Forrester’s Latest DSP Wave; Zipcar Post-Agency

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DSP Wave

Forrester ranks DataXu, AppNexus, AOL, Turn and The Trade Desk among the industry’s top demand-side platforms in its latest Wave report. Google is relegated to a second tier of “competitive” options (along with MediaMath and Audience Science), penalized for lagging on its DMP and CRM data onboarding offerings – as well as for opting out of Forrester’s questions. Nine DSPs are reviewed in all. Mediapost has a story.


Two years after ditching its digital agency and shifting all ad buying to programmatic channels, Zipcar CMO Brian Harrington says the decision was spurred by a lack of transparency. “A big piece of my frustration in working with a traditional agency is that it felt like a black box,” Harrington told the WSJ. Harrington also took issue with the trading desk model, and cited concerns about fraud and waste. Agencies can’t catch a break. Elsewhere in the Journal, Russel Wohlwerth, a principal at External View Consulting Group, shares theories to explain why large advertisers are shuttering their media agency relationships at an unprecedented rate. Read that.

QR Codes 2.0

UK-based Powa Technologies says it has 1,200 brands across North America, Western Europe and South Africa who are on board to deploy the company’s PowaTags, “QR-code-like images embedded on magazine, outdoor or in-store ads” that attempt to turn offline and print advertising into potential ecommerce. According to Ad Age, Powa is following boldly in the footsteps of other companies that have aimed to bridge offline/online using QR codes…most of which have fallen flat. But with $160 million in funding at a $2.7 billion valuation, Powa is well placed.

Cook’s Privacy Proclamation

Apple CEO Tim Cook made waves when, during an acceptance speech for EPIC’s Champions of Freedom corporate leadership award, he lambasted the way big tech firms use consumer data. “I’m speaking to you from Silicon Valley, where some of the most prominent and successful companies have built their businesses by lulling their customers into complacency about their personal information,” he said. “They’re gobbling up everything they can learn about you and trying to monetize it. We think that’s wrong. And it’s not the kind of company that Apple wants to be.” More via TechCrunch.

Ready Set Mobile

In an interview with Digitas LBi’s CIO, Adam Shlachter, The Drift’s Doug Weaver asks if the digital ad business is ready for a mobile-first world. According to Shlachter, publishers and brands are building apps and optimizing the mobile web, and Google is tweaking its search algorithm to reward those efforts. “But there are still as many, if not more, poor mobile user experiences that exist for consumers, including some of the mobile advertising that often accompanies it,” Shlachter said. “We have to make better use of the signals we have – of intent, of location, of behavior – and use that to create better experiences that people can rely on, and brands can see a bigger benefit from.” Read the interview.

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