Berlusconi’s TV, Publishing Groups Form Online Ad Sales JV

Would you buy a banner ad from Silivio Berlusconi? The Mediaset TV group and Mondadori publishing company, each controlled by the Italian prime minister’s Fininvest, are embarking on an online advertising JV.

The pair are creating a new, 50/50-owned company to sell ads across their own sites and those of third-party publishers whose ads are already sold by Mondadori Pubblicità or Digitalia 08, the digital advertising wing of Mediaset’s ad business Publitalia ’80. But the agreement won’t extend to video advertising.

Mondadori Pubblicità chair and MD Angelo Sajeva will be chairman, while Yves Confalonieri, who is deputy chair of Digitalia 08 and head of Mediaset’s RTI Interactive Media, will be deputy chair. The JV will work out of Mondadori Pubblicità’s Segrate HQ. Release.

It’s the latest attempt by big media to gain scale in Italian online ads. Back in January, RCS and L’Espresso, two of the country’s biggest newspaper companies, joined forces to create a performance-related advertising consortium, the Premium Publisher Network, to counteract falling revenues. The pair represent 40 percent of the Italian online ad market, according to Audiweb.