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TiVo may let you search for TV ads
Report: Digital recorder maker, agencies in talks to allow viewers to search for different products.
November 28, 2005: 6:43 AM EST

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - TiVo, the television service that has made it easier for viewers to skip commercials, is reportedly close to working out a deal with major advertising agencies to make it easier for its customers to watch the commercials they want to view.

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that TiVo (Research), which makes digital video recorders, is working on a new offering with units of Interpublic Group (Research), Omnicom Group (Research) and Publicis Groupe (Research), as well as independent Dallas ad agency Richards Group and the ad sales division of No. 1 cable operator Comcast (Research).

The paper reported that the offering would allow customers to list a profile of products on their television screens in which they are interested, either by broad categories or specific brand names. TiVo would then download relevant commercials to TiVo recorders over the Internet or traditional broadcast signals, according to the report.

"We're flipping the dynamic," TiVo CEO and president Tom Rogers told the paper. "If you are in the market for a product, and you have no idea when commercials related to that kind of product are going to appear, it (traditional ad placement) doesn't help you very much."

TiVo already allows advertisers whose commercials are being watched or recorded by users to let those viewers click a button for a more detailed pitch for that product, such as a full movie trailer or a short film about an automobile. But advertisers have traditionally seen TiVo as more of a threat than opportunity because it allows viewers, even those watching a program in nearly real time, to easily fast-forward past commercials.

The paper reports that the new offering is expected to launch in the spring. TiVo and the advertising agencies are discussing allowing advertisers bid on keywords as they do when buying ads on Internet search engines, according to the report.

"The Google (Research) model is something we're reviewing," Davina Kent, TiVo's vice president for national advertising sales, told the paper, referring to the Internet search engine that was a leader in the so-called "paid search" business.

For more on a recent agreement between TiVo and Apple, click here.  Top of page

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