CBS, Loopt Taking Local Ads Mobile

Users Visiting CBS Sites on Mobile Devices Will See Ads Tailored to Their Location

CBS is partnering with mapping and communications company Loopt on a new service that will provide local contextualized advertising to mobile devices. Utilizing global positioning system and other mapping technologies, the company will allow users visiting CBS sites on their mobile devices to see ads tailored to their location, with other factors such as the time of day taken into consideration.

"If you're hungry and we take into account your location and time of day to display an ad for a restaurant offering free appetizers during happy hour, we've really blurred the line between advertising and content,” said Sam Altman, CEO and cofounder of Loopt, in a statement.

CBS will utilize Loopt technology immediately on its sports and news mobile sites, which the company said garnered nearly 75 million page views during the fourth quarter of 2007.

In a pre-emptive effort to try to pacify privacy advocates, the companies said the ads would only be delivered on mobile Web sites, not via SMS messages, adding that they will be served anonymously and location information will not be stored.

"Location-based advertising is the sweet spot in mobile marketing," CBS Mobile executive vice president Cyriac Roeding said in a statement. "We are thrilled for CBS to be the first media company in the country to help our clients realize highly relevant yet nonintrusive mobile ads using location-based technology.”

Roeding added, “Through our partnership with Loopt, our advertisers will be able to deliver targeted messages to potential customers who, based on their location, might be very likely to click or make a purchase. This makes the ads highly relevant to consumers and advertisers at the same time."