Online media auction house launches in UK

The first UK internet site offering media companies the ability to auction media opportunities to prospective buyers is to begin trading in the new year.

The first UK internet site offering media companies the ability to

auction media opportunities to prospective buyers is to begin trading in

the new year.



Called iMediapoint.com, the site has secured promises of inventory from

the Granada Group, Flextech Television and TSMS, and talks are underway

with a number of other media owners.



Although it will not offer buyers the chance to purchase prime-time ITV,

Granada Group is planning to use the site to auction some airtime traded

by Granada Media Sales as well as smaller ticket items such as

advertising space on Granada’s hotel TV or in Little Chef

restaurants.



Flextech plans to offer a combination of traditional spot media and

new-media packages which will incorporate sponsorship and database

opportunities.



’It allows us to display our wares in a shop window,’ Tony Wheble,

Flextech’s senior vice-president for sales and commercial affairs,

said.



The business-to-business site will offer a secure trading environment in

which inventory can be placed immediately. All auctions will take place

in real time with buyer and seller notified by e-mail. It will then be

up to the buyer and seller to complete the monetary transaction.



The site is launched by Jean-Louis Velaise, who has previously managed

media properties for TV companies including FilmNet, now part of Canal

Plus. He said: ’We have set out to facilitate the sale of media. There

has been a proliferation of media opportunities, but not a parallel

explosion on the media buying side.’



Velaise consulted media companies when setting up the site to ensure it

worked in a way recognisable to anyone used to trading media.



’We feel it will allow us to generate money where there was none

before,’ Ian McCulloch, operations director at Granada Media Sales,

said. ’We can now bring more diverse things to the market.’



Media Spotlight, p30.



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