MANCHESTER, UK: Following five months of testing within the UK, Google has made a major move into the European display advertising sector with the official launch of its third-party ad-serving system across its European Content Network.

The pilot was developed in cooperation with a handful of brands – among them Orange – and media agencies including i-Level. Launched yesterday, it is now available to all comers.

Google claims the new service provides advertisers and publishers with the most targeted and flexible offering on the market, and expects it to increase branded-product spend across its entire European network.

However, the search titan was beaten out of the European starting-gate by AOL's  integrated ad offering Platform A; while breathing hard down its neck are Yahoo and Microsoft, both touting their respective display ad propositions,

Says Google's UK agency relationship manager Simon Morgan: "We're now going after both the performance and branding money.

"We've got a fantastic reach with the network, and we're making it flexible for advertisers to buy and pay what they want. Clients want more channels to work with. This is the final piece in the jigsaw."

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff