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Associated New Media taps Overture as search partner

LONDON - Associated New Media has signed search firm Overture to provide paid search results in the UK to three of its online properties.

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The deal is for Associated New Media sites femail.co.uk, londonjobs.co.uk, This is London and This is Money.

Together the sites, along with This is Travel, generate more than 30m page impressions and 2.4m unique users a month.

Under the terms of the agreement, Overture's paid placement search results will be returned whenever a user conducts a search on any of the three Associated sites.

Upon typing a request into a search box entitled "Search the Web and this site", five of Overture's sponsored search results will be returned, followed by search results from content within the site.

Mark Milner, group commercial director of Associated New Media, said "ANM's network boasts an enormous depth and breadth of market-leading, useful and entertaining content. We believe that introducing Overture's top five UK sponsored links will add significant value to our users by enabling them to look at relevant external websites as well as the site's internal search results. The deal is an extremely good example of ANM's commercial team working creatively to provide useful editorial content, which is also an effective source of revenue."

ANM is the digital publishing division of Associated Newspapers, which publishes the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday, Metro and the Evening Standard.

"ANM publishes some of the UK's most successful new-media resources and services and its decision to partner with Overture strengthens our leadership position and commitment to broadening our network," Martin Child, managing director of Overture Northern Europe, said.

Overture's sponsored listings are generated by advertisers who bid for placement on search terms relevant to their business. Overture's editorial team in Dublin reviews these search listings before distributing the results to the company's search partner network, which includes many of the internet's most popular destination sites, such as AOL, Freeserve, Lycos, MSN and Tiscali.

Overture also announced that it will launch its paid placement search service in Australia by the end of this year. The paid search market in Australia is projected to grow at an annual rate of 86% to approximately $41m (£16.8m) by 2005, according to a 2002 Jupiter Research report.

The company said that it has opened an office in Sydney and appointed a managing director to build and lead its Australian business. Overture Australia will join existing operations in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Japan and South Korea. Additionally, the company said that its previously announced plans to launch in Spain, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland and Scandinavia by the end of the year remain on track.

"Australia is a very promising commercial search market," Brian Steel, president of Overture International, said. "We are confident that the superior quality and value Overture provides its affiliate partners and 95,000 advertisers in the US, Europe and Asia will be equally well received in Australia."

Overture has named Mel Bohse as managing director of the Sydney office. Bohse was previously vice-president of AltaVista Asia Pacific.

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