LOS ANGELES: An online US agency specializing in 'self-service' advertising has received a $40 million (€31m; £21m) boost from some of the biggest names in the business, including WPP Group, IPG and broadcaster CBS.

Internet-based Spot Runner allows small business clients to create low cost ads from pre-designed commercials, accessed online, which can then be customized. The site also allows advertisers to buy airtime on local cable TV.

The agency, founded two-and-a-half years ago by technology veterans Nick Grouf and David Waxman, says the new funds will enable it to expand into online video and video-on-demand.

Investors from the global marketing services giants are keen to make their presence felt in local advertising as other media, newspapers in particular, are squeezed.

Comments WPP ceo Sir Martin Sorrell: "Agencies need to focus on creative, but also identify the best vehicles to distribute their creative [work] and reach people wherever they live, work and play."

Data sourced from reuters.com; additional content by WARC staff