iMedia Connection

Q&A with NetShelter's Peyman Nilforoush

Brad Berens

Recently, NetShelter, Inc., a site representation company for premium content technology websites, launched the NetShelter Branded Network (NSBN) enabling advertisers to buy site-specific combinations of top branded technology websites. The aggregated audience for NSBN in the United States is nearly 1.9 million unique users, making it the largest branded technology vertical. iMedia quizzed Peyman Nilforoush, co-CEO, head of agency relations for NetShelter about the new network:

Brad Berens: You already run a well-established network of technology sites. What is different about the Branded Network?

Peyman Nilforoush: The Branded Network (NSBN) complements our highly successful "Content Network" and responds to requests from a number of clients that we enable them to buy sites as individual entities and not as part of a network.

NSBN empowers site-specific buys across branded technology sites that are third party (BPA) audited, offering full site transparency and brand protection to agencies and their clients. It provides a higher level of quality and safety they receive from other leading technology media networks such as CNET, Ziff Davis and CMP, but at lower prices.

Berens: "Technology" has become an amorphous term meaning lots of different things to different people. What kind of technology advertisers can benefit from the Branded Network?

Nilforoush: NetShelter sites cover six tech audience segments: IT Decision Makers, Small-Medium Businesses, Developers, Tech Enthusiasts, Tech Consumers and Hardcore Gamers.

Our NSBN enables agencies and their clients to execute an integrated level of banner-and-beyond media buys and truly connect with these highly targeted, niche audiences from our diverse list of branded tech sites. To paint a quick picture, let's say a client is looking to introduce a cool new laptop and wants a presence beyond just banners. Since with NSBN we control all of the site inventory we could put them on a site like and fully integrate the page layout/background theme of the site to co-brand with their campaign.

The idea is that NSBN goes above and beyond IAB banners and helps media buyers execute out-of-the-box campaigns that distinguish their clients' brands.

Berens: Your launch announcement talks about "brand protection" for advertisers. Exactly what is that?

Nilforoush: The online ad network industry has evolved from horizontal or blind ad networks running client's campaigns alongside inappropriate content to Vertical Ad Networks where the media buyer and the client know exactly where their ads are running-- in an environment of high composition audiences. The efficiency of this is obvious.

We have been fully transparent with our Content Network sites from the very beginning. With NSBN we are raising the bar and enable "brand protection" for advertisers through exclusive representation, branded technology sites, third-party BPA audits and of course full site transparency.

NSBN "brand protection" from the client or media buyer's perspective means not only will they know exactly where their ads are running but further they can plan and fully project campaign response rate based on audited site statistics, which leads to accurate and accountable media plans with significantly smaller error margins. So bottom line, NSBN's "brand protection" means no surprises and guaranteed results!

Berens: What advantages does the Branded Network provide over a buy in the technology sections of a portal like Yahoo!?

Nilforoush: Targeted reach to very specific tech influencer audiences that online marketers can not achieve through section-specific buys on portals. As a one-stop shop to engage reputable brands with affluent tech-influencer target audiences, NSBN offers a unique opportunity to brand marketers. Also knowing about the best technology sites is our only business. Our knowledge of the tech industry and its audiences is unmatched by any general interest online site or network.

Berens: New online ad networks seem be to sprouting like weeds. How do you see all of them playing out in the future?

Nilforoush: With the global online advertising market forecasted to reach $55 to 65 billion by 2010 there is an ever increasing need for our industry to come together and be accountable to established brands. Online ad networks will play a very critical role in that.

Over the past two to three years we have seen the evolution of online ad networks becoming much more accountable toward direct-response marketers and have seen rewards in the way of attracting dollars from traditional DR media. The upcoming years will see a significant shift of branding dollars from TV to online and therefore an increasing surge of brand marketers, and the ability to execute beyond-banner media buys across highly transparent ad inventory will become a necessity.

Online ad networks that understand this will be highly rewarded and those that don't will not be able to handle the demands of these advertisers. Established Vertical Ad Networks such as NetShelter, Jumpstart Automotive Media and Travel Ad Network are certainly in a position to handle the demand of brand marketers.

Brad Berens is iMedia Connection's executive editor. Read full bio.