WSJ Says Data-Driven Ad Industry Is Spying; Raising Data Management Bar; Betting On Display Ad Tech

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The WSJ On Data-Driven Ads

A team of Wall Street Journal reporters have launched a new series of reports on the data-driven online advertising industry starting with “The Web’s New Gold Mine: Your Secrets.” The WSJ’s Julia Angwin writes, “One of the fastest-growing businesses on the Internet, a Wall Street Journal investigation has found, is the business of spying on Internet users.” Read more.

In addition, there are several other articles and resources for what the WSJ says will be an ongoing series called “What They Know”:

Lotame issued a response to the article series saying in part, “Lotame is in the business of marketing to audiences of scale on behalf of its clients (typically combining hundreds of thousands or millions of anonymous profiles), not zeroing in on or targeting individual profiles.” Read more here.

More reaction with views differing from the WSJ’s include Jeff Jarvis of Buzz Machine here and writer Stephen Baker here.

Raising Data Management Bar

Product and marketing maven Pascal Bensoussan writes on Aggregate Knowledge’s (AK) site “Data Management: Time to Raise the Bar.” Bensoussan shares what he believes are popular myths around data and how AK buys, uses and learns from data – beginning with: “Myth #1: Working with one or two data providers makes my life simpler and safer.” Read more.

Betting On Display

In a feature article, Brian Morrissey notes the tens of millions of dollars flowing into display ad tech in AdWeek. Morrisey quotes GCA Savvian’s Terence Kawaja who predicts, “The market will contract more the next 12 months. The leaders will separate from the rest of the pack.” Read more.

Deanonymizing Google Content Network

In a post on its blog, SearchForecast says that it has “been ‘de-anonymizing’ the anonymous URLs Google shows on their ‘placement targeting’ within Adwords for advertisers who spend money on their Content Network.” It will be interesting to hear DoubleClick For Publisher (DFP) client reaction to this if it’s true. Read more.

More Exchanges

More exchange model businesses are proliferating as MediaPost’s Mark Walsh covers a new Groupon competitor called DealOn Media which Walsh describes as, “an Internet-based exchange allowing deal suppliers to bid to get their offers displayed on third-party sites.” Read more.

Make It Simple COO Andy Atherton returns to the blog and echoes and extends a recent article by ComScore’s Josh Chasin about “complex and conflicting narratives” of the online world in comparison to the 30-second spot of TV, for example. Atherton writes, “Online has the audience, the content, the creative and yes, the metrics. A decade of burgeoning complexity has moved lots of DR money online, but brands are still waiting for the simple, efficient, repeatable scale of TV. If we give them a simpler narrative, reflecting a simpler process, the money will move.” Read more.

Minneapolis Display Event

Minneapolis, Minnesota-based consultancy FRWD has announced that it is putting on an event on August 11 called “Pushing the Boundaries: Exploring the Evolving World of Display Media” and will “consist of an afternoon of discussions with industry leading Publishers, Demand Side Platforms, Data Aggregators, Verification and Survey tools providers.” See the agenda and sign-up.

Monster Reports Q2 And Display

Citibank’s Mark Mahaney says that on Thursday, “[Monster Worldwide] Reported An In-Line & Lower Q3 – $215MM in revenue was in-lineish with CIRA/Street estimates of $216MM/215MM.” According to Monster CFO Tim Yates on the earnings call: “This quarter, we had strong performance in our customer lead generation and display businesses but the segment is negatively impacted by a reduction in military recruitment spend which directly impacted our business.” Read the earnings call transcript on Seeking Alpha.

New Display Analyst

Former Razorfish and VivaKi media exec and display ad doyenne Joanna O’Connell has move to Forrester as their new display advertising analyst. O’Connell offers her first post describing her background and a few thoughts on the industry. She writes, “I strongly believe that we’re at an inflection point in how a significant portion of Display media will be managed – and by whom – going forward, and I personally look forward to sharing my perspective on it with this community.” Read more. Follow O’Connell here (@joannaoconnell)

China Ad Network Selling

PaidContent’s Joseph Tartakoff notes that China-based Focus Media is selling a stake (to PE firm Silver Lake) in Allyes, a “media services company” that it had bought for $225 million a couple of years ago. PE firm Silver Lake will have nearly 2/3 stake in Allyes which is valued at around $180 million today according to the transaction particulars. Read more.

Microsoft Hasn’t Been Acquiring

Doug Caverly of WebProNews says that reporting on Google acquistions versus those by Microsoft isn’t a media bias rather a reflection of the way things are today as Microsoft hasn’t been acquiring. He quotes from Microsoft’s 10-k filing, “During fiscal year 2010, we acquired five entities for total consideration of $267 million, substantially all of which was paid in cash. (…) During this period, we also sold three entities for total consideration of $600 million, including Razorfish in the second quarter of fiscal year 2010.” Read more.

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