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AOL signs deal with Canadian media buyer for video offerings

The AOL logo is seen on the outside of the building housing the companies corporate headquarters in New York in this file photo.

Lucas Jackson/REUTERS

AOL Canada has signed an exclusive deal with agency GroupM to sell advertising on its new lineup of original shows, such as the return of a documentary about the New York City Ballet and a series featuring the actor James Franco.

GroupM's agencies Mindshare, Maxus, Mediacom and MEC will be the exclusive advertising partner for 15 AOL shows in Canada. The shows will be seen on, AOL-owned site The Huffington Post Canada, and other sites within its network.

Digital media such as YouTube and AOL have in recent years begun borrowing a marketing format from television: the upfront presentation. This is the event that TV networks have traditionally hosted every spring to tout their new programming and woo the agencies who buy media time on behalf of advertisers. The digital versions of these events are often called "newfronts."

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And it's that time of year again. In New York on Tuesday AOL promoted its video series, including "Making a Scene with James Franco" in which the actor discusses his favourite movie scense with other artists. Sony Corp. will be touting the Jerry Seinfeld series that has won attention, "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee." And on Monday Microsoft presented content that will appear on its XBox devices such as "Possibilia," an interactive film about a couple's breakup.

GroupM's deal with AOL will include sponsorship of the show "Makers," which profiles influential women in history – the deal means that a Canadian version of the show with Canadian women will be produced.

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