No one is talking, and perhaps because no one is there. Epic Media Group's management page within its "About Us" section is showing a "404 file not found." Visit the site map and click "management" (Updated 5/4 - looks like the "Management" link was removed - but Google's cache shows the link).
Coincidentally, an Adknowledge press release on Tuesday claimed that "Epic Media Group's Affiliate Division, formerly known as Azoogle, has reportedly stopped paying publishers."
AdExchanger's efforts to reach Epic Media Group management have yet to yield a response. According to sources, a reshuffle last year led some of management to join the (former?) company's social ads subsidiary - Kinetic Social (see the site). Seems like this may have been called EpicSocial previously.
In fact, according to LinkedIn, former Epic CEO Don Mathis and many other former Epic employees appear to have joined Kinetic. Kinetic Social's LinkedIn page describes their business as that of "an emerging social media marketing solutions provider, working across all social media platforms and connecting the social graph to the open and mobile web." The page adds that the company was founded in early 2010 and is "a profitable company in hyper-growth mode." Check out the client list where Kinetic Social claims a who's who of brands. Sources confirm that Kinetic Social is thriving whether its connected to Epic or not - but they universally thought this still was Epic.
Maybe not anymore.
Also of interest, here's a dusty, January 2012 press release that seems to have hit the wires earlier this year - see it on one of those press release clone sites. A brief snippet:
"The company provides advertisers and agencies with a comprehensive suite of audience-based digital marketing services, including the ability to integrate display and mobile campaigns with the social graph. Kinetic Social is privately held and backed by TA Associates."
Audience-based buying FTW! And indeed, TA Associates says its a 2012 investor on its portfolio page.
As you may recall, Epic was accused of "History Sniffing" practices in July of 2011 to which it defended itself on its own blog at that time. The NAI said in a November 2011 blog post that a "legacy advertising system" from Epic's Traffic Marketplace unit was to blame for the "history sniffing" practice. Epic Advertising had bought Connexus, which owned ad network Traffic Marketplace, in 2010. The combined company became Epic Media Group thereafter, with Traffic Marketplace renamed Epic Marketplace - which was right before the "history sniffing" blow-up. Follow me?
So for Epic managers and employees was it time to move away from the Epic brand and toward a Kinetic Social future? For many, it seems so. And for some others, they've moved on to a "piracy and trademark infringement" prevention company called OnlineIntelligence, which has Kinetic Social and Epic as clients.
By John Ebbert
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