National advertising and digital-marketing company AdCellerant and Voice Media Group, parent company of the Phoenix New Times and six other newsweeklies, have launched a programmatic advertising network for cannabis businesses.
Programmatic advertising refers to a variety of methods by which display ads are purchased and published automatically, with the idea being that humans can spend more time strategizing with clients and doing creative work. The new network is "an entirely new service that will allow marijuana entrepreneurs to market themselves more effectively on the Internet," the companies said in a joint announcement on Tuesday.
Wherever marijuana or medical marijuana has been made legal in the country, AdCellerant will work with VMG to promote a company, said the announcement. It's a needed marketing service because many digital ad companies hesitate to work with cannabis companies out of fear of breaking federal law. The network doesn't allow visual displays of cannabis products and use of the word "marijuana."
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Testing of the network has been under way for a while with more than 30 companies, including Green Solutions, All Greens, and Bloom Dispensary.
"We are excited to bring to market an advertising solution that has been around for years for small businesses, yet has been out of reach for cannabis clients up until this point," said Scott Tobias, CEO of VMG.
Brock Berry, co-founder and CEO of AdCellerant, said the programmatic display-ad network will benefit many of his company's clients, especially those who already work on print advertising services with cannabis businesses.