Chitika Starts Local Search Data Exchange; ADP Buys Cobalt For $400 Million; Havas Officially Spins Off Adnetik

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New Exchange From Chitika

Chitika announced that it is the latest company to offer an exchange with a focus on local advertising. Called “LAX Local Advertising Exchange”, this has nothing to do with an airport in L.A. but leveraging publisher search data. From the release, Chitika also unveiled a new ad unit for mobile “which is designed not to interfere with a publisher’s general traffic, will detect mobile devices and adjust itself accordingly. Even if a site is not designed for mobile, the site’s Chitika ads will detect an iPhone, for example…” Read the release.

ADP Buys Cobalt

More consolidation – and this one isn’t from the usual source as Automatic Data Processing (ADP) has agreed to buy digital marketing firm Cobalt for $400 million. According to the WSJ’s Tess Stynes, this is “part of the payroll-processing and human-resources outsourcing company’s plans to expand its auto-dealer offerings.” Read more.

Adnetik Spun Out

Havas Digital has spun off its real-time buying/agency trading desk, Adnetik, according to an article by Mediaweek’s Mike Shields. Havas Digital CEO Anthony Rhind tells Mediaweek, ““Adnetik is absolutely a division to support our clients […] But we can operate both inside and outside [of Havas]. We are investing to have a superior product…and if we have a better offering, it would be logical to extend beyond our base.” Read more.

Real-Time Bidding Buzz

In MIT’s Technology Review, Erica Naone covers the real-time bidding buzz and the recent funding of Triggit by Foundry Group and Spark Capital. Marissa Gluck of Radar Research adds that like others mentioned in the article, she believes RTB will help advertisers and says, “We’re getting closer to buying people rather than buying dumb impressions.” But, she’s not so sure about whether real-time bidding will help publishers make more money. Read more.

Fortune’s 50 Smartest

Fortune names what it sees as the 50 smartest people in tech. Steve Jobs is the #1 smartest tech dude. Mary Meeker is the #1 smartest analyst. Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook is #1 smartest founder. And there’s more. Also, an Infiniti car campaign was running in the 728×90 and 300×250 positions on each “smartest” page with no frequency cap (hey, could be a sponsorship?). Crank it out – smart! Take the bait here.

Google Video, Buying Audience

The WSJ’s Jessica Vascellaro covered the end of the Allen & Co. Sun Valley conference starring the bigwigs of media and technology. Vascellaro reports that Google CEO Eric Schmidt is hot on video and intimated that “a new killer ad format -which he dubbed ‘interactive video ads’- is coming. Such ads, which could appear anywhere on a Web page not just inside a video, would allow users to interact with the ads in new and more engaging ways, such as asking users to click on a video to learn more about a product.” This may be the skippable video ad technology previously covered here among other places. Read more in the WSJ. Quantcast’s CEO Konrad Feldman also talks about new trends in media buying as digital enables a shift to audience buying. Feldman says, “Everyone sees the promise. They realize that the traditional ways don’t scale.”

Identifying F-Tards

On his AdScam blog, advertising consultant and writer George Parker takes issue with a recent New York Times article and suggests that observations in the article were re-treads of previous themes. Specifically, Parker identifies an agency executive’s quote as a re-treads of themes especially when an exec suggests “e-commerce is finally coming into it’s own.” Parker provides his take thusly, “Well, hello f*cktard, where have you been for the last twenty years?” Read the NY Times article and Parker’s blog. (source: @rishadt)

The Three Functions Of Biz

Trada CEO Niel Robertson offers 3 visuals that he says have taught him the equivalent of everything he has learned in business. Robertson writes, “Ultimately, businesses live and die on three simple dynamics: Distributions, network effects and sigmoid curves (s-curves). Almost all problems (and most opportunities) come from understanding how to take advantage of these functions – rather than fight against them.” Read more.

One Person Marketing

Jeff Zwelling of Convertro looks at how to scale up a marketing program with only one person driving the marketing. Zwelling identify seven keys which will minimize risk beginning with, “Determine your ROI. This should be close to your gross margin but not always (e.g., if you expect to gain repeat business from a single visitor). Make sure that everyone in your organization is in agreement.” Read more.

100 Employees

InterClick President Michael Katz announced that his company has just hired its 100th employee who will start Monday. See the tweet.

Remarketing And The View-Through

Google’s AdWords Agency blog features a case study on re-marketing – which is facilitated through the DoubleClick Ad Exchange – with swimwear company Club Swim and it’s website. Steve Faust, Marketing Analyst at Club Swim says, “Since implementing remarketing, we have received over 1,000 additional conversions and over 15,000 view-through conversions all within our CPA targets, with the cost per conversion lower than 80 percent of our other campaigns and the conversion rate higher than average for us.” Read more.

HTML5 Is About App Dev

Foundation Capital venture partner Ashu Garg posts on his personal blog that HTML5 may change the game for mobile advertising beyond the battle between HTML5 and Flash. On HTML5, he writes, “The most important change will be in the mobile ecosystem. HTML5 has the potential to reverse the trend towards mobile apps. Thorough its APIs, HTML5 enables most of the capabilities that mobile app. developers have come to depend upon without the challenges of developing/maintaining multiple apps (for theiPhone, Android, etc.).” Read more.

Google Games And Social Graph

Google has invested between $100 and $200 million in Zynga according to TechCrunch’s Mike Arrington who writes, “Zynga will be the cornerstone of a new Google Games to launch later this year, say multiple sources. Not only will Zynga’s games give Google Games a solid base of social games to build on, but it will also give Google the beginning of a true social graph as users log into Google to play the games.” Read more.

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