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Canoe Ventures Stalls First Launch

25 Jun, 2009 Response This Week

NEW YORK – Canoe Ventures, the collaboration formed by the nation’s six largest cable operators, suspended the trial of its first advertising product before it was even launched. In last week’s announcement, the company said it would discontinue “community addressable messaging” at this time, a platform that was designed to send ads to households based on income, age and other factors.

The company cited issues with older cable systems and scheduling ads more than a week before airdate as reasons for delaying the launch. In addition, those cable operators with Motorola receivers would have to upgrade for the ads to work. As David Verklin, Canoe’s CEO put it, “We were trying to use 20th century technology to enable a 21st century, advanced advertising product.”

Canoe still plans to launch interactive ads to 10 million homes in fourth-quarter 2009 or first-quarter 2010, which will allow consumers to press a button to receive promotional materials for a product or service they are viewing. It is also working with satellite operators to expand into future products.

“Although Canoe’s early products are built on cable’s infrastructure, the company is in the business of making TV a more robust platform for everyone,” says Dana Runnells, a spokeswoman for Canoe. “We expect to grow and evolve with the media landscape and eventually reach out to other video providers – look for ways we all can cooperate in the best interest of programmers and viewers.”

A new launch date for community addressable messaging has not yet been set.

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