You are currently browsing the archives for April, 2007.

Doubleclick Goes to Google; Media Titans Call It Anti-Trust

Rafat Ali at PaidContent rounds up this weekend’s coverage of Google’s acquisition of Doubleclick:

“Competitors like Yahoo, Time Warner and Microsoft, all of whom did bid for DCLK, are talking about anti-competitive nature of the deal. The deal will be subject to a review by either the Department of Justice or Federal Trade Commission.”

This is the first time Microsoft has called an anti-trust foul on someone else, according to the Financial Times!

I can’t imagine the Justice Dept will stop the deal, but Google, very obviously, is hot to move up-market in the online ad world, and Big Media is terrified. Google currently dominates the bottom, CPC direct response advertising, and in some cases (sites that stick to vertical content categories that are well supported with endemic ad dollars, say enterprise technology or auto-buying news) they perform better than the ad networks that are supposedly a notch above them in the food chain. In other cases (sites with high-quality readers, but broad content coverage) the ad-network model makes more sense and more money for publishers. As Google continues to struggle to get into the high-end brand marketing game, they recognize an easy new market to conquer is the ad-network world.

Doubleclick allows them to take their existing publisher network and plug in graphical ad units, served based on criteria beyond key-word context matching. Presto, they just put every ad network out of business.

This still doesn’t get them into the premium brand-ads business. But it’s the platform they’ll need when they do get there.

In the meantime — call it their “brand advertising market research phase” — they get to see what every advertiser pays for site-specific graphical ad programs. This gives them leverage in negotiating with existing publisher partners. “Hey, NY Times, let’s be honest. You sell 26% of your inventory at an average net CPM of $17. Let us have it, and we’ll do 100% at $6, and everybody wins.”

It’s also good market intelligence they can use to steal advertisers from the direct sales efforts of those publisher partners: “Hey advertiser, I’ll get you on this particular site, dayparted, geo-targeted and context matched…. and I’ll do it for a nickel less than the publishers themselves are offering.”
Scary situation for the media titans. When the anti-trust suits don’t pan out, I’m betting the Google-Doubleclick deal will drive an active year for digital media M&A.

Webbys Honor Symantec's RSS-Powered Content Ad

From FM’s newly-promoted marketing manager, Sam Kahn:

“I just received word from the Webby’s that the Symantec Security Response Weblog RSS Ad Unit has been selected as an Official Honoree for the Banner/Display Advertising: Business-to-Business category in The 11th Annual Webby Awards. The Official Honoree distinction is awarded to work that scores in the top 15% of all work entered into the Webby Awards.”

Here’s the complete list of Webby nominees, including our pals at Digg, Techdirt, COULORlovers and We Make Money Not Art.

Firefox Users Younger, Richer, Web 2.0-ier

In Comscore-founder Gian Fulgoni’s first post at the Comscore Voices blog, he publishes findings that Firefox users are younger, richer and more likely to be male than IE users.

“Our study proves what many might have suspected: Firefox users are demographically different in several important ways…. Firefox users are younger than the average Internet user, are 26 percent more likely to have incomes above $75,000 [61% vs 49%], and also have a higher likelihood of being male. Interestingly, they are 13 percent more likely to have broadband connections. This leads us to the second part of this topic, which I will post soon, which will address how Firefox users are early-adopters of Web 2.0 technologies. I will also describe Firefox users based on their ‘cognographic’ profile, which is comScore’s proprietary measure of users’ interests, passions and lifestyles.”

If “early adopters of Web 2.0 technologies” means that social media sites like Digg, Boing Boing, YTMND and Wikia have audiences that skew toward Firefox users — younger and more upscale than the mainstream Internet population — it might explain why panel-based research firms like Comscore and Nielsen NetRatings underestimate the reach of those sites. Sounds like Comscore, at least, is moving towards a fix!

Imus Loses P&G, Amex, GM and Staples Money

I’m glad to see this. Being offensive — even in the name of humor or whatever else — is becoming more expensive. At least four blue-chip advertisers have pulled the plug on the “Imus in the Morning” sponsorships. A P&G spokesperson told AdAge:

“This particular venue where our ad appeared was offensive to our target audience. And so that’s not acceptable to us….”

Related: Advertisers pull ads off Ann Coulter’s site (Link).

Google, The Advertising OS

I’m just wiping the vacation dew out of my eyes, and the first thing I see is Eric Schmidt telling Wired readers to “think of [Google] first as advertising system,” and only after that as a company that services people with applications like internet search! From Searchblog.