Yahoo offers clients tools to personalize ads

Yahoo will offer its marketing clients tools to create more personalized advertisements to web users as it strives to build its share of graphical display advertising, a Reuters report said.

The Reuters report said Yahoo is due to unveil a new system dubbed SmartAds that allows advertisers to compile ads on the spot based on a Web user's Internet profile, including such data as their location, recent product searches and, in some cases, age or household income.

'It starts to marry the concept of targeting "&brkbar; with the construction of the ad,' Todd Teresi, Yahoo's SVP of display marketplaces, told Reuters.

The aim, he said, is for 'consumers to view advertising to be as relevant as the content they're looking at.'

Internet advertising companies have built up technologies to better identify consumers visiting specific web sites and serve them ads that directly relate to what they may want to purchase, the Reuters report said.

One such method is behavioral targeting, which tracks the sites a user has visited online and suggests products to them based on their stated interests, the Reuters report said.

The market for such targeted ads is expected to nearly double to $1 billion in 2008 from this year, and surge to $3.8 billion by 2011, according to research firm eMarketer.

SmartAds takes such targeting methods a step further, allowing advertising agencies to create a template for ads with several variables, then compile those elements on the spot to suit a specific reader, the Reuters report said.