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Fox Interactive Media’s MySpace is seeking to jump-start local and small-business advertising by launching a homegrown Self-Serve Ad Service. Initial advertisers are likely to be rock bands — the first major segment to have adopted MySpace itself — but the service hopes to move up the food chain as time goes on.

Fox is making several dozen templates available for do-it-yourselfers. In this regard, it is similar to AdReady, which provides white-label service to The New York Times Co. and Advertisers can also use their own artwork. Targeting is available by gender, age, region, city/state and interests.

Newly released Kelsey Group research shows that 41 percent of small businesses say they would like to use self-serve in lieu of salespeople. But professional local ad sellers — especially on the Yellow Pages side — remain skeptical that people would actually be willing to use self serve for renewals, upsells, etc. (I think they will.)

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