FTC Speaks, Online Ads Listen; HubSpot Gets $32 Million; Gannett Eyeballs The Paywall

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FTC Speaks, Online Ads Listen

Ad Age’s Edmund Lee interviews U.S. Federal Trade Commission chief Jon Leibovitz who says that browser and tech companies have improved in providing transparency around usage of a consumer’s data. But, he adds, “One area that we are concerned about is the information brokers that collect consumer information from a variety of sources, but don’t interact directly with the consumers whose information they possess.” Read more about what he means.

HubSpot Gets $32 Million

Online marketing software company HubSpot announced that its received a whopping $32 million in a fourth round of funding from Google Ventures among others according to PaidContent’s Joseph Tartikoff. What are they going to do with all that cash? Hubspot CEO Brian Halligan tells PaidContent that “much of the cash would go toward research and development.” Read more. San Jose Mercury News adds that “some of the money will be used to cash out existing investors.” Read it.

Gannett Sees Paywall

Bloomberg reports that media company Gannett is gearing up for paywall fun. Gannett CEO Craig Dubow said in an interview that they’re trying out the for-pay idea on “three newspaper websites, and are likely to experiment more before making a decision about the broad use of paywalls. Read about it. Meanwhile, the company also decided its time to spiff up the corporate brand with a new branding campaign. Read more on Dow Jones Newswires.

The Audience Platform

B2B ad technology company Bizo launched a new “Audience Marketing Platform” according to a release. The company’s new offering even has a retargeting feature called “Segment and Remind”: “If [visitors] do not become a qualified lead and leave the site they are later presented with personalized display advertising now tailored to the product or service they reviewed on the marketer’s or publisher’s web site. This brings them back into the marketing funnel, effectively lifting the performance of the marketer’s entire program mix.” Read more.

Display Ads Work!

In conjunction with Nielsen and Catalina Solutions, PointRoll has released results of a new study done by Supervalu and Pointroll ads. Among other findings, the study found that by using rich media display ad tech, “ad sales lift among exposed households was three times higher compared with a standard ad lift, even though the average frequency on the standard ads was 75 percent higher.” Read the release.

Making Online Ads Better Than TV

An opinion piece by Yahoo! vp of product Bobby Figueroa landed on The Business Insider yesterday as Figueroa discussed the finer points of “How Does Online Advertising Become Better Than Advertising On TV?” He identifies better measurement as key, “What we should be doing is measuring multiple points to tell an advertiser what works and what doesn’t.” Read more.

Beyond The Google Algo

Digiday Daily’s Brian Morrissey looks at Google’s acquisition of video content producer Next New Networks and thinks “It’s an admission by Google that its next act as a huge media company won’t be by computers alone. To be sure Google will continue to focus on building huge tech platforms, but the real money in media continues to be driven by humans rather than machines.” Here, here.
Read more.

RTB Tips For Pubs

On the Association of Online Publishers site, Criteo biz dev chief Jonathan Wolf tells big online publishers in the UK what real-time bidding (RTB) means for them. It’s not necessarily all good.. – maybe neutral – as he says, “Yes, it is a step-change in the technology for adserving that can unlock significantly more revenue. But – it doesn’t remove the issues that premium publishers have been grappling with for the last decade.” Read more.

You’re Hired -Or Appointed!

OpenX announced that it has hired former Rubicon Project biz dev dude Raj Chauhan “General Manager of the company’s publisher business.” Read about it on OpenX.org Meanwhile, semantic ad technology provider Proximic announced the appointment of Jonathan Mandel as Chairman of the Board. Mandel also has a board seat at Citadel Broadcasting accorindg to the release.

From VC To Entrepreneur

After 4.5 years at Highland Capital, Matt Nichols (AdExchanger.com Q&A) has to try on the clothing of the entrepreneur and join jewelry e-commerce company Gemvara (www.gemvara.com). In an email, Nichols says he will be joining the company as “EVP Operations and will be on the Board of Directors.”

Amp-ing Clicks

Looking at a March 2011 report from MediaMind creative matters when it comes to clickthrough rates. OK, there’s more to it than that as eMarketer writes, “rich media executions not only encourage interaction with brand messaging, but also increase clickthrough rates by 300% for financial services as compared with standard banners.”Read more and grab some nice looking graphics for your PPT prez.

Know Digital Canada

Curious what’s happening in online ads in the Great White North? Try comScore’s new 2010 year-in-review for the Canadian market. Among the Canadian data nuggets, “The number of total display ad impressions has grown 3% in 2010, with the majority of the ad impressions delivered in the final quarter of the year. In 2010, the top two advertisers online were Procter & Gamble, followed by GMAC/Ally. Together they accounted for nearly 17 billion display ad impressions throughout the year.” Read more and download (sign-up required).

RTB In China

Demand-side platform Simpli.fi is serving ads from their new Hong Kong data center and, according to a release, Simpli.fi CEO Frost Prioleau says, “We believe we are the first full-service DSP to enable real-time bidding in China, and we expect advertisers there to see the same benefits that they have seen in North America and Europe. In addition to China, we’ll be adding service to India, S.E. Asia and Australia in the coming weeks.” Read more.

New Study On Long Tail

Contextweb announced the release of a new whitepaper Sample data nugget: “The average click-through rate for long-tail advertising during the period was 24% higher than for short-tail advertising. All 20 advertiser verticals in the study experienced click-through rate gains, with the top category seeing a 50% increase.” Read the release. And, download the study (sign-up required).

IAB Ripple Dissolve

Mediaweek’s Mike Shields looks back at last week’s IAB event in Palm Springs, California and summarizes: “the mood was ebullient as 750-plus attendees basked in the industry’s double-digital growth rates and flood of tech venture capital-and welcomed back IAB CEO Randall Rothenberg. Yet despite the cheerful vibe, the event carried a dark undercurrent.” Sends chills through my spine. Find out about the undercurrent!

Quality Assurance: The Video

CPX Interactive has posted a video “evangelizing the newly released Quality Assurance Guidelines (QAG)” and shown at the recent IAB event. According to the CPX blog, in the video, “Featured speakers discuss why ad networks and exchanges should seek to become certified under the QAG, and why whether an company is certified should matter to both advertisers and publishers, alike.
Read more.

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