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Suing AdBlock Plus; Nielsen's Uncertain Future

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AdBlock Battle

Two French publishers, GESTE and the French IAB, are considering suing Eyeo GmbH, creators of AdBlock Plus, on the grounds that the software poses a threat to the advertising ecosystem. The legal proceedings are still in the consulting stage, with a formal complaint yet to be filed. In an installment for Monday Note, Frédéric Filloux explores what the legal action means for the digital ad market at large, and claims that “the rise of ad blockers is the offspring of two major trends: a continual deflation of digital ads economics, and the growing reliance on ad exchanges and Real Time Bidding, both pushing prices further down.” The “race to the bottom” meme ain’t dead yet. More.


MAGNA Report: CPGs Kick Digital Ad Spend Into High Gear

DPGA new report from Interpublic Group's MAGNA Global media research and buying arm reinforces earlier predictions that consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands would invest as much as $7 billion in digital advertising by 2018.

According to MAGNA’s 2015 Global Advertising Revenue Forecast, released Monday, verticals like CPG and pharmaceuticals, which once invested more heavily in traditional channels such as TV and shopper marketing, are increasing digital's share of their overall media mixes.

“Large mainstream brands,” as the MAGNA report described it, historically lagged in digital ad investments, but have begun to move past the exploration stage “due to the availability of new solutions allowing marketers and agencies to manage and monitor digital spending” in a more precise and transparent manner.

These tools include attribution and reporting, brand safety and advanced audience targeting tools, according to Vincent Letang, director of global forecasting for MAGNA Global.

Brands’ use of data to improve campaigns has catalyzed digital as a complement to, rather than replacement for, larger branding campaigns. Thus, more brands are buying on impressions (CPM) vs. clicks (CPC) or more performance-based pricing, contributing to the $21 billion allocated toward data-automated transactions this year.


Dark Social; Programmatic's The Word

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Deepest Darkest Social

Alexis Madrigal, who coined the term “dark social” in reference to untraceable web traffic on social sites, issued an update on the phenomenon in a piece for Fusion. According to data from Chartbeat, Madrigal says most of that traffic is percolating from Facebook’s mobile apps. “The takeaway is this: if you’re a media company, you are almost certainly underestimating your Facebook traffic,” Madrigal writes. “The only question is how much Facebook traffic you’re not counting. The bad news is that, if you didn’t know before, it should be even more clear now: Facebook owns web media distribution.” Gigaom has more.

(more…) CEO On Building Content, Commerce Credo Out Of Q&As, a knowledge resource site, has evolved from a basic wiki to a publisher and marketing tech provider.

“We’ve made a lot of positive changes to the site,” said David Karandish, CEO of, “have added support for Facebook, Google+ and Twitter for [gated] logins ( now has over 180 million registered users) and turned the Answers home page into a news feed on trending Q&As on subjects and categories consumers are interested in.”, whose parent Answers Corp. was acquired in August by funds associated with equity firm Apax Partners for an estimated $900 million, is investing in technology and sales talent to drive new revenue opportunities.

Answering The MarTech Call

Despite its tech investments, Karandish still sees as more of a publisher and platform and less of a marketing tech provider.

However, when acquired analytics company ForeSee for $200 million last December, it inherited 1,200 enterprise software customers, many of which are Retail Top 100 companies.

AT&T, for instance, uses ForeSee to run customer experience analysis on its U-verse and mobile sites and compares its scores against an aggregated index based on its competitors’ first-party data.

ForeSee wasn’t’s first tech acquisition. It gained a content syndication platform via its 2012 acquisition of online merchant review site ResellerRatings. It then acquired Webcollage and Easy2 Technologies in the spring and summer of 2013, companies that provide a cloud-based platform for interactive product listings on retail sites.


Interpublic Makes An Acquisition; Publicis Outlines Objectives

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Agency Shops Commerce

Interpublic’s MRM//McCann snatched up Optaros on Thursday for an undisclosed sum, The Wall Street Journal reports. Optaros helps clients like Macy’s, Nestle and Rue La La build and manage ecommerce offerings. “We see a pretty dynamic marketplace in terms of what’s going on in the ecommerce business,” said MRM/McCann CEO Michael McLaren, adding that’s particularly true in mobile. “Many clients are getting into the business for the first time.”


FOX Television Stations Plug Into LiveRail

FOX localFOX Television Stations partnered with Facebook’s video platform LiveRail on Thursday. The deal enables advertisers to buy inventory alongside local news video footage across 28 stations in 17 markets, including sites like and

“We know there is more demand for premium video,” said Joe Oulvey, EVP of Fox Station Sales, noting that video CPMs are rising. “This video is not homemade in a basement, it’s professionally edited video created by people with journalism expertise.”

Quality video is in low supply: YouTube announced in October it had sold out of its Google Preferred inventory for the year, and political campaigns that didn’t book video inventory early were out of luck.

And after announcing it would push into video, Rubicon Project said in its earnings call it expected slow growth in the video market, citing substandard, unacceptable inventory in exchanges.

FOX will onboard some of its existing clients to LiveRail’s private exchange. It will create additional demand by plugging into LiveRail’s open exchange.

Traditionally, FOX sold its video inventory two ways: cross-platform buys with television advertisers, and digital-only buys. Both types of clients can use LiveRail, which many advertisers favor since it allows them target bids to specific audiences. (more…)

Intel’s Data-Driven Approach To Content Marketing

Intel IQIntel dove deep into content marketing to connect with millennials.

For two and a half years, it’s used the IQ website to reach consumers through articles connecting technology to everyday life.

In addition to using homegrown pieces, Intel places articles on sites like BuzzFeed and Mashable. All receive extra pushes to drive traffic.

That’s where the work of Intel’s global media team comes in, headed up by Luke Kintigh, a global content strategist. The group began operating as a standalone discipline in July.

The Intel group approaches native advertising in a data-driven way, from targeting and optimization to content retargeting.

“We’re trying to move into more of a real-time model,” Kintigh said. “Last year, our approach was more like mutual funds, buying and holding. Now we’re going more day trader, looking at results and making adjustments on the fly.”

When one of the 70 to 80 pieces IQ publishes a month goes live, the Intel team will promote the piece through native and social channels like Sharethrough, an in-feed native ad exchange, and Facebook.

“Once we publish, we look at initial insights. If an article has 250 views and 50 shares, for example, that’s a good indicator for us,” Kintigh said. Content measurement technology “SimpleReach will do some of that for us. It assigns a number to an article that will let you know it will continue to do well if you amplify the traffic. Some of it is automated, but it’s also looking at data on a case-by-case basis.”

SimpleReach’s data helps Intel figure out which articles will perform, and allocate budget accordingly. Some posts fall off quickly, while others can generate lively traffic for months.

“Ten percent of articles will drive 90% of the volume, but it’s tricky to predict which 10% will hit home runs,” Kintigh said. (more…)

BuySellAds Has The Long Tail Of Programmatic Direct

Todd Garland BSAProgrammatic direct will go from 8% to 42% of all programmatic spending by 2016, according to eMarketer research.

BuySellAds, founded in 2008 and which has 18 employees, followed a different path from iSocket and Shiny Ads, both of which were recently acquired by Rubicon Project. It focused on connecting smaller publishers with large brands like American Apparel, Getty Images and LG.

“It’s a lot of public companies, a good number of agencies, and a lot of in-house marketing teams that only have $50,000 a month,” said founder and CEO Todd Garland. “But they’re able to get access to a publisher where they believe their audience exists, so they’re buying their ads through us.”

Garland added that BuySellAds had from very early on focused on the SMB space, where it saw the most traction. “The larger enterprise publishers weren’t ready for this automation yet,” he said.

AdExchanger spoke to Garland.

ADEXCHANGER: How has programmatic direct evolved in recent years?

TODD GARLAND: As a media planner, there are more tools you need to be using to execute a buy efficiently. The time they used to be spending buying direct is crunched. People are more willing to let software do things for them than they were five, six, seven years ago.

Why haven’t you raised any money yet?

The reason why we’re the only unfunded player in this space is because we haven’t felt like we’re ready to pounce yet. Now with the [Rubicon Project] acquisitions, and assuming Google will enter space in next six to nine months, we’re starting to look at some other options.

Is your business profitable now? What are your goals for the business?

This year, $12 million will go through our platform. Last month, over 1,200 unique publishers transacted on the platform. We charge them between 10-25% of each sale to transact through our platform. We’re profitable.

Right now, it’s the land grab. We feel like we have one of the best products in the space. We’re in the process of signing up enterprise-level publishers. Once we start announcing those deals, they’re going to be surprised. (more…)

Accenture Buys Reactive Media; WPP's Possible Buys Swift

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Accenture Nabs Agency

Accenture will buy Australian agency Reactive Media as it continues to bone up on digital marketing. “Brands are recognizing that being relevant to customers has never depended more on how they engage with customers digitally,” said Brian Whipple, senior managing director for Accenture Interactive. The deal calls to mind Deloitte’s 2013 acquisition of Seattle agency Banyan Branch. Agencies and consultants, unite! Press release.


Update: Datalogix Wants $1B, Adobe Kicks Tires

DLXData solutions of the sort that Datalogix provides are hot right now, and the company hopes that fact will drive up its eventual sale price.

As it reached out to would-be buyers this fall, Datalogix hoped to get as much as $1 billion, sources say. Factoring in estimated 2014 revenues of $125 million, that figure implies a generous 8x multiple.

The new details emerged in the wake of AdExchanger's Tuesday report that Datalogix was looking for a buyer. As reported in that story, Nielsen is considered to be top runner in the race for Datalogix (neither company would confirm its interest) and that Facebook had dropped out as a contestant. Now – and also new – we hear enterprise marketing giant Adobe Systems may have interest as a strategic buyer in this particular deal-war.

Datalogix chairman Rob Gierkink and primary investor General Catalyst -- where Gierkink is a partner -- are evidently behind the $1 billion target price. But some offers are  far lower than that. On Tuesday, a report from The Deal pegged low-end offers at about $200 million.