InterActiveCorp launches ad network, including for brands it's ditching

The sprawling media and retail conglomerate, which is set to split into five companies, will focus on demographic niches, with particular attention on the high-income bracket.

InterActiveCorp mogul Barry Diller may be getting rid of brands like Ticketmaster, LendingTree, and HSN, but he still wants to sell ads on them.

The sprawling media company announced Monday that it will launch an ad network to handle inventory across all its brands, such as Evite and Citysearch, as well as the ones that Diller and his executive team are opting to spin off into separate publicly traded companies.

"Maybe we're not brothers and sisters, but we're cousins," IAC Advertising Solutions president Rich Stalzer told AdAge about the companies it will spin off. The AdAge article also reported that IAC currently serves only a small percentage of its own ad inventory, outsourcing the rest.

IAC's new ad strategy focuses on targeting consumers in nine "cubes": youth (18 to 34 years old), men, women, "affluents," parents, active shoppers, active travelers, homeowners, and sports fans. More cubes are on the way. But of particular priority to IAC is the "affluents" niche, which can draw in far higher click-through rates because of those consumers' likelihood to spend larger amounts of money.

For once, IAC's arguably scattershot and unfocused array of retail and media brands could be helping it move forward.

That's because there are many ways that IAC could identify Web users as "affluents" (or anything else, for that matter) through the sheer variety of properties the conglomerate owns, as well as the ones that it is spinning off.

"We're in a unique position in that we can corroborate multiple kinds of data," Stalzer explained in a release, "including declared information users offer about themselves; transactional, online purchasing activity; and inferred, such as what they do offline like attend concerts or go on dates, from the diverse portfolio of IAC sites to more precisely identify users as part of a particular audience segment."

Someone who makes pricey purchases at the company's Gifts.com, for example, or who repeatedly queries Citysearch for restaurants of the Jean-Georges and Nobu variety, could be classified under the high-income "cube."

And Diller, well known as a yacht aficionado, is even more deeply connected to the luxury-brand market than your average CEO: He's married to fashion legend Diane von Furstenberg.

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About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.

 

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