Walrath Exits; The Right Media Exchange Repositioning; Efficient Frontier Is Not A DSP; Rapleaf Mining For Social Risk

Here’s today’s AdExchanger.com news round-up… Want it by email? Sign-up here.

Michael WalrathMike Walrath Exits

Yahoo! SVP of Ad Strategy, Michael Walrath, left the company yesterday telling the WSJ’s Jessica Vascellaro that “it was the right time to ‘move on in my career’ and that he looks forward to ‘taking some time off and working with small innovative companies.'” This is the second, high-level departure of former Right Media executives. VP Antony Taylor left the company in October. Read more.

Right Media Exchange Goes For The Gold

As noted on AdExchanger.com late yesterday, a detailed article by Ad Age’s Abbey Klassen and a post on the Right Media Exchange blog from Yahoo! VP Bill Wise announced that Yahoo! is re-positioning the grand-daddy of exchanges as “premium.” And yes, RTB is still in “beta” as previously mentioned in an AdExchanger.com article. Wise tells Klassen, “It’s us making a statement: We’re the oldest, largest ad exchange and it’s time for us to go through a maturation stage where we go up market.” Also, the new, updated version of the exchange will include DSP (demand-side platform) capabilities. Yes, more DSPs! – which means… more questions!

What happens to Yahoo! owned & operated inventory which has been filtering through the Right Media exchange? Does Yahoo! O&O just go through the Yahoo!/RMX DSP where it is made available in a closed auction between its roster of advertiser clients? What does this mean for the competitive landscape of DSPs just beginning to gestate? And, hey – did the DSP acquisition drumbeat just heat up? Will Yahoo! try to buy somebody’s DSP tech to grease its strategy? AdExchanger.com asked Wise a few questions here.

AOL Lift-Off Set

AOL is poised to leave the Time Warner mothership on December 9 and begin trading on the NYSE as a company of its own (Ticker symbol “AOL WI” – the “WI” is for “when issued.”) according to a Time Warner release. Henry Blodget of Business Insider notes that the implied valuation according to today’s Time Warner stock price means AOL is worth ~$3.2 billion, which is only ~$197 billion less than when TW bought AOL. Read more from Blodget. And, see the Time Warner release.

Efficient Frontier Is A DSP – no, WAIT!

The capitulation of search marketers into display has arrived! Andy Torgerson, VP Product Management of SEM management company, Efficient Frontier, wrote a post on the company blog yesterday officially announcing the company’s step into the world of display advertising – a snappy “search + display” graphic included. But don’t call them a DSP. Torgerson writes, “Rather than lumping us into the freshly-coined DSP category, think of Efficient Frontier as a cross channel marketing optimization platform.” Read it.

Mobile Ad Network Madness

Millennial Media said that it has raised $16 Million in a Series C round led by New Enterprise Associates – previous investors include Bessemer Venture Partners, Columbia Capital, and Charles River Ventures. Google’s recent acquisition of AdMob for $750 million likely helped the ink dry faster on the term sheet. Read more from Dan Frommer of The Business Insider.

Rapleaf Data-Mining Socially

More targeting data: In a story by Fast Company’s Lucas Conely, Rapleaf is looking at your favorite social site’s friends list and figuring out whether you’re a credit risk or not. VP of Biz Dev Joel Jewitt explains, “Who you hang around with has empirical implications with how you behave. This is a new type of information. It’s still an evolving science, but the results have been positive.” Read the article.

Exchange Trading For India

In article by Media Asia, Asiya Bakht writes that an online display ad exchange in India appropriately called “Last Minute Media” has “racked up sales of US$2 million in September.” Amin Lakhani, of Mindshare India, questons whether the ad exchange model can work telling Bakht that their is little fragmentation in the sub-continent and adding, “WPP owns about 58 per cent of media, out of which 40 per cent is owned by GroupM. Within GroupM our first port of call would be GroupM Trading.” Read the article.

DoubleVerify Adding Partners

DoubleVerify is distributing its verification services through partners as the company announced agreements yesterday with Collective Media, interCLICK, Traffic Marketplace
and Undertone Networks. According to the release, “Verification criteria for each partner
will include: detection of placements within inappropriate sites and/or content (as determined by advertiser) and approved sites.” Read the release.

Funding For Frictionless

In display advertising, there’s a lot of talk about “removing the friction. Not to be outdone, Ecommerce company, Glyde, an operator of an online ecommerce platform for used goods, claims to remove the friction in electronic commerce and has raised a $6 million Series A Round led by Charles River Ventures. From the release, “The user experience for buyers and sellers of used goods is not optimized.” Sound familiar? Read the release on PEHub.

Amazon Busts Through Beacon

Entrepreneur and guest writer, Steve Polland, says that Amazon’s new program to leverage Facebook and Twitter and turn everyone into an affliate marketer may be a game changer and overcome the pushback Facebook received when it announced and launched Beacon – and then pulled it back. Read the guest post.

Leaving Without A Job

The revolving door continues throughout the industry as yet another person has left their job without a job. This time it’s Mike James, Managing Director at Adconion Media Group. Suzanne Bearne of UK-based New Media Age notes his departure.

Online News Clues

Optimization guru, Jonathan Mendez, says “online news sites have no clue about optimization” and adds, “If publishers treated every page like a landing page and thought of themselves as much marketers as publishers they would be generating much more revenue.” Read his blog post on “Optimize and Prophesize.”