Comscore Continues To Struggle; PlaceIQ Snags Experian Investment

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A ’score To Settle

Comscore has gone from arguably the best-positioned company to solve television’s cross-channel measurement problem to being mired in executive overhauls and new product builds beleaguered with setbacks. Things looked bright in April 2018, though, when Comscore brought on former 360i chairman Bryan Wiener as CEO. But, just a year later, Wiener would be gone along with President Sarah Hoffstetter. Wiener and Hoffstetter abruptly resigned after the board demanded budget cuts the duo thought would compromise the company’s long-term cross-channel measurement strategy. The leadership vacuum they left has been filled by Rentrak executives who are pushing the company’s legacy TV measurement business rather than investing in new products to replace Nielsen, Digiday reports. “The sales efforts to get stuff in our hands is still as strong as ever, but the ‘what’s the next thing to build?’ effort is quieter than it used to be,” said one agency exec. More.

Right Place, Right Time

The location data company PlaceIQ announced a strategic partnership with and investment from Experian on Tuesday. The size of the investment wasn’t disclosed, but it comes after a period of rapid change for PlaceIQ. Zeta Global and PlaceIQ announced a deal in July that saw Zeta take over PlaceIQ’s managed media business, including about 20 employees. AdExchanger had that news. Zeta also recently acquired Sizmek’s DSP/DMP business and the managed-media business of Visto (formerly Collective). This deal with Experian will embed PlaceIQ’s location data within Experian’s measurement and audience-matching tech, and give the startup access to additional cash as it develops a data business without ad sales. “Of course, we would have preferred to have focused on just one business model all these years, but life’s not that simple,” PlaceIQ CEO Duncan McCall told TechCrunch. More.

CMO No Mo’

The CMO is historically the least empowered “C” in the C-suite, with few represented on management boards and little authority to increase spend without CEO or CFO approval. But more and more marketers are outgrowing the CMO role. One recent example of that trend personified is Rob Lynch, the former CMO and brand president of the sandwich chain Arby’s, who on Tuesday was named CEO of the beleaguered pizza company Papa John’s. Lynch told CNBC that he wasn’t looking for a change, but the opportunity presented itself after the hasty departure of Papa John’s founder and former CEO John Schnatter. “My experience building and transforming brands can add a lot of value here,” Lynch said. More.

Yelp For You

Yelp is getting a personalization makeover. The yellow pages of the internet is customizing search results for the first time to better match users with businesses based on their preferences, Wired reports. Rather than patching together user profiles from online behavioral data, Yelp will ask logged-in users directly about their preferences, such as their diet restrictions, hobbies and lifestyle choices (think “parent” or “dog owner”). That gives Yelp, primarily an ad-supported business, a major asset to attract marketers who want to target audiences on the platform. It also better positions the company against rival Google, which has email, local search and mapping data that it can use for Yelp-like ad placements. More.

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