24/7 Media Makes Some Changes in Wake of Ari Bluman’s Exit

Here’s some new evidence that digital marketing technology in Europe may be catching up to the U.S.

Last week Ari Bluman, North America President at Real Media Group, left for a new job as chief digital investment officer of GroupM N.A. (press release). In the wake of his exit, WPP-owned 24/7 Media has changed the management structure for the RMG division by creating two new global roles — one governing sales and another client operations.

One of the new roles, President of Real Media Group, will be filled by Nicolle Pangis. Pangis previously was President, Europe, leading sales and operations on that continent, and also was involved in the launch of RMG in Asia coordinating DTSI, 24/7 Media’s joint venture with Dentsu in Korea. In a first, she’ll now lead both U.S. and European sales.

However whereas Bluman oversaw the whole N.A. business, Pangis will lead sales, biz dev and strategy only, leaving oversight of support and services on both sides of the Atlantic to another appointee, Irene Bondar. Separately, 24/7 Media also nabbed a new chief financial officer in Gary Lee.

The changes suggest 24/7 Media sees a more standardized role for both sales and operations across country borders – primarily in North America and Europe. (In Asia, Jae Woo Chung will continue to lead operations and sales.) Put another way, five years after its acquisition by WPP, it would appear 24/7 Media has begun to integrate globally.

Speaking with AdExchanger, Pangis said, “More and more publishers are looking to manage at least parts of their businesses globally. That was less important a year ago.”

With regard to programmatic, Pangis adds adoption in some EU countries is slow. She says, “There are some countries moving aggressively into RTB. For others, the spend is minimal and agencies are just starting to dip their feet in the water. But the trend itself is exactly the same in North America and Europe as a whole.”

If you’re confused about the relationship between 24/7 Media and Real Media Group, and how they fit within WPP, here’s a quick breakdown: 24/7 Media is the marketing technology development arm of WPP. It supports several divisions within the holding company, including 24/7’s own Real Media Group, Media Innovation Group, and trading desk Xaxis.

Previously called 24/7 Real Media, the company rebranded a few months ago, breaking out its ad network and publisher monetization arm into the new business unit called Real Media Group. Keeping RMG at a safe remove from its ad serving/tech may help allay publishers’ concerns that their monetization partner could have unwanted visibility into what advertisers they are bringing in and at what prices. Mojiva did much the same when it broke its ad serving tech, Mocean, off from its ad network.

In addition to ad serving, 24/7 Media offers a DSP and allows publishers to closely manage ad decisioning between direct-sold and RTB inventory. Pangis says the publisher rules are more granular than some publisher platforms that automatically prioritize direct sales over RTB for a given impression, which is not always desirable.

For more background check out AdExchanger’s May interview dealing with 24/7 Media’s big inventory deal with Microsoft.

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