Week in Review: Publicom Deal Collapses, Alibaba’s IPO, Turn Launches Programmatic TV

Between mega-mergers being called off, mega-IPOs being announced, and various tech stocks taking a nose dive, it has been an exceptionally turbulent week in the world of video advertising. If you want a weekly update on what’s happening in video and connected TV advertising, sign up for the weekly Video Round-Up.

Publicom Deal Called Off, Sorrell Jubilant

The proposed mega merger of two of the world’s leading advertising agency groups, Publicis and Omnicom, has been called off. In a joint statement, Maurice Lévy, Chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe, and John Wren, President and CEO of Omnicom Group, stated: “The challenges that still remained to be overcome, in addition to the slow pace of progress, created a level of uncertainty detrimental to the interests of both groups and their employees, clients and shareholders. We have thus jointly decided to proceed along our independent paths. We, of course, remain competitors, but maintain a great respect for one another.”

Over at WPP, Martin Sorrell, still CEO of the world’s largest ad group, has been in fine fettle, telling the Wall Street Journal that the deal “was a case of eyes bigger than the tummy,” and that the deal was “born out of  emotional desire to knock WPP off its perch and ego.”

The Technology and Strategy of  Data-Driven TV Advertising
New TV Frontiers, London, June 10th

Alibaba Announces IPO as Tech Stocks Dive

Alibaba has filed for its initial public offering, against a backdrop of plummeting tech stocks in the US. The company is expected to raise around $15 billion, and could top the $16 billion raised by Facebook in 2012.

The last week has been a bad one for the tech sector, with Twitter and AOL down both over 20 percent at one point, and LinkedIn down by almost 15 percent. At the time of writing, Rockfuel’s share price has dropped 26 percent – and that’s just today – trading at $20.45.

Tech Stock Apocalypse


The FT’s Henny Sender wrote an excellent piece looking at why the markets are starting to believe many tech stocks are overvalued (this isn’t just an ad tech problem). Part of the problem, says Sender, might be the huge amounts of easy money being pumped into the US economy via quantitive easing.

One of the more worrying quotes came from David Einhorn, founder of Greenlight Capital, who informed his investors at the end of April that he decided to short a basket of bubble stocks. “Now there is clear consensus that we are witnessing our second tech bubble in 15 years,” he wrote. “What is uncertain is how much further the bubble can expand, and what might pop it.”

Turn Launches Programmatic TV

Turn, an ad tech platform, launched programmatic TV, which they say will give marketers the power to find and target audiences online and offline, across every device and channel. Turn hasn’t announced supply partners yet but say they are building ‘an ecosystem for programmatic TV that already offers the ability to reach millions of households across the US with a robust array of anonymous audience data through set-top boxes’.

Attribution Acquisitions

It has been a good week for attribution companies. Google went shopping this week and picked up Adometry, a Texas-based attribution software platform, for an undisclosed sum. Then just hours afterwards, AOL announced they’re acquiring Convertro, an attribution platform, for $101 million.

BSkyB Announces Local TV Advertising Deal with Johnstone Press

Sky will make available Sky AdSmart available to parts of Johnston Press’s national sales network. From June, Johnston Press’s extensive network of SME advertisers will be able to create and buy campaigns shown in TV ad breaks according to a household’s location and profile. Sky set-top boxes are in one fifth of British homes.

TubeMogul Find that Brits are Faring (Relatively) Well on Video Viewability

TubeMogul’s quarterly report on viewability found that overall viewability rates in the U.K. averaged 43 percent in Q1, the highest rate worldwide, and 7 percent higher than the global average of 36 percent. TubeMogul says this reflects both the increased adoption of viewability measurement tools as well as publishers embracing programmatic technology.

Also, pre-roll inventory grew 118 percent from Q4 to Q1, while mobile inventory grew 154 percent over that same time.

TubeMogul Viewability

New MediaMath App Enables Advertisers to Use First Party Data to Target Consumers on Twitter 

MediaMath has introduced a self-service ‘Twitter Tailored Audiences app‘, which will be made available via its TerminalOne Marketing Operating System, which will enable advertisers to leverage their first-party data to retarget consumers and prospects on Twitter.

Best of the Rest 

Video Creative Solution Shakr, Raises $3 Million
Unruly Expands into APAC with New Singapore Office
Facebook to Add Video Metrics
MMA Announces Results of Mobile Video Benchmark Study
ITV Buys Leftfield for $330 Million

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