Monster’s Ad Evolution

It’s been a few weeks since Monster unveiled its Career Ad Network as a way to help customers find their way to the online media space.

The new product, essentially, seeks to transform job postings into targeted ads that are distributed across the Web.

While there is no question that Monster is pushing out into other media areas, Mark Mehler of CareerXroads finds that the online job board is evolving into a new breed.

“If you talk to Monster about it, they will tell you they are taking ads from clients, redoing art, and posting it on other websites,” says Mehler. “This service is what an ad agency does.”

As Dee Dellovo, Monster’s director of new media products, told ERE last week, “classified has been defined by companies like ourselves. There is a lot of growth left in search advertising, and Monster is strong in classified space, but we needed to push out in other online media ventures as well.”

Indeed, the Newspaper Association of America recently reported that overall print advertising fell 1.7% in 2006, to $46.6 billion, compared to a 31.5% increase in online advertising to $2.7 billion.

However, Yahoo!’s Matt Martone says it’s no wonder why Monster is getting into other services. He writes on his blog:

There has been a major paradigm shift in the recruitment advertising space. What used to be a Monster-dominated space has transformed to one where media companies and search engines are far better positioned.

Last month, Monster formed an alliance with Adicio, a provider of online classified advertising software for more than 200 newspapers.

This means Adicio’s existing clients can now use Monster’s tools and resources to post employment ads or even engage in a full co-branded partnership. As part of the deal, Monster says its customers will be able to purchase print advertising from Adicio media partners via Monster’s new “click-to-print” service, to transform online ads into print.

“For Monster to partner with Adicio, get involved with newspapers, and become an ad agency, this is a change-in-the-landscape thing,” Mehler says.

In August 2006, Monster Worldwide, the parent company of Monster, sold TMP Worldwide Advertising & Communications to Veronis Suhler Stevenson, a media-focused private equity company.

The sale included all of the advertising and communications business in the United States and Canada.

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At the time of the sale, Monster Worldwide said the transaction would allow Monster and TMP “to focus more directly on their respective core competencies and drive the growth of their individual businesses. Monster Worldwide will focus its resources on the continued global expansion and growth of its online recruitment operations and the Monster brand. In turn, TMP Worldwide Advertising & Communications will build on and expand its role as a leading recruitment advertising agency, serving private and public sector clients.”

In August, then-CEO Andrew McKelvey stated in a news release that Monster’s “future growth and expansion will be achieved by devoting our focus and resources to the significant growth opportunities in global online recruiting and to the development of our broader portfolio of online properties.”

“TMP was clearly a recruitment ad agency, but this new business and new product doesn’t put Monster in the agency business. I see it as a Monster innovation in the online advertising space,” says Bryan Burdick, COO at ZoomInfo.

“Monster’s move here is a pretty interesting way to leverage its brand in the recruitment advertising space, and also to leverage reach on the Web. It’s an evolution happening in the online help-wanted space online,” says Burdick, who was previously Chief Marketing Officer at TMP Worldwide.

In addition, Monster is taking a consultative approach to offset selling TMP in order “to capture some of that revenue they ended up losing,” according to the anonymous author of the satirical blog Workfarce.

“What we’re seeing is the decline of job boards; they will always be alive but they will not be used to the extent that they were in the past. Monster needs to be flexible — and that goes for anyone who relies on job postings. I think that’s what they’re doing with the ad network,” says the Workfarce author.

Shares of Monster fell 13% in trading on Wednesday, the biggest plunge for the company since 2003.

This was after the company reported a lower revenue outlook of $328 to $329 million, below the previously expected $330 to $338 million.

Elaine Rigoli has nearly 15 years of experience managing content and community for various B2B and consumer websites. Elaine has written thousands of business and technology articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and eWeek, among other publications.

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