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Centro, the local and regional media service company, has branched off into Web-based support for ad management. The company today announced the launch of Transis, a new division dedicated to automating the “other 80 percent” of the display industry not served by cut rate ad exchanges and demand side platforms. Specifically, Transis has been developed to make it easier for agencies and media buyers to buy premium display advertising by helping everything in one place. This includes all their research, site selection, negotiation, planning and buying, campaign management and billing reconciliation.

In development since 2005, and built at a cost of $11 million, Transis represents a significant “phase two” for Centro, which now has 11 offices and 115 employees. “First, we were helping advertisers place locally,” notes CEO Shawn Riegsecker. “The second part is build media software that would help scale the business for agencies across the U.S.”

But Riegsecker thinks the risk will pay off big time. He notes that many agencies are currently charging a premium for online ads because, ironically, of all the extra labor involved. “The fact is digital is more complex and the digital budget is much smaller. It doesn’t scale very well when contracts are held in different Outlook folders. It takes a long time to process 15 Web sites. Imagine buying 100 Web sites. It just doesn’t happen,” he says. The addition of mobile,video, social and search complicates things even more.

Riegsecker claims that Transis, which provides full-service information for 50 categories, makes buying “26 [percent] to 46 percent more efficient.” He also says it will eliminate the “double and triple entries” that plague ad buyers today. Transis, very simply, opens the way for agencies “to place more creative buys than any opportunity in the past,” he says. “It moves us into a software supported services model.”

Centro, of course, isn’t the only company moving ads into an automated environment. Google last week unveiled DoubleClick for Publishers, which provides many of the same automated features for publishers on the selling side. It will likely complement Transis’ buy-side solution.

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