Booted From The Facebook Exchange; Levinsohn Wants Ads; War On Showrooming

facebook exchangeHere’s today’s news round-up… Want it by email? Sign-up here.

Exchange Boot?

All Things D’s Peter Kafka bubbles up news that two of the early DSP/retargeter entrants to the Facebook Exchange may have been shown the door. He admits, “Who got the boot? Well, nailing that one down is a bit tricky, since no one’s supposed to talk about it. And if those two companies want back into the club, they’re certainly not going to say anything.” Read it. AdExchanger is still hearing that everybody is in, but two companies may have been reprimanded for being too chatty. Either way, it’s radio silence from the pilot program group. Meanwhile, Adaptly CEO Nikhil Sethi sees benefits to the new Exchange on his company’s blog such as taking advantage of “time spent” by the user. Read more.

Ads Are Back!

Ross Levinsohn tells The Wall Street Journal that he ads are awesome and that ecommerce is no big wup… kinda. The WSJ’s Amir Efrati paraphrases the always anonymous, always ubiquitous Yahoo! insiders as saying, “Mr. Levinsohn has told colleagues that he expects to be judged on whether he can get Madison Avenue ad agencies, which represent the top brand advertisers, to continue to ‘support and grow’ their relationship with Yahoo.” This is the same mantra that Seth Dallaire was preaching before he left for Amazon and before Levinsohn was given the interim CEO role. Read more.

Combat Showroom

Executives at a recent BestBuy shareholder meeting intimated plans to combat “showrooming” – i.e. when consumers go to a brick-and-mortar store to look at an item, but end up buying it online presumably due to a better price. Internet Retailer reports, “Executives noted that Best Buy was committed to better competing against Amazon as well as other online retailers, even when they offer free shipping, by offering a stronger in-store shopping experience backed by digital technology and services that provide consumers with virtually all the information they need to make purchasing decisions.” I’m not sure that’s enough. But same day delivery might be a cool idea. That’s gonna cost bucks for Best Buy, though. Read more.

Brand With Content

Arguing for digital content marketing (tech) companies everywhere, Outbrain’s Gilad DeVries says its time to hop on the content marketing (or native advertising or [new buzzphrase here]) bus, “By and large, advertisers are missing the boat when it comes to using digital ads for branding. Far too many dollars are flowing into display ads, which are incredibly weak branding vehicles.” Read more.

Facebook Ad Network?

In what may be the first baby steps toward creating a Facebook ad network, Inside Facebook reported on Friday that Facebook ads and sponsored stories are now appearing on its casual games partner, Zynga, site. You can see some details in the Facebook Help section. A Facebook spokesperson told the WSJ (subscription), “The company won’t share any information about people or advertisers with Zynga and advertisers aren’t receiving new targeting criteria.” But, they are receiving new inventory! And the Facebook algo is getting closer to being unleashed in “the wild.” Read more in Inside Facebook.

In Sickness & In Health

Google CEO Larry Page’s absence at his company’s shareholder meeting last week had Wall Street wondering. JP Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth wrote in a note to investors, “Google indicated that he had lost his voice and was unable to speak at the meeting, and also that he would not be speaking at next week’s Google I/O developer conference or the company’s 2Q earnings call.” Google quickly moved to put out the fire as the CEO sent a company wide email saying, “There is nothing seriously wrong with me.” Read a bit more in the L.A. Times.

Personalization Line

The New York Times’ Natasha Singer checks out web page optimizer Monetate and reviews the customer personalization implementation of several of its clients. Singer quotes Mahender Nathan, the vp of e-commerce and digital marketing at Godiva, “If e-tailers become too familiar with users, they risk alienating them. Personalization, he believes, should adhere to the conventions of in-person conversations. ‘In conversation, if you think it’s odd that you know something about someone that they didn’t share with you, don’t use it. What we’re trying to shoot for is friendly, cordial and helpful as opposed to crossing the line and being creepy,’ [says Mahender].” Read more.

Display For Video

More Street stuff… In another couple of weeks, it will be corporate earnings season and in anticipation of the numbers, Citi analyst Mark Mahaney provided an update to investors on Friday for GOOG. He’s bullish and included a bullet on ads for video: “YouTube Ad Monetization Continues To Improve — Our proprietary tracking indicates that YouTube is now monetizing 94% of the Top 100 videos vs. 81% in 2011. Also, 36% of the Top 100 videos now have 3 ad units vs. 19% in 2011. Given this monetization momentum – as well as very strong usage growth – we believe YouTube is on track to generate more than $3.5B in Revenue in 2012 – 50% more than YHOO’s Display Revenue and right-in-line with Netflix’s revenue. That’s very significant…” Video isn’t just monetized with pre-roll and the like. The display units around the video and overlaying it are a critical part.


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