Outsourcing has hit Madison Avenue.
Until recently, Web ads were produced mostly by creative types in downtown lofts in places like New York City or San Francisco. But big marketers are now increasingly shipping off that work to little-known businesses in places like Costa Rica and Bulgaria.
The outsourced jobs at this point still only account for a fraction of the total digital-production work by U.S. companies, but U.S. ad executives say it is an increasingly vibrant and important service. It comes as marketers are devoting bigger portions of their budgets to digital-ad campaigns, which in turn are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Instead of creating a single Web site with a handful of display ads, marketers are designing intricate promotions that include a series of Web sites, emails, search ads, display ads, videos and games. And each of these different formats can have thousands of variations of colors, text and graphics, so that the ads are tailored to a consumer's likely interests.