Systemic Fraud At Forces Out Execs; Publicis Group Targeting SMBs In France; Following The Tracking Story

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Fraudster Alert

In reaction to what it realized was a case of “systemic” fraud, chinese eCommerce marketplace threw its CEO and COO into the proverbial bonfire as the company admitted “it took senior management at the online marketplace at least nine months to take action after a noticeable increase in fraud claims against verified vendors by foreign buyers from 2009,” according to a story in The Guardian. The execs who were let go claimed they knew nothing about the nefarious behavior.

Bonjour, Small Business

Publicis Groupe is aiming to enable small business in France and elsewhere says CEO Maurice Levy who says starkly in a press release from Monday: “The future of France’s small businesses lies in digital, which is why they need to master the tools and techniques involved.” He’s calling the new French SMB-focused company Publicis Webformance. The first of the tools was added last November when the offshoot became a Google Adwords certified partner. Will Invite Media’s bid manager be next? Read the release.

Predictable Importance

Seed investor Chris Dixon looks at open vs. closed platforms on his personal blog and concludes there is more value in remaining open for a key reason: “The predictability of open platforms is the main reason that vast amounts of wealth have been created on top of them and investment around them continues unabated.” Read more about his thesis.

Google And The European Anti-Trust Case

If you’re Google, things are heating up in Europe even more, and it’s not good heat. It’s anti-trust heat. It appears Google is ready to deal with the consequences as The New York Times reports about a meeting where Google CEO Eric Schmidt asked Joaquín Almunia, the European Union anti-trust chief “to complete the (anti-trust) inquiry as quickly as possible. If the investigation showed there were problems, he requested that the company be given a chance to offer a solution without incurring a penalty, according to people with direct knowledge of their conversation.” Read more.

Rothenberg Next Time Inc. CEO

More Jack Griffin anecdotes were published in yesterday’s edition of Ad Age as Day 5 of the post-Jack-Griffin-at-Time-Inc era marched on. Predictions on who will be the next Time Inc. CEO were a part of the mix: “…Some in the industry were floating (former IAB CEO) Mr. Rothenberg, brought in by Mr. Griffin, as a potential replacement.” Read the scuttlebutt.

Huge IPOs, Right This Way

Mother Russia is pushing for IPOs as Russian search engine Yandex and Spotify edge closer to becoming public. PaidContent notes that the latter is about to get $100 million from Facebook investor DST. Read more. We’re talkin’ BILLION dollar IPOs, people.

Blogging Is Dead, All Hail Blogging

The New York Times says that teens aren’t such a big fan of blogging compared to days of yore (three years ago) as Facebook and Twitter have amped up the personal connectivity which blogging once ruled. Read more. Former boy genius – now man genius – Matt Mullenwegg of WordPress blogging software creator Automattic, wasn’t buying what the NYT was selling. He writes on his blog, of course, “Blogging (with WordPress) is the natural evolution of the lighter publishing methods – at some point you’ll have more to say than fits in 140 characters…” Tweet that!

Following The Tracking Story

U.S. Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz answers a wide range of online privacy-related questions on Multichannel News. Leibowitz says, “I myself would probably be very happy continuing to receive targeted ads, but somebody might like to make a different choice.” He says he’s impressed by VC money being spent in the space on privacy solutions and adds, “If you look at some of the public polling about do-not-track, it is phenomenal. I think Gallup had a poll that found that 85% of Americans want the choice of not being tracked.” Read more.

Lexicon Tuesday

It’s an oldie, but a goodie as glossaries go in a blog post from April of last year titled “The Secret Glossary of Social Games Analytics.” The author takes us through a few favorite buzzwords and acronyms that are applicable even 10 months later including: “The DAU/MAU ratio is one of the hot metrics in social games. Comparing Daily Active Users to Monthly Active Users shows roughly how many days per month your average user engages with your game.” Could be applicable to display ads, too, no? Read more.

Tech That Isn’t Special

Darren Herman takes to his personal blog once again and expands a bit on his new kbs+p Ventures venture, if you will. He writes, “We’re seeing big bets made recently in what I like to call ‘experience platforms powered by technology.’ It’s not the technology itself that’s special, but rather the experiences that are built on top of the technology.” Read more.

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