VivaKi On Media Exchanges; Google's Next Acquisition; Agency Rebundling?

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

VivaKiVivaKi Rebrands Exchange in India

Publicis' David Kenny continues his globetrotting and tells Kapil Ohri of "afaqs!" in India that "India Media Exchange (IMX) -- the consolidated media buying arm of Starcom MediaVest Group, Zenith Optimedia and Solutions Digitas – will be renamed as VivaKi Exchange, within the next six months." This exchange is among four others worldwide including Germany, Dubai, Australia, and the UK, according to the article. I'd be curious to find out about what is the "exchange" in these exchanges - meaning is VivaKi acting as unbiased, media trading infrastructure between buyers and sellers?

Also of note, there may be plans to open up a Razorfish office in India. Read more.

Driving The Message Socially

Great article from the Financial Times' David Gelles who identifies the importance of recommendation in internet usage habits.  This theme speaks to recent conversations around "earned media" and how becoming a part of a conversation rather than simply advertising messaging has become important when entering the world of social media. Gelles writes, "Media companies’ efforts, coupled with the increase of sharing online, have effectively turned social networks into massive engines of recommendation, responsible for directing an ever larger amount of online traffic." Read more in "Friends, not editors, shape internet habits."

Google On The Prowl

According to an interview in Japan's The Nikkei, CEO Eric Schmidt says that Google is starting to look at mergers and acquisitions telling Nikkei boldly, "If they come along, we'll do them." Why now and not before? Cloud computing seems to be a driver according to the article as your PC becomes virtually hosted in a "cloud" through the Internet. Get the details here.

Kara Swisher of All Things D takes a swing at who she thinks could be targets including Teracent (AdExchanger Q&A) and Tumri (AdExchanger Q&A). The multi-variate creative companies resonate as the Website Optimizer (from Interwoven's multi-variate landing page Optimost product) has been an important value add to Google AdWords. Other possibilities would be Invite Media (AdExchanger Q&A), MediaMath (AdExchanger Q&A) or [x+1] (AdExchanger Q&A) as their tools provide a way to access the biddable environment of Google's DoubleClick AdEx display ad exchange - a huge area of potential growth for Big G, obviously. Freewheel (AdExchanger Q&A) seems like a "lock" to get acquired as they're bringing together ad serving across digital mediums and have already done a deal with Google's YouTube.

Flying Virgin To OMD

Ad Age reports that Omnicom's OMD has won the U.S. version of the Virgin Atlantic account which was previously at WPP's Mediaedge:cia. Ad Age's Michael Bush notes that this move consolidates the media buying under OMD globally.

During ad:tech Chicago on Tuesday and Wenesday, ad:tech's Drew Ianni stressed the need for bundling of services within holding companies rather than the current unbundled format where creative and media are under different holding company umbrellas. What you're seeing with Virgin may be a step towards the client side taking matters into their own hands and bundling creative and media and where the aim is to create efficiencies. Speaking of which...

Unbundling Unraveling?

Jim Edwards reports that among companies showing a decline in yield on salaries versus the revenue earned, Omnicom and Interpublic Group (in particular) continue to face challenges as announced layoffs in Q3 await. View "BNET Ranking Shows Agency Network Efficiency in Decline Despite Layoffs."

ad:tech Chicago

Jeremy Mullman covers ad:tech Chicago in Ad Age and notes the huge buzz around social media. After visiting the show myself, I could not agree more.. of course with 100s of millions of consumers using social networks, why wouldn't you discuss it? Selfishly, I'd like to see more panels focused on display advertising and media trading - rather than panels which focus on why display doesn't work, and whether or not there are too many ad networks. Let's hear solutions. I know they're out there - in fact, they are all over AdExchanger.com (see Q&As).

Mobile Cash

Paul Boutin of Venture Beat covers a recent $2.5 million investment by NBC's venture arm, Peacock Capital, - as well as Incubic Venture Fund, Monitor Ventures and Steamboat Ventures - in a "mobile ad network known for its ads-games that invite users to play rather than just click." called Greystripe. This is Greystripe's Series C round which brings its investment grand total to 7.5... MILLion... DOLLars!

Digital Grows, TV Still Daddy

On the Nielsen blog, the company has fired off its "Three Screen Report" and identified continued growth in digital tv and online video, but television is still king by a long shot. No surprise. Big gains online are due to video seen through social outlets like YouTube. And, it looks like Tivo-type applications are having an impact and causing "time-shifting" (I hate that phrase. There's gotta be a better one.) viewing habits.

A selection of the results:

Nielsen on Viewing Habits

More On Search Lift From Display

Rob Garner of iCrossing writes on MediaPost about their study - announced last week - which shows how display increases campaign yield when combined with search -- 14% in this case. On the iCrossing blog, Dag Hamman, head of display media, provides more detail as well as offering a video podcast on the subject.

Paid Is The New Free

Newspaper publishers around the country must have loved this story from Johnnie Roberts of Newsweek. "When the Newport Daily News started charging for readers for online offerings, critics thought readers would be gone for good. Instead, they began returning to the newsstand." Read more.

Google Exec Takes A Break

Google's David Fischer who helped grow the company's self-serve business is taking a break until January and then assuming a yet-to-be-determined role according to Business Insider which says this par of an ongoing "sales shake-up." Read the story.

Agencies Are For Brand Marketers

Tom Hespos takes apart a recent article by Sean Cummings on iMedia Connection and makes the case for agencies and why brand marketers need them. Hespos doesn't deny that some marketers are effectively taking parts of their marketing in-house - citing certain brands social media initiatives - but the efficiency created by hiring an agency for a busy brand marketer makes too much sense. Read the Hespos article.

Reply! Growing

On the Reply.com blog, news of growth and removing "beta" from Reply.com's marketplace as the lead generator company looks to provide services for buyers and seller of leads. From the release: "Reply.com has posted over 50 percent revenue growth for the six-month period ending June 30, 2009 compared to a year ago in the Automotive and Real Estate categories, and has experienced increasing profitability over the last six consecutive quarters." Read more.

PointRoll Expands Toolkit, Partners

PointRoll announced new tools and new partners in a release yesterday. The additional partners include Discovery, iVillage, Univision, quadrantONE and Undertone Networks. The "Publisher Customer Solution Suite" from PointRoll offers more solutions to publishers looking to leverage their content and drive revenue. Read more.

AdWords Goes DL

The Inside AdWords blog, the official blogging voice of Google AdWords, announced that it's going to lend a helping hand to brand advertisers with new brand and product awareness testing tools on the Google Content Network aimed at increasing the value of display ads. Here's an example as Google will give Dynamic Logic and other, similar companies a run for their comenty. Austin Rachlin from Google writes, "advertisers will be able to understand how their brand perceptions and associations are shifting, and they can tailor their marketing messages accordingly."

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