Priceline.com Buys Kayak; Eloqua's Owned, Earned, Display

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kayakHere's today's AdExchanger.com news round-up... Want it by email? Sign-up here.

Travel M&A

Online travel company Priceline.com has acquired Kayak for $1.8 billion. Read the release. The scream you hear is an ad platform (Kenshoo?) losing its Kayak budget. But, hold the phone! - maybe not. As travel trade Skift's Rafat Ali points out, "Kayak [is] to remain a separate brand, with the same management." Read the analysis.

Mobile Audience

Mobile website enabler OnSwipe has released new “content consumption” data. Here’s an interesting nugget between iPad and iPhone audience: “Despite iPad owning a smaller share of the mobile market than iPhone, 54.5% of all mobile web traffic comes from iPad users—almost triple that of iPhone traffic at 19.05%. iPad users also spend 56.9% more time per session than iPhone users.” Download the report (PDF).  iPad is “lean back”; iPhone, “lean forward." Run with it!  In related news, Fotopedia has launch an iPad ad product called AdStories. See the release.

Maison Du Retargeter

Check out these photos in French publication JDN of ad retargeter Criteo’s swank digs in Paris.  The offices are replete with 49 conference rooms, outdoor terraces - and dwarves! Criteo and its reported 700 employees are surely the envy of the online ad tech world and beyond.

Owned, Earned, Display

Everybody is getting into display advertising. Marketing automation company Eloqua announced its entry into the space yesterday with their AdFocus platform supported by Demandbase and Bizo. Destination CRM reports that Eloqua wants to add the paid media compontent to its CRM offering for B2B marketers. Destination CRM’s Judith Aquino adds, "So far, only a handful of companies have tested AdFocus, such as electronic signature provider DocuSign and Vistage, a firm that specializes in executive coaching. AdFocus will be available to customers starting in January." Read it. Consider that Docusign example - talk about targeting decision makers!

Programmatic Publishing

In a piece titled “‘Programmatic’ is not just RTB” on eConsultancy, Maxifier’s Tony Katsur echoes his own company’s initiatives when discussing publishers, recently publicized, programmatic challenges: “What this issue with the New York Times highlights is the need for publishers to shift focus and start using the tools and technology that have been developed specifically for the premium arena. In particular, there needs to be a shift in balance from an obsession with volume to a focus on value.” Read more.

Search Vs. The Publisher

In The New York Times, David Carr sees momentum in Europe among publishers who think their pockets are being picked by Google and its search engine results. He says, “There’s a large boycott under way in Brazil, punishing legislation is gaining momentum in Germany, and there is talk of a similar effort in France.” Read it. … seems like some publishers are saying the same thing about programmatic buying.

'Global Ad Pulse' Weakens

Global marketers are getting more nervous about ad spending, Nielsen’s Global AdView Pulse report finds. Even digital is not immune. “Global online consumer confidence  decreases three index points in Q2  2012 to 91,” Nielsen says of its survey taken during Q2. (The report can be accessed here.) Spoiler alert: there is no specific mention of programmatic buying or other digital ad platform trends. Aside from that, there are some bright spots among the gloomy advertisers, particularly telecom, auto and entertainment categories -- areas that have started to shift dollars from TV to online. If you don’t have time for the the whole report, a Nielsen blog post has a quick summary.

Co-opting Mobile ‘Showrooming’

Brick and mortar retailers appear to have woken up to the practice of showrooming this year. So instead of simply ignoring customers who come in and compare in-store prices with the same products online, companies are now looking to mobile coupons as the answer to virtual competition. The NYT’s Claire Cain Miller profiles RetailMeNot, which operates an online coupon network,that it working with 275 retailers, including Macy’s and Target, to reach mall shoppers via their cellphones. So why should a retailer rely on a coupon network as opposed to their own branded shopping site? “Everyday holiday shoppers aren’t going to download every retailer’s app,” explains John Faith, SVP of mobile at WhaleShark, RetailMeNot’s. Read more.

Free Speech and DNT

Rocket Fuel’s Richard Frankel makes the case against behavioral advertising topic of the year(s) Do-Not-Track on Business Insider. He offers, “By reducing the effectiveness of advertising, Do-Not-Track and other restrictions on data usage would reduce publishers’ advertising revenues. This would dramatically impact the availability of content created for the web. That, in turn, would stifle investigative reporting, dissuade open discussion and commentary, and muffle free speech.” Read it.

Picard On Platforms

On iMedia Connection, Rare Crowds CEO Eric Picard talks about ad platforms and their inner workings. He writes, “The ad technology space is now API driven, just like the rest of the web technology space. The significance of this change hasn't hit a lot of people yet, but it will. The way this change will affect almost all the companies in ad technology will have an impact on everything: buying, selling, optimization, analytics, and investing.” Read it.

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