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Ad Industry Roundup: Job Numbers; Conde Nast; NBCU/Fox; AzoogleAds; Modernista; McDonald's; Omnicom

This story was written by David Kaplan.

-- Online jobs post first year-over-year decline: Online job vacancies posted an unusually poor last month, as the Conference Board said listings fell slightly by 21,200 from March 2007 to March 2008. Although just a 0.6 percent decline - there were 3.7 million online job postings in March '08 - this was the first time the Conference Board reported a decline since it began monitoring the space in May 2005,. The numbers reflect the slowing growth for online help wanteds in 42 states, of which 14 states were negative.

-- Magazines' Marketing Services Moves: The Journal checks in on the recent tech acquisitions made by magazine publishers Conde Nast and Meredith (NYSE: MDP) over the past few years. Rather than using the technology to enhance the experience on their respective magazine websites, the companies are focusing heavily on using their new tools to create their own ad campaigns. Conde Nast is introducing a new online campaign next week for clothing retailer Dillard's with help from social news site Reddit, which it purchased in late 2006. The ad program will let users vote on merchandise to be used in future ads. The Dillard campaign will also feature a Facebook app created by Conde Nast.

More after the jump.

-- NBCU, Fox Mobile Entertainment Try Search-Based, Targeted Mobile Ads: Both NBC Universal (NYSE: GE) and Fox Mobile Entertainment are working with ad network JumpTap on a targeted ad program based, in part, on users' previous JumpTap search queries. The ads will run on mobile sites for NBC Sports, Universal Pictures, USA Network, and on the new Fox Mobile Entertainment Network with programming like Family Guy, 24, The Simpsons and Prison BreakAdweek: Fox and NBC will still sell mobile ads as part of integrated deals; JumpTap will concentrate solely on mobile-specific campaigns for both. Fox release | NBCU release

-- Investigation over, AzoogleAds rebrands As Epic: After reaching a $1 million settlement with the Florida Attorney General over charges of deceptive practices related to ringtone offers, performance based ad net operator AzoogleAds is rebranding as Epic Advertising. It will keep the AzoogleAds name for its ad network. The company said it was changing its name in order to better reflect that it holds search engine marketing firm Bazaar Advertising, which it acquired last October, in addition to AzoogleAds.

-- Ad agency unveils newest digital work: its own website: While most agencies try to do the occasional redesign of their website to show their web graphics literacy, independent Boston shop Modernista has taken a different approach to demonstrating its web bona fides for its seventh site alteration. Instead of flashy art direction, seven-year-old Modernista's site is now all about the links: typing in redirects to its Wikipedia entry - and Wikipedia isn't happy; the non-profit site has posted a warning and asked Modernista "to cease this use of our website." Additionally links for items like "work" takes you to Modernista's TV reel on YouTube; its print samples are on Flickr and digital executions are on; "n3wz" is delivered via Google (NSDQ: GOOG) News, and a "contact" section lets users get in touch via AIM or Skype.

-- McDonald's stealthy online game: Talk about alternate reality: an online game called The Lost Ring debuted last month and apart from its Olympic theme, not much was known about it. Described as an "alternate reality" game that has users work together to solve puzzles, the big riddle about the site was its sponsor: McDonald's. Users eventually discovered that the food chain partnered with the International Olympic Committee as part of a promotion for this summer's Beijing games. Interactive ad shop AKQA came up with the campaign - McDonald's first foray into this kind of online sponsorship. In the meantime, McDonald's appears pleased to be found out, though it plans to keep an otherwise low profile until the game ends on August 24 - i.e., the closing of the Olympics.

-- Omnicom shop teams with Socialight on geo-targeting app: Organic, an Omnicom digital agency, is collaborating with mobile networking start-up Socialight on an application that combines local reviews and mobile geo-targeting. The project is dubbed an Urban MixTape app. It resembles a city guide's "things to do" list and then uses Socialight to connect the recommendations to specific spot. Users can also "remix" the list.

By David Kaplan

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