Yahoo's Mayer Addresses Agencies; Anti-Trust Suit For Bazaarvoice

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Yahoo’s Mayer Underwhelms Agencies

With major ad agency hotshots all converged on Las Vegas for CES this week, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer used the opportunity to shore up some relationships to eradicate lingering uncertainty on the part of the chiefs of Madison Ave. Although agency executives didn’t get any large plans or blueprints for the future, Adweek’s Mike Shields reports, Mayer did provide a clearer glimpse of her priorities. In essence, the word is that more streamlining is to come, something that didn’t exactly excite the agencies. “Advertisers don’t see the spark any more,” said one attendee. “Yahoo is low on the list and not just alphabetically.” Read the rest.

Sapient Buys ‘What If’ Media Spend Modeler

Sapient has bought a company in the media mix modeling/attribution space. Mphasize offers
“custom-built, proprietary analytics tools and services [that] help marketing executives make optimal budget allocation and planning decisions.” The Connecticut company does offline as well as online channels -- guesstimating ROI for hypothetical combinations of spend across display, search, broadcast, print, and other media. Terms weren’t disclosed. Press release.

Oh, the Humanity

A blog post from Right Media examines the “human capital” aligning behind programmatic media. It cites a rumored influx of financial industry analysts into the ad biz. “As these so-called 'quants' face the prospect of a fresh professional challenge, their new employers believe they are adding a valuable secret weapon. In short, these quantitative analysts are helping brands determine who their most promising prospects are and that ensure relevant messaging gets to them faster than ever before.” Read more.

Triad Media Handoff

Private equity firm HIG Growth Partners is selling its stake in Triad Retail Media to another investment group run by Dan Gilbert, who also owns the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team. Terms were undisclosed. Triad develops and manages websites for retailers like Walmart, Toys R Us and CVS. Read the release. Following the handoff, Triad is looking to expand to Europe and focus on new projects in mobile technologies and social media. “Our next step is to work closely with our new partners to double the company over the next 36 months," said Triad CEO Greg Murtagh to Richard Mullins, a reporter for the company’s hometown paper, The Tampa Tribune. Read the rest.

Retailigence Raises

Location-based marketing provider Retailigence Corp has raised $5.7 million in equity for several individual investors. Read the SEC filing (via San Jose Biz Journal). It’s not clear what the company plans to use the proceeds for. Under President Andrew Geiger, Retailigence has spent the past year offering its services to brick and mortar retailers looking for ways of combating the growing use of “showrooming” by store shoppers searching for cheaper deals on their smartphones.

Anti-Competition And The ‘Little Guy’

“U.S. government files anti-trust lawsuit”... if you thought Google was the target, you thought wrong. Yesterday, the U.S. charged Bazaarvoice with anti-competitive behavior by acquiring Power Reviews for $168.2 million in June - and allegedly monopolizing the social commerce reviews business.  Who knew?  Read the Department of Justice’s release. The Wall Street Journal points out that Bazaarvoice executives had apparently trumpeted their ownership of the “reviews” sector to the DOJ including this: “The company’s current chief executive officer wrote that Bazaarvoice had ‘literally, no other competitors’ beyond PowerReviews.” Read more.  Bazaarvoice scooped up ecommerce media player Longboard Media in November to presumably monetize the reviews biz and its ecommerce publisher network.

Buy-Side View

CEO Jeff Green of buy-side ad tech vendor The Trade Desk tries to make his best case for why Publishers should enter into the world of real-time bidding and programmatic media.  His final point is one of survival, “What’s the alternative for a publisher? If publishers try to dig in their heels and bypass the need to play on exchanges, don’t be surprised when you hear advertisers say, “That’s okay. We’ll try someone else. There’s almost no single publisher that’s a must have on my media plan.’”  Read more.

Infographic Friday

UK-based trading desk Infectious Media aggregates real-time bidding (RTB) data points into a graphic of monumental proportions.  See it now.

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