Havas Rebate Rumors; VC Interest In Ad Tech Declining

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Havas In The Hot Seat

Ad Age has obtained a contract template from two anonymous ad tech vendors who say they received the document from Havas Media US during deal negotiations. According to the sources, the contract mandates fees due to a Havas entity in Spain, based on the volume of business between the vendors and Havas. In an interview with Ad Age, Havas Media Group Global Managing Director Dominique Delport asserts, “It has nothing to do with rebates.” According to Delport, the Havas entity in Spain, which is called HM Alliance, is “one of the 150 legal entities that is in Havas,” and provides “digital campaign management and audience planning services and auditing.” More.

Dwindling VC

The Wall Street Journal visits the topic of declining VC interest in ad tech. Venky Ganesan, managing director at Menlo Partners, claims fundraising for ad tech firms has “almost evaporated,” and startups are struggling to land meetings. “Ad tech is full of the living dead,” added Ashu Garg, general partner of Foundation Capital, alluding to ad tech firms that can produce $30 million-$50 million in revenue but are unable to expand. Read it. The VC doldrums are driving a push for profitability at many companies. Read AdExchanger’s coverage.

Adblock Battles

The hunted has become the hunter. Eyeo, maker of Adblock Plus, is speaking out against forthcoming features for Apple’s mobile operating system. The Apple update, announced at its developer conference on Monday, will equip iOS 9 iPhones and iPads with built-in ad blocking tech. The hiccup for Adblock Plus is that though the firm works to block ads, it has also built a business on white labeling some advertisers. “So far very little is known about content blocking extensions, available in Safari 9 and iOS 9,” said Ben Williams, head of operations for Adblock Plus. “We look nervously at how powerful their block lists will be.” Read on via The Guardian.

Season Of The Bot

There’s been considerable sound and fury regarding the spread of bots, malware and viewability technology, but to what end? Based on research from Distil Networks, eMarketer writes that in 2014, “The share of web traffic worldwide coming from humans dropped from 54.8% to 40.9%.” It’s important to note that a significant portion of the bot traffic comes from “good bots” (aka non-malicious bots, such as apps for web crawling or search indexing, which register as traffic). Digital publishers, of course, registered the most damage from “bad bots.”

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