Microsoft is targeting America’s top twenty-five advertising agencies with a multi-million dollar program designed to convince them of the efficacy of online advertising.

Now claiming a global tally of 250m subscribers to its MSM Network, Microsoft’s militia aim to ram this home to adfolk via the $100m MSN Advantage Marketing program.

The program will offer adshops a wide range of integrated digital marketing services, among them next-generation online ad forms, technology platforms and metrics. MSN will also apply a psychological full-nelson to ensure that agencies take its approach seriously by presenting the same proposition direct to their clients.

MSN will portray the program as a key distinction between itself and AOL Time Warner – recently successful in signing major cross-media deals [WAMN: 16-Jul-01] – and Yahoo!

Part of the drum-banging will include the quarterly anointment of a so-called Premier Partner, a Fortune 500 company which having signed on the dotted line is entitled to priority access to all MSN’s bells and whistles such as its .NET web-distributed software and consulting services. “We want to help companies build their infrastructure,” said newly appointed vice president of MSN America Richard Bray.

Agency Alliance partners will also receive regular briefings on MSN's marketing offerings, tools and research. The software Goliath recently named Boston i-shop Digitas as the debutante in the program [WAMN: 09-Aug-01].

News source: Advertising Age - Daily Deadline