Wall Street Journal signs up with Microsoft for Contextual and Paid Search advertising

Microsoft will become the exclusive third-party ad provider for the Wall Street Journal network of sites, including The Wall Street Journal Online, Barrons.com, MarketWatch.com, AllThingsD.com and others.  From the press release:

“This deal is a significant win for Microsoft for two key reasons. First, it makes the extended Microsoft advertising network the premier destination for advertisers interested in reaching financially minded users, as it complements our offering in this vertical through MSN Money and other syndication partners,” said Brian McAndrews, senior vice president, Advertiser and Publisher Solutions at Microsoft. “Second, this deal is a strong indicator that we’re gaining significant traction with our advertising platform. The Wall Street Journal Digital Network is one of the largest financial services publishers in a very dynamic vertical segment, and we’re delighted to add it to our portfolio.”

In somewhat related news, Microsoft also recently announced a partnership with the Mayo Clinic to develop consumer health management tools, using the HealthVault platform.  As much as we lamented Microsoft’s old school ways of doing business, we expect to continue to see aggressive signings like this to move adCenter, Health Vault, and other Live offerings forward.  While Microsoft may not shine at endearing the tech press to them, there’s no doubt they are very good at behind the scenes negotiations.