Krux Adds McLeod As Prez; AppNexus Says Piracy And Ads Don’t Mix; Adaptly Enables Social Marketing

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

Krux’ Velvet Glove

Sell-side platform Krux announced that former Wall Street Journal Digital Network President Gordon McLeod has been named President. According to the release, “McLeod will oversee all of Krux’s client- and partner-facing activities worldwide, including sales, services, business development, and marketing.” Read more. The hiring of McLeod is part of a trend for some companies on the sell-side as, for example, Yieldex hired former Vivendi/Bertelsmann/Reuters exec Andy Nibley, Admeld hired Time Inc.’s Jason Kelly as Chief Media Officer and PubMatic hired Time Inc’s Kirk McDonald as President. The hope is that the velvet glove touch of an industry peer will help push startup automation solutions over the finish line with big, sometimes leary, “premium” publishers. Incidentally, McLeod is an independent board director at Yieldex.

Ads And Piracy

AppNexus believes that the ad ecosystem may be supporting online piracy and is reaching out to its peers to ban ads from any site participating in the theft of intellectual property on the Web. Microsoft Advertising and the IAB support the effort according to the release which adds, “Although many online advertising companies have anti-piracy policies already in existence, the enforcement rate is lower than ideal. AppNexus’ initiative is designed to encourage other industry leaders to promote similar guidelines in their own business practices, increase financial pressure on ‘torrent’ sites and attract additional public commitment to the cause from around the industry.” AppNexus is positioning for a leadership role among platform solutions. Read more.

Facebook In Absentia

From the IAB conference this week, Ad Age’s Jason Del Rey notes that Facebook was not present in spite of the fact it was the talk of the show. What does it mean? The IAB’s Randall Rothenberg answers, “Though Facebook is an IAB member with a board seat, a company executive spoke at the last conference, and the IAB tries to rotate the companies from which it pulls its presenters.” Read more.

End-To-End Socially

Social advertising platform Adaptly (read an opinion piece from CEO Nikhil Sethi last fall) says its partnering with social marketing software company Wildfire to enable its marketing suite. The deal has a familiar ring for the ad tech ecosystem as Wildfire looks to provide a more end-to-end solution for social marketing – similar to how Adobe has been acquiring platforms (DMP Demdex, media buying and SEM platform Efficient Frontier) to fill-out its Digital Marketing Suite. Read about it. Adaptly CEO Sethi says the deal brings “paid, owned, and earned media” together for Wildfire.

Just-In-Time For Winter

Calling an update to its demand-side and data management platforms a “Winter 2012 Release,” Turn announced what it said are real-time brand safety controls; new contextual data from AdSafe Media, Crystal Semantics and Peer39; and video advertising optimization capabilities. According to the release, “Information from these [contextual] vendors will be integrated directly with Turn Media Platform alongside more than 100 partners that are already part of the Turn best-of-breed ecosystem.” Read more. The “100” number doesn’t seem arbitrary as demand-side platform competitor MediaMath announced its own partner program with 100 vendors+ earlier in the week.

The Value Of Pipes

Googler and Invite Media co-Founder Nat Turner says on his personal blog that there are two ways to increase ROI and offers a formula any algebra teacher would be proud of. He concludes, “In online advertising at least, if you build something that lowers the cost of media, you may have built something that is more fundamentally valuable to the industry and stickier than any one algorithm every could be. As one of our early advisors told us at Invite, sometimes it’s more valuable to build better piping than to worry about what water is flowing through them.” Read it.

That’s My IP

Yahoo! is publicly claiming that Facebook is violating 10-20 patents and wants to be compensated through a licensing agreement or will sue. A Yahoo spokesperson told The NY Times Bits blog, “We must insist that Facebook either enter into a licensing agreement or we will be compelled to move forward unilaterally to protect our rights.” Facebook tells the NYT that this is the first time they’ve heard of any possible violation of Yahoo!’s IP. Read more. If true, Yahoo! may see some Facebook stock – pre-IPO – in return. Or perhaps Yahoo! will look for integration of Yahoo! tools and content into Facebook.

Get Your Insights

The IAB touted the launch of its new Insights Center at yesterday’s Annual Leadership Meeting in Miami. “The Path to Consumer Electronics Purchases” (PDF) is part of the new research initiative and showed that, yes, digital positively influences the purchase of consumer electronics. And so do other channels. A tidbit from the findings: “‘Internet’ electronics shoppers are much more likely to research products online before purchasing in a store, when compared to other shoppers (‘Internet’ 62% vs. ‘Specialty Store’ 46% vs. ‘Discount Store’ 36%).” Visit the Insights Center. And, read the release.

Retargeting Search

Demand-side platform and search retargeter announced the launch of “Keyword Contextual Targeting.” According to the release, that means “advertisers can display ads only on the web pages that contain content relevant to their offering. It also enables advertisers to bid, report, and optimize their contextual campaigns at the keyword level.” Read more.

How’s Google+

According to The Wall Street Journal’s Amir Efrati, the Goolge+ social networking platform that Google is not working as planned. Quoting comScore data, Efrati writes, “Visitors using personal computers spent an average of about three minutes a month on Google+ between September and January, versus six to seven hours on Facebook each month over the same period, according to comScore, which didn’t have data on mobile usage.” That’s certainly part of the story – but another part which is difficult to quantify other than anecdotally is how many consumers are clicking those “+1 buttons – seems like a lot less that Twitter and Facebook right now. Google wants to boost the “signal.” Read it (subscription).

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