Kepler Group Buys Infectious Media; Walgreens Is Latest Retailer To Launch An Ad Platform

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Programmatic Merger

Kepler Group has acquired UK-based Infectious Media for an undisclosed sum. Read the release. The combined global programmatic agency company has 400 professionals across London, Singapore, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco and Costa Rica. The firms’ combined client roster includes Hasbro, John Lewis, The New York Times, Pepsico, HSBC and Uber. Infectious Media, founded in 2008, will retain its brand name in the immediate term and later adopt the Kepler name. “Both firms were award-winning leaders in their home markets. Both firms continued to grow in 2020. But we had each independently concluded that we needed to establish a global footprint to meet clients’ expanding needs,” said Infectious Media CEO Martin Kelly. “Combining forces presented a terrific way to accomplish that.”

Seeing Green

Walgreens is getting into the ad game as it looks to take on rivals such as Walmart and CVS for a piece of the $17 billion retail ad market. Business Insider reports that the retailer is launching a new business called Walgreens Advertising Group to sell advertising on its online properties and other websites. Walgreens has long run an advertising business with in-store and digital promotions but the latest move formalizes its advertising business. Luke Kigel, VP of Walgreens integrated media and head of Walgreens Advertising Group, said Walgreens would also directly pitch brands and agencies for the first time. Walgreens is entering a crowded field, but it hopes to differentiate its ad business with data from its more than 100 million loyalty card members that includes information on when people shop and what products they buy. Read on.

Big Regs For Big Tech

The European Union plans to introduce (surprise!) tighter regulations around rules and content that would change behavior – and, in some cases, business models – at large online platforms. The Wall Street Journal reports that while the rules don’t target any specific companies, they are likely to apply to tech giants Google, Facebook and Amazon, all of whom remain in regulators’ antitrust crosshairs in the United States and Europe. European Union regulators brought antitrust charges against Amazon earlier this month over the use of third-party seller data, while federal and state antitrust authorities are prepping new lawsuits against Facebook and Google – probing whether the tech giants abused their power in the internet economy – following the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against Google last month. More. 

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