Yahoo! and Jon Hamm (Don Draper on Mad Men) broke out the whiskey yesterday in celebration of APT, the media company’s new digital advertising system (check out the site here). At a press conference in New York, in celebration of Advertising Week festivities, Mr. Hamm joined Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang and President Sue Decker to talk about how much easier and faster companies can buy online ads with the Web-based service with a drag-and-drop interface, simple analytics, and an easy-to-use "dashboard." So far, the San Francisco Chronicle and San Jose Mercury News have signed up.
"I do feel a little strange being up in front of a group of people, in front of cameras, talking about advertising, instead of smoking nine cigarettes and drinking three or four glasses of Scotch," Mr. Hamm told CNET, referring to Draper’s hard-living attitude, "although maybe if this was a little later in the day we could do that."
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Yahoo first began to talk about this extensive display-ad strategy in April, then calling the product AMP. On Wednesday, the company announced that the re-named APT’s first clients are two Bay Area newspapers, the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Jose Mercury News.
Both publications are already part of Yahoo’s Newspaper Consortium, which is an ad network for participating media companies. APT will become available to other Newspaper Consortium partners over the course of the rest of the year and into 2009, followed by other clients in the publisher, advertiser, and agency sectors. Also in 2009, Yahoo’s own ad industry will shift to the APT platform.
Yang said that APT’s genesis is rooted in the company’s relationship with Right Media, an advertising exchange start-up that Yahoo acquired last year after initially purchasing a 20 percent stake in 2006. "That move really also enabled us a core foundational network technology that’s going to be able to be part of this new system that we’re announcing today," he explained.