MSN Opens Up adCenter Testing in US

Microsoft's MSN division is looking for testers to try out its new adCenter product in the United States through a recently launched pilot program. Yusuf Mehdi, senior vice president of MSN, asked employees last week to invite businesses who might be interested in the service.

MSN adCenter was moved out of testing in France and Singapore last month, with Microsoft saying it had received positive feedback on the service.

What makes adCenter different is the fact that advertisers will be able to target their campaigns towards a certain demographic, Microsoft says. MSN will use generic data collected from its Web properties in order to ensure ads get in front of the consumers that advertisers are looking for.

"This pilot represents a unique opportunity for small and medium businesses to be among the first to experience the more powerful tools and wide-ranging benefits of MSN adCenter," Mehdi said in the e-mail sent last week.

Potential candidates will need to fill out a registration form that asks for basic information on the company and prior advertising practices. MSN will then select beta testers from those who register and add them to the program on a rolling basis.

"During the US pilot, MSN adCenter will be delivering text-based advertisements on up to 25 percent of MSN Search traffic; the remaining traffic will continue to be served through our partnership with Yahoo," Mehdi added.

MSN's contract with Yahoo runs through 2006.

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