Yahoo Wins Bebo Ads Deal For UK, Ireland; Important Score In Social Network Jostling

Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) has won an important multi-year deal to manage the majority of display and video advertising on Bebo in the UK and Ireland; Yahoo already powered Bebo’s site search. Yahoo also will integrate its growing Yahoo Answers property into the social network and build a new Bebo browser toolbar so users can use functions of the site without having to visit it directly.

It’s certainly a win for Yahoo in the continuing fight against advertising services from Google, which last year snagged the equivalent deal with MySpace, and Microsoft, which is powering display ads for Facebook up to 2011. Bebo was the most popular social network in the UK in July, just ahead of MySpace, according to comScore, though Nielsen//NetRatings puts it third behind MySpace and Facebook. Bebo claims 11.6 million users in UK and Ireland and is also strong in New Zealand.

Reuters: Joanna Shields, president of Bebo International, said she would be keen to expand the agreement globally. Yahoo Europe MD Toby Coppel: “We think this is a groundbreaking move in the online advertising industry in the UK and Ireland … It’s a big deal.”

Bebo’s sales team will continue to work on offering sponsorship and marketing solutions, such as the brand integration available through its online drama, KateModern (essentially product placement – recent KateModern episodes featured characters from a new Buena Vista movie, for example).