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Yahoo to run multimedia ads

Under pressure to boost sales in a lifeless ad market, the Web portal launches AdVison, a full-page ad that broadcasts commercials, and runs Web pages, surveys and online games.

Yahoo on Tuesday plans to introduce new display advertising for its Web portal, in a move to attract additional marketers and boost revenue.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company will introduce Yahoo AdVision, a full-page advertisement that lets marketers broadcast a commercial, display informational text and Web pages, and run surveys or online games from one browser window. The ads, developed by Yahoo, spring up when visitors click on a banner for the advertiser and hold up to 30 minutes of audio or video.

Yahoo is making a bigger commitment to "rich media" technology for advertising with its newest ad format. In July, the company gave a nod to multimedia advertising by partnering with Eyeblaster, EyeWonder, PointRoll and Unicast--companies whose technology collectively incorporates streaming audio and video, floating or expandable ads, and other interactive units.

Such ads are all the rage online, especially with top-name marketers that are seeking to reach audiences with style and invention. Under pressure to rev up sales in a lifeless ad market, Web publishers are more than willing to accommodate marketers' wishes.

Among Net businesses, Yahoo has been particularly aggressive in sales efforts. Not only has it adopted more advertiser-friendly formats, but also it has taken added care in its relationships with agencies and brand managers. In mid-September, the company hosted a conference in New York for 250 advertising executives to mull the value of the Web for branding campaigns--a piece of marketing that typically commands more spending.

So far, Yahoo is garnering favor for the ads. Universal Studios, for example, tested the format to promote "The Bourne Identity" this summer and plans to use it for upcoming films.

"The newest tool...facilitates a unique branding experience that keeps consumers engaged with a marketing campaign longer than static micro sites," Wenda Harris Millard, chief sales officer of Yahoo, said in a statement.