Google, LookSmart power Ask.com advertising

What are the some of the advantages of attending a Silicon Valley conference, such as Kelsey “Drilling Down on Local,” and then staying on in San Francisco for a few days?A ferry ride to Sausalito and seaside seafood lunch, a Sonoma wine country tasting tour…and first-hand looks at special advertising features in The San Francisco Chronicle Technology & Business section!

What are the some of the advantages of attending a Silicon Valley conference, such as Kelsey “Drilling Down on Local,” and then staying on in San Francisco for a few days?

A ferry ride to Sausalito and seaside seafood lunch, a Sonoma wine country tasting tour…and first-hand looks at special advertising features in The San Francisco Chronicle Technology & Business section!

IAC took out a full-page promo yesterday, showcasing its 60 Internet brands in full color and touting:

IAC was recently named by FORTUNE Magazine as America’s #1 Most Admired Company in the Internet Services and Retailing Industry.

Ask.com, the “glue” integrating the Web conglomerate, according to Barry Diller, IAC CEO, is positioned prominently in the center of the advertisement.

If Ask.com is the “glue” for IAC’s most admired brands, why is it not standing more on its own two Web advertising feet?

I recently asked Jim Lanzone just such a question, inquiring if “On January 1, 2008, will Ask.com have renewed its paid listing supply agreement with Google?”

Lanzone told me: “We will most likely strike another deal with one of the major networks (Google is the incumbent) because our own ad system combined with an ad network will make us the most money.”

BUT, is Ask Sponsored Listings PPC advertising program really Ask’s “own ad system”?

Ask.com has extended its license of online advertising company directory LookSmart’s AdCenter for Publishers through 2009, to power the sale and delivery of Ask Sponsored Listings:

LookSmart’s white-labeled AdCenter for Publishers is designed for all types of online media companies, providing an auction platform, algorithmic ad server and a reporting engine. The hosted turnkey platform offers detailed reporting for both the publisher and the advertiser, allowing both to optimize pricing and ROI. LookSmart also provides an API which allows agencies and large advertisers to interface directly with publishers licensing AdCenter technology.

IAC Advertising Solutions says it offers “complete solutions for a variety of communication needs and a comprehensive range of advertising products.” Ask.com’s advertising solutions are principally out sourced ones, however, to competitors, big and small.

James Speer, Vice President of Search Marketing Products at IAC Advertising Solutions: “We’re focused on delivering results for our advertisers and AdCenter is one component of our overall strategy.”

What about delivering long-term IAC results for shareholders? Wouldn’t IAC be better served in the long run with competitive advantage via proprietary ad sales and serving systems, and all advertising revenues, instead of revenue shares?

Ask.com has renewed its vows with LookSmart, will Google soon be celebrating an Ask.com renewal as well?

There may be some competitive tension between number one search engine Google and number five competitor and Google partner Ask.com, as I discuss in “Can Google handle search engine coopetition?

STAY TUNED!

In the meantime, I am headed back to Silicon ALLEY and, out of the New York City gate, will be at Columbia University for a Video Meetup with MTV Networks, Brightcove…

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