AOL Passes On Patch; Christopher Saridakis Leaves eBay

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

It’s Not Over

AOL is handing its local news platform, Patch, off to investment holding company Hale Global. Although it will be a joint venture, Hale Global will assume the risk. Read the release. The companies maintain that all Patch sites will remain open, but it seems they are going to take a broader view of coverage, according to Re/code. In a memo to AOL employees, CEO Tim Armstrong wrote, “AOL has delivered on our commitment to our investors and put Patch in a position to be successful. We are retaining a meaningful minority interest in the joint venture, and we stand to benefit from Patch’s pivot to platform excellence.” Read more.

Enterprise Changes

eBay Enterprises President Christopher Saridakis, who was CEO of GSI Commerce, which eBay acquired in 2011 (AdExchanger flashback) for $2.4 billion, has left the company for personal reasons, says Internet Retailer. “Last month, eBay brought into eBay Enterprises ecommerce software provider Magento, which eBay also bought in 2011. Seventeen retailers in the Top 500 and 48 in the Second 500 say they use Magento,” writes Internet Retailer’s Thad Rueter. Read more. Under Saridakis, GSI bought retargeter Fetchback (another flashback) in 2010 and attribution company Clearsaleing (flashback No. 3) in 2011.

Banking On Email

LiveIntent has raised $20 million in Series C funding to ramp up its real-time bidding platform for email, bringing its total funding to $32 million. The company, which works with brands like Kraft and Chrysler, as well as Hearst and The Weather Channel on the publisher side, reaches more than 55 million consumers each month, the company claims. The programmatic inbox is alive and well. Read more on TechCrunch.

Namesake

The practice of advertising has gotten a bad rap, Doug Weaver, CEO and founder of Upstream Group, points out in a post on his blog, yet it’s a necessary part of the larger marketing picture. Weaver recommends that when advertisers go to sell their product they look at it from the client’s side, rather than from a simple buy-sell point of view. Read more.

The Engagement Factor

Facebook seems to drive the results that agencies crave, according to a new comScore study. The results showed that automotive campaigns on the site drove visits to brand sites, increased brand searches and decreased competitive brand searches. Read the results.

Trading Future

The Trade Desk’s Jeff Green envisions a programmatic future, in which everything is done in real time, possibly even print ads. In an interview with Business Insider, Green talks about the growth of programmatic and how it will affect multiple sectors including presidential elections. “The world we’re evolving toward is one where people are more involved, not less involved. When you get a world with more data and more insight, you need more people to analyse it. You need more people to make decisions,” Green said. Read more.

Local Nuances

“Programmatic” created scale for local advertising, according to Eli Portnoy, GM of Thinknear, in an interview with Street Fight. Context is important to location-based targeting because it all depends on what’s top of mind for the consumer. Portnoy also points out that because mobile transactions are still low, there is a push to drive consumers to purchase in a store, or to buy later. Read more.

SapientNitro Buys Cross-Cultural

Two years after buying a string of data-focused firms (Iota, Second Story) and then hitting “pause” on M&A, SapientNitro is back at it. The digital agency has scooped up La Comunidad, a Hispanic-focused creative shop with offices in Miami and Buenos Aires, for an undisclosed sum. The deal is reminiscent of Sapient's 2009 acquisition of "above-the-line" agency Nitro – noteworthy for being the first (to date, only?) major attempt by a digital marketing services company to absorb a traditional agency business. Says a SapientNitro rep, "Since acquiring Nitro [in 2009] we've been buying and connecting different sets of capabilities -- data, analytics, experience.” Read the release. AdExchanger spoke at length with SapientNitro CEO Alan Herrick last year. Read that.

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