Twitter has signed its biggest advertising deal to date with an agreement with Starcom MediaVest Group, which is reported to be worth hundreds of million of dollars.
According to a report in the FT, the TV-linked deal is another reflection of Twitter's importance as the second screen and its increasingly symbiotic relationship with television.
The deal, which is described as a partnership, means that Starcom's clients, which include Procter & Gamble, Microsoft and Coca-Cola, will potentially receive preferred advertising slots on Twitter as well as access to research and data and new products.
One of those new products will be the "In-tweet mobile survey", which was announced in October, in a partnership with Nielsen. The brand surveys on Twitter appear to users just like a Promoted Tweet within a user’s timeline on both mobile devices and the desktop. They will invite users to fill out a survey directly within the Tweet itself.
However, the deal is not exclusive and leaves the way open for Twitter to sign similar agreements with rivals such as WPP Group's GroupM, Dentsu-owned Aegis and Omnicom.
The deal with the Publicis Groupe-owned media planning and buying agency follows recent comments by UKTV chief executive Darren Childs who said that Twitter drives UKTV's ratings.
Twitter has been working closely with broadcasters in the US and UK to forge a deeper relationship highlighted by its acquisition earlier this year of social TV analytics firm Bluefin Labs.
Speaking about the deal, which has been announced before US broadcasters announce their new slate of programming for the current year in their upfront presentations Adam Bain, Twitter’s president of global revenue, said that the TV industry has been focused in the wrong area.
"We think that the industry had been focused in the wrong area, which was making a decision between Twitter and TV. That’s not what we believe. Twitter is a bridge," he said.
Laura Desmond, global chief executive of Starcom MediaVest Group, told the Financial Times that Twitter, in a very short period of time, had gone from an experiment to something that is essential.
"This signals to the marketplace how we want to conduct business and measure the implications. This is the future. It’s convergence," she said.
In March it was reported that Twitter is on course to hit global advertising revenues of $1bn in 2014 and will earn $582.8m in 2013.
More than 50% of that is expected to be made up of mobile advertising, according to a forecast from eMarketer.
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