DoubleClick are an online advertising services company. Their clients are mostly web publishing companies and web advertising agencies. This company’s name will always be associated with banner advertising. In Europe and the US, this company has done more than most to standardise the banner as an advertising medium.

Recently the company has been branching out into other forms of online advertising, since many people think that the standard banner ad has a limited future. Some argue that interruption marking has no place on the Internet.

DoubleClick can be thought of as two divisions:

Network: Co-ordinating a network of web publishers that agree to sell their banner space over the DoubleClick system. The Network division of DoubleClick is run along similar lines to a media sales business. Media buyers can buy banner space across hundreds of networked sites in a single purchase.

Systems: This division designs and operates the computer systems that serve, target and track online advertising. DoubleClick’s proprietary ad-serving system is called Dart. Used with or without the DoubleClick network, this system can manage and measure the performance of most types of online advertising campaigns. The systems division works like an IT services company.

One of DoubleClick’s strengths is that these two halves of the company compliment each other. Because of this, some publishers and advertisers have found DoubleClick a convenient one-stop shop.

When dot-com stocks started to boom in 1999 and early 2000, DoubleClick were doing very well. In order to capitalize on their growth the company made a number of acquisitions.

Recently, DoubleClick caused upset amongst consumer privacy advocates for it’s proposed merger with Abacus Direct, a consumer data marketing firm. Many feared that merging the databases of both these companies could allow double-click to discover user’s real-world identities and surfing habits. This would effectively end to the anonymity of the Internet.

This caused such a storm that many of their clients that work in privacy sensitive areas were forced to withdraw some of their spending from DoubleClick, in favour of les controversial like 24/7 Media.

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