Interactive ad holding company CPXi is acquiring self-serve ad platform and dynamic creative vendor AdReady to augment its three other units as it works to close the loop around the demand side and the sell side. Terms of the deal are not being disclosed.
The purchase comes more than a year after two began preliminary talks about coming together. In July, New York-based CPXi brought in former ValueClick and AudienceScience executive Jeff Hirsch as its CMO. In the meantime, Aaron Finn, the CEO of Seattle-based AdReady, who will now become GM of that division, has sought to return the seven-year-old company's focus to its DSP-roots -- something that appealed to CPXi CEO Michael Seiman.
"AdReady had started to get greater traction to the DSP side of their platform," Seiman said. "At CPXi, we found it very valuable to acquire a platform that has both real-time creative and real-time services for the advertisers we serve today and for the expansion plans we have over the next year."
To illustrate the point about matching "dynamic," or real-time, ad creation to RTB services, Hirsch pointed to comments made by Michelle Butz, digital media manager of Allstate Insurance, during her appearance at AdExchanger's Programmatic I/O conference in mid-September.
"As I listened to [Michelle], it was clear that despite the phenomenal opportunities of programmatic advertising, those buying abilities couldn't keep up with the need for creative assets: it was too expensive, too time-consuming," Hirsch said. "The idea of having a programmatic creative element, in addition to programmatic buying capabilities is the right solution in today's environment."
And that's where AdReady comes in. AdReady developed a DSP back when it was founded in 2006. But a year ago, AdReady was not looking so ahead of its time. Amid struggles for profitability, co-founder Finn took back the reins after a turbulent year-and-a-half from CEO Karl Siebrecht, the former aQuantive exec, and two ex-Microsoft ad heads, marketing specialist Randy Wootton and product/business development director Matt Carr. When he spoke to AdExchanger in August, Finn said the company was indeed profitable as he touted AdReady's long relationship serving Yahoo's display needs.
CPXi has pledged to keep AdReady's 21 staffers and Seiman said there are plans to ad more account services executives and engineers. AdReady will remain as a stand alone brand, working alongside CPXi's three existing divisions according to client needs: bRealTime, offering programmatic solutions for both demand and supply side partners; branding and direct response services manager Simplixity; and, affiliate marketer Affiture.
The two companies have worked together informally in the past, but except for a few "tests" the past few months, the work of putting CPXi and AdReady together will take until the end of the year.
To start, CPXi expects to see a quick increase in the number of smaller clients using its tools, something Hirsch said will add up quickly. "One of the great things about this combination between CPXi and AdReady is that there are many more smaller advertisers than we could work with," he said. "That's where the value of expanding the kinds of self-serve options we can offer is."
As for CPXi's future plans, Seiman said that there are no further acquisitions planned, though it may consider deals next year, during Q2. "Right now, we just want to build up the divisions we have," he said. "That's what we're thinking about now."
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