Beware Of The Patent Trolls; DoubleClick Ad Exchange Adds RTB For Video; EU Display Ad Machinations

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Patent Trolls

They don’t lurk under a dark bridge unless that bridge is made of advertising technology – patent trolls are costing agencies and advertisers millions of dollars in settlement claims says Ad Age’s Kunur Patel. She writes, “‘Patent trolls,’ legally known as non-practicing entities (NPEs), are companies that don’t sell products or services, but buy up patents from small inventors to make money off enforcing them. They cite an instance that could infringe their patent and write a letter to the company or file a complaint, most often in the Eastern District of Texas (…)” Read more.

Opting Out Of Everything

Doug Aamoth writes on Time’s Techland website, “How To Opt-out of Everything.” He’s talking about cookie-related ad targeting rather than life as a whole. Aamoth writes, “If you fall into the terrified category, here’s a quick list of some of the companies that have been amassing information about you all this time and where you can go to tell them to stop. It’s by no means exhaustive, but it’ll get you well on your way to scrubbing your online existence clean.” And, eventually, content free? Read more.

On Acquiring DoubleClick

An article in Bloomberg questions whether Google’s acquisition of DoubleClick was worthwhile. Bloomberg’s Brad Stone thinks that Google’s foray into behavioral advertising and its privacy implications may be a trip wire. He writes, “DoubleClick had previously halted its behavioral advertising, as this part of the business is known. After the acquisition, Google brought behavioral techniques back and reintroduced cookies to the DoubleClick network.” Seems to me Boomerang for advertisers (the DFA retargeting solution) was around before the acquisition. Also, Stone cites the growth of Facebook as threat to Google. Read the article.

RTB For Video

Google said that it is bringing real-time bidding and the DoubleClick Ad Exchange to the world of online video advertising it controls – specifically “in-stream ads” on YouTube (see the VAST-infused spec in the YouTube Help section). In an official Google blog post, none other than Susan Wojcicki, svp of product, and product vp Neal Mohan make appearances as the post’s authors who note that it has been exactly three years-last-Friday since the DoubleClick acquisition was finalized. Read more. And, read the WSJ interview with Mohan. The Business Insider isn’t buying the 3-year anniversary line and thinks its a response to the Bloomberg article which put the acquisition in a negative light. Read it. TBI also quotes Citibank’s Mark Mahaney’s Google display revenue numbers as in the $1-1.5 billion ballpark for 2010, which excludes another $1 billion generated on YouTube.

Ad Exchanges Threaten Publishers Down Under

According to a story in The Australian, NINE Entertainment Co CEO David Gyngell thinks that exchanges are threatening his media company’s digital arm, ninemsn. The Australian’s Lara Sinclair writes, “Mr Gyngell’s concern is held by most of the top five Australian internet publishers. Publishers worry that such exchanges will force down the price of unsold, or remnant, inventory on Australia’s biggest web portals, and would make it harder for publishers to get top dollar for their premium advertising spots.” Read about the concerns.

McCain/Kerry Legislation

In preparation for the upcoming OMMA Behavioral event, MediaPost contributor Steve Smith looks at the many threads of initiatives, legislation and opinion now weaving within the advertising ecosystem. Noting aspects of pending legislative action by U.S. Senators Kerry and McCain, Smith writes, “Even more puzzling to me is another piece of the plan that would create a certification program for companies with high privacy standards. In these cases the approved companies would be able to sell data without user permission. I would have to hear a bit more about that one (…)”
Read more.

You’re Hired!

Retargeter TellApart announced that it has hired ex-Adobe sales exec Brady Fox as its new head of sales. From the release: “Brady worked with customers such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Nike, Hewlett-Packard, helping them leverage the Omniture suite of products to measure and optimize their online performance.” Read more.

Big Data, Baby!

Investment bank Jordan Edmiston makes available a detailed summary and partial transcript from its recent media conference in January. e-Consultancy’s U.S research director Stephan Tornquist notes the impact of the data in advertising, “Media executives’ top concern is with data. The wealth of data in the digital arena is overwhelming and offers companies new opportunities in improving strategic analysis, targeting, optimization, and developing new products.” Get it (PDF).

Specific Media Dismissing Suit

Echoing interclick’s recent request of the U.S. court system to have a lawsuit dismissed against it, ad network Specific Media is now requesting the same according to MediaPost’s Wendy Davis. Quoting Specific Media, she writes that the suit is “nothing more than an attempt by ‘opportunistic plaintiffs’ lawyers to shake down a law-abiding company.'” Read more.

The EU’s Assault On Display Ads

Wired UK’s Peter Kirwan pens an article titled “In depth: the EU’s assault on display advertising” and takes a look at the state of display advertising in Europe. Some of his findings are good. Some… not so good. He writes, “Yet as so often in the history of online display, there’s a challenge on the horizon: an amendment to article 5.3 of the EU’s ePrivacy Directive 2002/58/EC, which is scheduled to be incorporated into UK law on 25 May.” Read more.

Twitter Tightening Grip

In a post on its Google group devoted to the Twitter API, Ryan Sarver, “Product/BD, Platform Team at Twitter,” lets the Twitter ecosystem know that his company is tightening its grip on ownership of Twitter clients and delivery of all tweets. He summarizes the changes, “Twitter will provide the primary mainstream consumer client experience on phones, computers, and other devices by which millions of people access Twitter content (tweets, trends, profiles, etc.), and send tweets. If there are too many ways to use Twitter that are inconsistent with one another, we risk diffusing the user experience.” Read a lot more. (requires Google login) Some think Twitter is shooting itself in the proverbial foot by cutting out its ecosytem. Dave Winer gives his perspective here.

$300 Million

The alarm clock blog points to news about RadiumOne getting a $300 million buyout offer prior to its most recent raise. Editors question the timing of the news and write, “That’s pretty stunning given that the company was only founded in 2010 and that ad networks are not well favored by investors. We wonder if perhaps this news was used to develop interest in the company from investors and the media.” Read more.

Early Retirement

AppNexus CEO Brian O’Kelley is featured in an interview on by Andrew Belonsky. Among other recollections, O’Kelley looks back at what made him found his company, AppNexus, in the first place: “I was 29-years-old with plenty of money, and it was very tempting to retire. And I tried (…) But after a few months of traveling, and constant phone calls from people with business questions, I realized I couldn’t resist.” Read more.

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