E-consultancy has just published a 2008 version of our Buyer’s Guide for ad serving solutions - an area of the industry that has rarely been out of the headlines recently and seems likely to stay at the centre of things this year.

The guide features detailed profiles of 10 ad serving vendors, as well as a rundown of the trends that have reshaped the market in recent months.

These, of course, include the string of acquisitions that have taken place in the sector as the likes of Google, AOL, Microsoft and WPP seek to strengthen their online advertising presence with a focus on integrated technology and services.

We also look at the concerns those buyouts have raised among consumers, clients and regulators, particularly in the area of privacy and data protection. 

Despite this consolidation, ad serving tools for both advertisers and publishers are steadily becoming more sophisticated.

Basic ad serving solutions have increasingly become commoditised, prompting vendors to develop new functionality and exploit the emergence of new digital ad platforms such as video and gaming.

Advertisers have sought to make better use of targeting technology and continue to push for improved measurement and planning tools. Publishers are also looking for functions to help them automatically optimise revenues from different parts of their sites. 

As well as a discussion of these trends, the Guide includes a SWOT analysis of the marketplace, a rundown of costs and some tips and pitfalls to help you find the right supplier.

The Guide can be downloaded here. A free sample is available to see the full list of contents.