IAC and HealthCentral Form Ad Network

By Zachary A. Goldfarb

Arlington-based HealthCentral Network, a collection of health Web sites, and Barry Diller's IAC announced today that they are partnering to launch an online advertising network targeting manufacturers of prescription and over-the-counter drugs and other health-related products.

The ads will be shown on HealthCentral sites, which focus on particular diseases and conditions, as well as on IAC's wide range of properties, including Evite, Ticketmaster and others. HealthCentral and IAC say their sites combined reach 55 million monthly unique visitors.

Under the agreement, HealthCentral will become the exclusive seller of pharmaceutical advertising for IAC sites. So, for example, if a drugmaker wants to buy ads on Ticketmaster, it will have to go through HealthCentral. And IAC will become HealthCentral's major advertising provider for over-the-counter drugs and consumer-packaged goods.

With their array of sites, the two companies say they are ideally placed to reach a key demographic for health advertisers: college-educated women between age 35 and 55 with above-average incomes.

IAC bought a significant minority stake in HealthCentral earlier this year valued at about $50 million. Other investors include top names in venture capital and private equity, including Polaris Venture Partners, the Carlyle Group, Sequoia Capital and Allen & Co. Diller, among others, has joined HealthCentral's board. The company's chief executive is Christopher Schroeder, former chief executive and publisher of WashingtonPost.Newsweek Interactive.

"We are creating an expansive advertising network for pharmaceutical marketers who want to reach engaged consumers in a productive, efficient way," Schroeder said in a statement. "We are thrilled to be the first to market with a tool that will dramatically alter the advertising landscape in the medical and pharmaceutical online space. Simply said, this offering stands alone in its ability to provide reach, quality, product, and targeting."

By Zachary Goldfarb  |  April 16, 2008; 12:30 PM ET  | Category:  Healthcare
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