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Industry Buzz & Snippets: 5/8/08


Not so real after all

Ad Networks and Analytics:

  • DoubleClick introduced a widget calculating tool that tells advertisers how much weight their widgets are pulling among users.

Agencies and Execs:

  • DG FastChannel and Enliven Marketing Technologies Corp. plan to merge in a deal valued at $98 million.
  • Havas Media acquired interactive firm archibald ingall stretton and will integrate it into the agency.
  • Larry Gerbrandt left his post at the head of Nielsen Analytics to start his own shop, Media Valuation Partners.
  • Denuo is working with GoldSpot Media on dynamic mobile and video ad insertion for clients.
  • TBA Global launched TBA DEEP, a unit dedicated to branded entertainment across all platforms.

Campaigns of Note:

  • Dove's "Real Beauty" campaign, created by Ogilvy & Mather, featured heavily-retouched women.
  • Microsoft is running a contest encouraging people to create videos, pursuing the thread of an existing short film. This is to promote Windows Vista's video-editing software.
  • Discover Card created the Paydown Planner, which helps people manage credit card debt. The site will be supported with a cross-media campaign.

Cross Media:

  • The Warner Bros' MomsLogic.com may be spun off as a daytime talk show.
  • Out-of-home content and ad networks that focus on gas station placement are growing in both reach and quantity of content. 

Funding:

  • Online presentation service Slideshare raised $3 million.
  • GiantRealm, a video game ad network, raised $5.5 million in its first round of financing for staff hiring and the opening of more offices in LA and San Francisco.

Legal, Government and Regulation:

  • Microsoft is backing two state measures that require more transparency in data collection.
  • Pushback from two civil liberties groups compelled the FBI to drop its request for information on a user of the Internet Archive.
  • Hollywood studios succeeded in its $111 million copyright infringement lawsuit against defunct filesharing site TorrentSpy.com.

New and Improved:

  • Microsoft updated the look of Live Search, focusing on uncluttered presentation that seems inspired by Google's aesthetic.
  • SalesForce introduced "user-interface as a service," which lets customers design their own interface.

Music:

  • Qtrax users may now download ad-supported music from the Universal Music Group catalog, part of an agreement between the two parties.

Online Ad Market:

  • Vusion may become one of the first providers of white-label online HD video players. It is talking with media companies and publishers about using its technology for videos and accompanying ads.
  • While the number of self-serve display ad vendors increases, hurdles to adoption for small business remain daunting.
  • Google is cooling to the idea of partnering with Yahoo on sales of search ads. Executives are reportedly "divided."

Online Content:

  • Barnes & Noble added "how-to" video content with Quamut; distribution support via VideoJub.
  • The issue of being paid for new media distribution is at the heart of the impasse between the Screen Actors Guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. If it isn't resolved, it may lead to an actors strike.
  • NBC is making episodes of shows like "The Office" available for viewing on iPhone.
  • Chicago's Second City is launching an online video hub for humor sketches.

Social Networks:

  • Sports Illustrated is working with Citizen Sports to create a Facebook-based fantasy football game.
  • The Vatican is planning a social network to connect Catholics in preparation for World Youth Day '08.

User Experience:

  • CBS is rolling out Play.It, a tool that lets users create streaming playlists and share them with others across platforms.

Wireless Marketing:

  • Skyhook released a tool that allows mobile application makers to insert geo-targeted ads, powered by Quattro Wireless.
  • A commissioner at the FTC put cellphone content providers on notice: they must disclose all costs related to downloading services.

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