I was prepped two days ago for a Search Engine Land post that announced Ask.com To Launch Contextual Advertising Product. In short, Ask.com's Search Listings division is launching a contextual product to compete with Google AdSense, Yahoo! Publisher Network and Microsoft contentAds. Ask.com's program is named ASL Contextual Advertising and will go live the week of May 21st on IAC's properties.
I honestly have no idea when individual publishers will be able to apply to join the Ask.com Contextual program, but as soon as I know, I will let you know.
The Ask.com blog posted a couple screen captures showing off a sample ad. Here is one of those ads:
How is this product different from our competitors, you ask? Three important reasons, each one a paradigm shift:
* It gives publishers more control over yield and relevancy * It gives publishers more creative ad unit opportunities * It allows both advertisers and publishers more control over where and what ads are displayed
DigitalPoint Forums has a pretty long thread on this announcement. They are extremely excited for a competitor to enter the market, outside of Yahoo and Google. Time will tell when they launch it to these publishers.
Forum discussion at DigitalPoint Forums.