—the Internet (or at least electronic platforms). Is eBay trying to get a jump on Google here? Perhaps. Regardless, this is extremely interesting and would now seem to be part of an emerging larger trend.

We're going to speculate about the future of media buying—and integrated online and offline buying in particular—in our final panel at this year's Drilling Down event:

The Future of Local Media Buying: The Integrated Online-Offline Platform
Until recently, online marketing was regarded with skepticism and ambivalence. In 2005, led by paid search, online marketing in general came to be seen as a credible medium. While newspapers and Internet Yellow Pages have long been selling online advertising on their sites (and more recently into broader networks), the Google acquisition of dMarc suggests a potentially new, more integrated online-offline media future. It also directly brings the harsh light of performance-based marketing and Web analytics to a traditional advertising medium. The panelists will discuss these and other recent developments and what the near and long term will hold for online marketing and interactive local media.

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