WPP Group Ready To Buy Digital Agencies; Demand Media Pitching; Yahoo! Acquiring Reporters

WPP GroupHere’s today’s AdExchanger.com news round-up… Want it by email? Sign-up here.

WPP Wallet-Ready

In a call with Wall Street analysts, WPP Group CEO Martin Sorrell said that the ad holding company was aiming to reach its goal of 33% of revenues coming from digital. Sorrell added that he is not averse to adding more digital agencies through acquistion to get their sooner than the planned – perhaps within 3 to 4 years. But, digital agencies are pricey these days! Read more from Reuters.

Privacy Or Competitive Concerns?

Mike Butcher of TechCrunch Europe reports that Google engineers – in particular – who use Facebook in their day-to-day are leaving their Facebook profiles in “droves” due to concerns around privacy. Writes Butcher, “This includes Matt Cutts, head of the webspam team at Google (see below) who has not technically left, but has deactivated his Facebook account.” Or maybe they’re worried about competitive pressures? Read more.

Agencies Are Digital-Ready

Winston Binch, a partner at Crispin Porter & Bogusky and head of production, argues that the new agency model is here. He writes on Ad Age, “Right now an important step is once and for all ending the conversation about the traditional and digital divide. The best agencies have closed it and now provide one-stop shopping for everything from Super Bowl commercials to digital platforms to mobile apps to social-media conversation management.” Read it.

Last Week’s Deal Flow

Salesforce.com acquired Jigsaw Data Corp., “a company that provides a Wikipedia-like directory of company information and business contact.” Total cost is $142 million. Read analysis from Computerworld’s David Taber on how the two companies fit together. Black Arrow, which “which sells software for inserting targeted ads on either pay-TV or online platforms,” received a $20 million Series C investment led by NDS. Read more in Broadcast & Cable. And, read the release.

Demand Media Pitching

Mediaweek’s Mike Shields talks to Joanne Bradford of Demand Media (formerly of Yahoo!) about the content generation business as companies like Demand Media, AOL, and Google look to compete with traditional news sources for the publication of evergreen material. With Demand’s IPO ambitions in the exploratory phase courtesy of Goldman Sachs, Bradford tells Shields the pitch for advertisers who are considering Demand Media, “We have fantastic data, a fantastic audience and high quality content. To me, that is game on. We have the largest media company that marketers don’t know.” Read more.

Open Vs. Closed

Chris Dixon, angel investor and Hunch honcho, looks at the debate between open and closed platform strategies in the technology world. He notes the ability of closed platforms to effectively add simple features – such as anti-spam features in Twitter. But he concludes that innovation is spurred by openness. But, wait. There’s more.

Get Your Agency Report

Fresh off last week’s Ad Network and Exchange Guide, Ad Age delivers its Agency Report. If you don’t have a copy of the agency tree that shows who all your favorite agency players are, maybe you should get one here (PDF). How’s it going in the agency world, you ask.. well, the title of one article says it all, “Agency Report: Revenue Slumps 7.5%, Jobs at 16-Year Low.”

Yahoo! Acquiring Reporters

Mike Shields also delivers a piece in this week’s Mediaweek on Yahoo! and its efforts to beef up its online reporting for Yahoo! News section by hiring a slew of “traditional” reporters. There’s also a new initiative aimed at leveraging the stock piles of audience data on Yahoo! to spearhead the development of appropriate video content. Read more.

Surveying Online Shoppers

Marketing Profs published a social shopping survey that makes the case for the value of reviews, ratings and search as each is important in helping the consumer make an informed decision. A sample data point: “Nearly six in ten (57%) online shoppers say they start online research for branded products with a search engine.” Remarkably, only 20% start with the branded site. See it.

Index Ventures Planting Seeds

From its blog, Index Ventures announced that it was creating a dedicated funds focused on early-stage, seed investing: “We aim to do around 20 seed deals in the next 24 months.” Also, Index will partner with Robin Klein and TAG on the new seed venture. Read more. And, read TAG’s blog.

Your Mentor Has A Mentor

CEO coach, Jerry Colonna, issues another missive from his personal blog with a post titled, “Barbers Can’t Cut Their Own Hair.” Apparently Colonna also has his own coach which some of his clients may find disconcerting but Colonna reasons, “Dentists need dentists. And Floyd always went to Mount Pilot to get his hair cut.” Read more.

Music And The Media Platform

Dan Reich looks the music business and the trend toward creating a music media platform – as “business and music are thought about the same way and are less complimentary but more interconnected” as “the lines between technology, software, media, music, marketing and news has become increasingly blurry.” Read more about delivering the right music at the right time to the right person.

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