Online Ad Targeting Learns to Speak Espanol

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U.S. Hispanics surfing the Web in Spanish will soon be exposed to targeted ads tailored specifically to them.

That’s thanks to a new Spanish-language capability launched this month by ContextWeb, a New York-based firm specializing in contextually targeted advertising.

Through a dedicated, Spanish-language division, ContextWeb now offers marketers Spanish-language contextual banner placements directly related to whatever a user may be reading online. Other services include Spanish keyword targeting and English-language contextual and keyword banner placements aimed at a bilingual audience.

The goal, says the company, is to offer advertisers the ability to reach a U.S. Hispanic audience that primarily communicates in Spanish.

“With multiple countries of origin and degrees of acculturation, it can be a challenge for marketers to reach the fragmented U.S. Hispanic audience,” said Joe Kutchera, who was hired by ContextWeb to lead the Spanish-language effort.

According to latest data from eMarketer, 52% of Hispanics, or 23 million people in the segment, are online. This figure is expected to grow to 29 million by 2012, something that was behind ContextWeb’s decision to make an incursion into another language.

Kutchera, a former Time Warner executive, is also charged with opening an office in Mexico City, and although ContextWeb is said to be close to formalizing a deal with its first client, he declined to disclose specifics.

Founded in 2001, ContextWeb also manages and controls the ASDAQ Exchange, an online exchange for buyers and sellers of ad inventory.

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