Plaintiff Drops Claim Against interclick; AdMeld Starts Consulting Biz; Publicis Sees Rosy Future Led By Digital

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interclick Plaintiff Drops Claim

On Friday, online ad tech company interclick announced that the heat from the so-called "history sniffing" lawsuit may be subsiding. According to a release, "the plaintiff amended her complaint and voluntarily dropped her claim that interclick had violated the Electronic Communications Privacy Act." Read more. CEO Michael Katz says in the release, "interclick believes that our activities are not, and have never been, in any way unlawful and violated customer privacy. We are pleased that this important element of the litigation has been dropped." He also tells AdExchanger.com, "We will be providing an update on legal costs during our next quarterly earnings call, but it all means nothing if we aren’t willing to fight for the values that we believe in as an organization such as transparency and consumer privacy."

AdMeld Starts Consulting

Echoing the models of Operative and Theorem, AdMeld has announced that it has taken the first steps of moving into the consulting business with its Strategic Advisory Services (SAS) group. Led by former Tremor Media and ad operations exec Pooja Kapoor, the new group's aim is "to help large publishers embrace holistic strategies to maximize their digital ad revenue." She'll report into AdMeld's Chief Media Officer Jason Kelly. Read the release. And, see Kapoor's thoughts on the goals of the new initiative on the AdMeld blog.

Publicis Seeing Digital

The New York Times gives a shout out to ad agency holding company Publicis as it presciently acquired Digitas and Razorfish ahead of a stronger than expected recovery with digital leading the way. Publicis CEO Maurice Lévy thinks good times remain ahead telling the NYT: “Advertising came out of the downturn much more strongly than expected. Can it continue to grow? My contention is yes." Read it.

Rubicon Project Gets CRO

Last week, Rubicon Project announced a slew of executive level hirings in the sales team including the addition of a new Chief Revenue Officer, Nick Hulse, who comes from SaaS mobility company, iPass. The company also added former Oracle exec Bill Harries as vp of sales ops and former Autoweb exec Bill McHargue as vp of North American sales. Read the release.

No More Engineers

There are no more engineers to be had in Silicon Valley according to an article by Claire Cain Miller and Jenna Wortham in The New York Times. How bad is it? An anecdote: "Two executives at a small start-up (...) recently lost an intern when one of the biggest start-ups offered the candidate a 40 percent bump in stock options, potentially worth hundreds of thousands of dollars - but only if the candidate accepted the job before hanging up the phone." Click. Read more.

Media Planner Mayhem

On the Upstream Group blog, Doug Weaver recounts what he says is a true story about a junior member of an agency planning team named "Caitlin" who shows up for a lunch with some sellers and says: "Everybody else was too busy to get away today. So they said that with the money you guys would have spent on lunch you should just take me shopping instead.” Oh yes, there's more. Surely, she gave some of her winnings to the client.

Data Accuracy, Not Privacy

On his personal blog, VivaKi Nerve Center's Marco Bertozzi says that after working with Evidon, he had an epiphany as follows: "I dont think enough people talk about this: we are constantly assuming consumers / users want out. No, they want accuracy. And they want to see who and what is looking at them, after that in the main it appears they are happy to work with us nasty, media and data companies, they may even want to receive an advertising message!" Read it.

Steve Brill's Company Acquired

Jordan, Edmiston Group announced it was involved in the recent acquisition of Steve Brill's Journalism Online by RR Donnelly. According to the release, a key component of the purchase was "Journalism Online’s Press+ system [which] supports publishers as they offer audiences a mix of free and subscription‐based premium content." Read more (PDF). And, read AdWeek's take on the acquisition.

Life And Death Of The Ad Network

Exchangewire's Ciaran O'Kane takes up the topic of the death - or lack thereof - of the ad network. He writes, "But things have started to get a little more complicated in the last twelve months for the ad network. They used to have a monopoly on inventory aggregation and optimisation. The advent of DSPs and SSPs has changed the rules of the game." Read his take.

Tech Investor Bubble?

The New York Times' Deal Book blog set the blogosphere afire yesterday with a post titled "Is It a New Tech Bubble? Let’s See if It Pops". The writers reason that at the height of the tech bubble in 1999, tech valuations neared $71 billion for a host of public companies and that in 2011, five private companies alone are worth $71 billion. Can you guess all five? (See the graphic.) On his personal blog, angel investor and tech entrepreneur Chris Dixon says that he isn't going to take a side but offers, "A bubble is a decoupling of asset prices (valuations) from their underlying economic fundamentals (which is why the graph at the top of the NYTimes article today is meaningless)." Read more.

That 'Predict' Patent

Mike On Ads' Mike Nolet (the current AppNexus CTO and former RMX dude) points to the recent approval by the USPTO of a Right Media patent for a feature called "Predict." Nolet says, "I won’t pretend to be able to explain this well after being completely disconnected from it for four years, but I pulled a few excerpts that are interesting to read for those that lack the patience to interpret lawyer speak." See 'em.

Engineering Kimono

Magnetic senior engineer Mark Weiss has taken over the login to the Magnetic blog and offers the first in a series of posts from his development viewpoint. He opens the engineering kimono and says that there are two rules "we use to distill the responsibilities of Magnetic Engineering into a core team mission statement: keep our products running, and continuously improve our products." He's a fan of the Agile development process. Read more.

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