mocoNews - Report: Vodafone UK May Replace Yahoo As Mobile Ad Sales Partner

Dianne See Morrison
mocoNews.net
Wednesday, March 25, 2009; 4:59 PM

Yahoo's mobile ad sales deal with Vodafone (NYSE: VOD) in the UK may not be renewed when the exclusive contract between the two ends next month. NMA.co.uk reports that industry sources have said that the carrier, which recently laid off its UK head of mobile Shan Henderson, is rethinking its mobile ad strategy, and is apparently looking over a new sales partner, although no official proposal requests have yet been distributed.

The original ad sales deal between the two companies was struck in November 2006, with the first advertising debuting in June 2007. An end to the partnership would be "a blow" to Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO), which has been pushing aggressively into mobile in both ad sales and search default deals as its online business struggles. Including Vodafone, Yahoo has ad sales deals with three of the UK's five operators. Aside from Vodafone, it currently handles the mobile ad sales for T-Mobile and Three. It is the default search provider, meanwhile, for four of the UK's five operators, including Orange, O2, T-Mobile and Three. It also has a default search deal in place with MVNO Virgin Mobile.

The ad sales deal is separate from the widely circulated report earlier this month that Vodafone may be dumping Google (NSDQ: GOOG) in favor of Yahoo as its Europe-wide default search partner.

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