Publishers Dispute Ad Network Sales; Big Australian Publishers Avoiding Pixels; Google To Get Shareholder Proposal On Interest-Based Ads

Ad Networks and PublishersHere’s today’s news round-up… Want it by email? Sign-up here.

Selling And Exchanges

Mediaweek’s Mike Shields says that several financial website publishers – such as Bloomberg, and – dispute ad network InterCLICK’s assertions that it can re-sell their inventory. interCLICK president, Michael Katz, told Shields that his company had done nothing wrong saying “that interCLICK was able to purchase inventory on through Google’s ad exchange.” Read more.

Google Retargeting and Australian Publishers

According to Australian publication, The Age, Australian publishers are taking action following Google’s announcement about retargeting late last month. “Fairfax Media (owner of The Age), News Limited, Yahoo7! and Ninemsn said they would block the data-tracking devices, or cookies, which Google uses to track internet users as they move around the web,” writes Julian Lee of The Age. Honestly – that doesn’t make sense. But, later in the article, clarity breaks through – it appears that Google’s AdSense has been entirely removed from these publishers which represent 44% of the inventory in the Australian market. Read more.

More Cookie Business

In “Google, Yahoo and others use online history to target advertising,” Mike Swift of San Jose Mercury News highlights some of the initiatives being driven by anti-behavioral advertising advocates who say “most Americans do not want advertising tailored to their interests, particularly when it requires tracking their online movements.” One such privacy organization will present a shareholder proposal at Google’s May 13 annual meeting which will presumably look to slow or stop Google’s interest-based advertising efforts according to the article. Read more.

Mike On Ads: RTB And Ad Serving

In addition to clarifying he is not Michael Rubenstein, Mike On Ads’ Mike Nolet looks at ad serving and its challenges. Nolet sees real-time bidding as separating the men from the boys, so to speak: “If RTB volumes grow as I expect they will throughout this year we’ll see a lot of companies struggling to keep up by Q4. Some will outright fail. Some will simply stop to innovate — only a few will manage to continue to both scale and innovate at the same time.” Read the post.

TV Online Drives Video Ad Acceptance

ComScore came out with a new study which says that consumers who watch online TV shows online are much more willing to view advertiser messaging than the duration of current online commercial breaks. “Online advertising’s “sweet spot” is between 6 and 7 minutes per hour, substantially higher than the approximately 4 minutes per hour that is currently consumed by ads delivered online as part of TV content. ” Read the release.

CPCs Are Way Up; Put On A Happy Face

According to Efficient Frontier’s Director of Analytics, Siddarth Shah, the online economy is rebounding. “Retail continues to show strength. While CPCs increased only 2% month over month, they are 10.5% higher than last year. The automotive sector also had a good month. CPCs jumped 12% month over month and are 25% higher than last year,” says Shah. Read more.

To Close The Beta, Or Not

The Venture Hacks blog has been exploring the idea of whether or not a closed beta is a good idea. Quoting Rob May, founder of Backupify, he was initially worried that people would steal his idea – and not only that – “I was also embarrassed by the quality of the product when I demo’ed it. But ultimately, some early users loved it and that kept us going. By releasing an early buggy minimum viable product, we got a pretty big lead on everyone else.” Read more.

The Bounce And Yieldbot

From his Optimize and Prophesize blog, Yieldbot’s CEO Jonathan Mendez discusses what he sees as one of the challenges of search engine optimization – slowing the “70-90%” bounce rate of incoming, natural search visitors. What’s it gonna take? More relevance and Yieldbot, of course. Read more.

Sizing Markets

According to Hunch chief and angel investor, Chris Dixon, you’ll be better off garnering the interest of venture capital investors if you try to discuss your target market’s size in a narrative format rather than quantitatively – especially if that market size is less than $1 billion. Dixon writes, “The only way to understand and predict large new markets is through narratives. Some popular current narratives include: people are spending more and more time online and somehow brand advertisers will find a way to effectively influence them…” Read more.

Getting Your Degree In Web

From his Buzz Machine blog, Jeff Jarvis identifies Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s (RPI) efforts to create a Web Science degree a la the idea which Sir Tim Berners-Lee evidently had at Davos. So far, no truth to the rumor that RPI will offer an degree next year. Read more from Jeff Jarvis. And, read RPI’s press release.


  1. This is not interCLICK’s issue — it’s the exchanges that the publishers participate in (clearly unknowingly at times). interCLICK absolutely serves impressions on these sites via the exchanges. Its a bit surprising that WSJ, NYT, etc. are just now realizing that their inventory is available across exchanges to the highest bidder (and they’re clearly still in denial).

    These exchanges need to grow up to be viable long term. The lack of transparency will hamper growth because the high quality inventory will just opt-out completely without the necessary control and visibility.

  2. Alanna Clark

    I agree with Russell that the lack of transparency and controls will hamper growth and subsequently, revenue for publishers and buyers.

    I also think it behooves publishers to understand that despite being blind in marketplaces/exchanges/ and platforms, it is still possible for buyers to “url target” unless proper technical steps are taken (and they rarely are).

    This is why concepts such as floors, inventory management, and transparent reporting (buy and sell side) are so important. That will diminish the impact of third party selling and arbitrage.

  3. Conflict between the direct sales team and ad networks is holding back real revenue growth for publishers.

    In the long term I think that publishers will use ad networks and exchanges to sell standard IAB sizes but reserve the bigger more visible ads for their direct sales team to sell. That will increase revenue significantly.

    As an aside, ZEDO sells behavioral and DMA targeting as a service to publishers that use ZEDO ad serving. This effort is designed specifically not to conflict with the publisher’s own sales teams: most publishers don’t sell either because the volume is too low. Aggregation of sites to get saleable volume is essential to sell these highly targeted types of advertising.

  4. Wow, this is going to be an interesting year. I think at first some publishers are going to have a really hard time with the new levels of transparency in the market. Though once they see how little their inventory is worth when it is blind they will have some interesting choices to make.

  5. Matt Barash

    It’s imperative for networks to understand and treat their publishers with a sense of equal focus on relationship management and understanding of client sensitivities as they do with their demand driven relationships. Revenue gets the glory, but publisher relationships allow third parties to bring home the bacon.