Canoe Ventures in Interactive TV Advertising Partnership with VCU Brandcenter

--Establishes Scholarship Fund for VCU Brandcenter Students

Canoe Ventures, the company tasked with implementing the US cable industry's plans for interactive and addressable advertising (note: its backers are Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Charter, Cablevision and Bright House), last week announced the formation of a "Partnership for Innovation in Television Advertising" with the VCU Brandcenter, the graduate advertising and branding program of the School of Mass Communications at Virginia Commonwealth University. According to the company, the partnership is intended to support VCU Brandcenter educational activities that are designed to teach graduate students to apply new technologies that are transforming television into a more compelling and competitive marketing medium.

As a result of the partnership, Canoe Ventures says, interactive TV advertising will become a bigger part of the school's curriculum, culminating in a project next year that will challenge students to explore "innovative applications of cable's newest advanced ad technologies." As part of the launch of the partnership, Canoe Ventures has established a $10,000 scholarship fund. "Canoe Ventures is working with the industry to advance the medium in ways that should be interesting to all advertisers," VCU Brandcenter director, Rick Boyko, said in a prepared statement. "We are pleased to be able to tap into their knowledge and we're grateful to the commitment they're making to tomorrow's advertising leadership through their scholarship. This announcement comes at an opportune time as we celebrate another Advertising Week in New York City and the beginning of another school year." Added Canoe CEO, David Verklin: "As a founding board member of the VCU Brandcenter, I've seen it grow to become one of the most influential graduate schools in the industry. The Brandcenter's multi-disciplined approach--integrating creativity, technology, strategy and brand management--reflects the convergence of factors that is shaping our world. Our scholarship commemorates Canoe's commitment to fostering the next generation of not only the technologies, but also the talent, that will shape the future of advertising. We are leading the industry to evolve with the medium."

(Note: for two other examples of partnerships between the interactive TV industry and academia, see Will Kreth's essay on the work of OEDN in the August 27th edition of Rick Howe's regular column, "The iTV Doctor Is In!")

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