Yahoo! tells details of P&G ad buy

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Yahoo! on Wednesday released details of the controversial ad buy Procter & Gamble Co. made on the service. P&G caused a firestorm of controversy last month when word spread that the marketer would not do business with publishers on a cost-per-impression basis. Yahoo was the first Web site to agree to take P&G ads.

Yahoo has been carrying ad banners for Olean and Sunny Delight for a few weeks and will soon begin a promotion on its home page. The package, which runs about three months, was negotiated by Softbank Interactive Marketing, New York, Yahoo!'s rep firm.

"Instead of looking at impression, impression, impression, the ultimate objective was traffic. There was a minimum amount of traffic they wanted to drive to their brands," said Jeff Mallett, Yahoo! senior VP-business operations.

"We put together a custom program for P&G that would achieve their results through traffic-building," he said. "The end result was the same sort of payment dollars we would have received for [a sale based on] impressions."

He declined to discuss specifics about the pricing model, however.

Yahoo engineers will work with P&G and its agencies to develop ad banners that maximize click-through rate. Web publishers had expressed concern that they shouldn't be held responsible for click-throughs if they didn't have a hand in the creative.

Mr. Mallett admitted he didn't know what the outcome of the test will be, nor whether it will become a standard on the Web. But he urged other Web publishers to be more proactive in dealing with advertisers.

"For everyone to get this hockey stick going for the ad dollars we're talking about, it's very important that we provide vehicles for companies like P&G on the Web."

P&G ads also have started appearing on Excite and Webcrawler.

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