COI Communications, the conduit through which the Government channels public service advertising, has become the first British advertiser to pilot an online media buying service.

Developed by MediaCom TMB, COI’s print media agency, together with online media trading sales house iMediapoint, the new facility is known as iMediabrief.

It enables advertisers to upload a campaign brief to selected media owners, who then negotiate a media and rates package to match the brief. Every stage of the wheeling and dealing takes place online, with the buyer able to view the allocation of his campaign budget in real-time.

Other online media systems work in reverse, with media owners vending their wares via bulletin boards.

iMediabrief is initially restricted to print buying but, says MediaCom TMB chief executive Stephen Allan, it will shortly roll-out across other media.

Peter Buchanan, COI director of marketing communications, declares himself pleased with the initiative: "We believe that it provides an excellent means of extending our relationship with media owners. It should enable media owners to pitch for our media budgets more quickly and efficiently."

News Source: CampaignLive (UK)