Twitter reportedly bags huge payday with 'milestone' ad deal

It's a big deal -- a really big deal, according to a published report -- and one which undergirds the pitch the social media giant has been making to advertisers.

Charles Cooper Former Executive Editor / News
Charles Cooper was an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at CBSNews.com, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet.
Charles Cooper
2 min read
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Twitter's been hammering home its value as an advertising medium, and Madison Avenue is apparently nodding in agreement. The company has reportedly nailed a multiyear deal with Publicis' Starcom MediaVest Group that's worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to the Financial Times.

It's a big deal -- a really big deal, which the FT describes as a "milestone" -- and one which undergirds the argument the social media giant has been making to advertisers still sitting on the fence about whether to sign on the line which is dotted. According to the report, which quotes unidentified sources, "the deal grants SMG's clients, which include Procter & Gamble, Walmart, Microsoft, and Coca-Cola, special access to preferred advertising slots, research, and data, and new products, such as an 'in-tweet mobile survey' program that will allow companies to poll consumers for real-time opinions." The sides also are planning what was described as a "social TV lab" to explore the impact of social media on television watching for marketers interested in connecting ad campaigns across different media, according to the FT.

SMG has offices in 67 countries.

For its part, the deal is definitely big for Twitter. It will take advantage of the company's previously announced partnership with Nielsen and its acquisition of social TV analytics outfit Bluefin, said someone familiar with details of Twitter's new deal with SMG. Twitter will leverage both to provide research and insight on how consumers are using the social network and how that engagement with TV and Twitter generates insight to marketing to consumers across the marketing mix. Twitter also will provide custom research to SMG for the agency to give its clients for best practices about how to integrate Twitter and TV strategy.

Twitter will work with SMG on creating insights and analytics about how Twitter is going to be influencing clients, the person familiar with the SMG arrangement suggested. But in the end, Twitter users shouldn't see much difference between the service as they know it today, and what they'll see when the SMG deal is fully implemented.