Google Announces One Pass; WPP Merging Digital; Simulmedia Adds Magna Global Exec Wieser

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Google Launches Pub Subscription Tool

And, it has come to pass. For the tablet, Google One Pass is here as Google CEO Eric Schmidt announced yesterday - from Humboldt University in Berlin - a new "service that lets publishers set their own prices and terms for their digital content. (…) publishers can maintain direct relationships with their customers and give readers access to digital content across websites and mobile apps." Ich bin ein Google One Pass. And, see the video. According to Ad Age’s Edmund Lee, who quotes a Google spokesperson, the cost to publishers will be about 10% of the subscription price. Read more – especially about data sharing.

WPP Folds Digital Into Single Network

Advertising, like politics, is often the art of the possible. Perhaps that’s the reasoning behind the name Possible, the umbrella brand name for WPP Group’s new digital agency network. The network will roll up the four digital ad shops that WPP has acquired since 2005: New York-based Schematic, Cincinnati-based Bridge Worldwide, Singapore-based Blue Interactive and New Delhi-based Quasar. The WSJ’s Emily Steel reports that this will creating a single entity with roughly 1,000 employees in 18 offices around the world, while Ad Age’s Kunur Patel notes that four agencies had $104 million in U.S. revenue. The move is meant to counter interactive ad hubs like Publicis’ VivaKi as the two rival ad holding companies compete for digital dominance.

Twitter’s #AdTutorial

As Twitter aims to bring in $100 million in revenue this year – more than doubling last year’s estimated $45 million haul – the microblog is going to have to get more aggressive with its advertising sales. For awhile, the company’s “Promoted Tweets” weren’t even identified as “advertising.” But that’s changing now, as the company has surreptitiously uploaded a 40-minute long video on YouTube that offers a primer on what advertisers can expect from Twitter, such as the promise of “engagement rate” of 1 percent to 3 percent, reports MediaMemo’s Peter Kafka, who was tipped off to the video’s existence. Clickthrough rates are downplayed, but engagement in the form of retweets, whether a user likes and ad are being sold as the true value of these ad units. There is a catch, of course: marketers must spend a minimum of $5,000 to be allowed in to the beta tests. Read more.

Google vs. Facebook?

For a while the past few years, ad agencies weren’t sure whether to regard Google as a friend, enemy or “frenemy” in the words of WPP head Sir Martin Sorrell. Now, Google is the one fending off such questions about Facebook, as the social net’s share of online display ads has surged to 13.6 percent from 2.9 percent of the U.S. market in the past two years, per eMarketer, notes DJ Newswire’s Scott Morrison. Speaking at the Goldman Internet and Tech Conference, Nick Fox, Google VP of product management, voiced confidence in the breadth of Google’s reach. “It’s not us versus them,” Fox said. Read more.

ValueClick Rises

Lead gen stalwart ValueClick was a display market bellwether long before Google decided to focus on the space as multi-billion business. After suffering a black eye resulting from an FTC settlement some years ago over deceptive advertising, ValueClick has come roaring back, with Q4 profits rising 36 percent, beating Wall Street’s expectations. Macquerie analyst Tom White, in a research note, said ValueClick’s affiliate marketing and performance-based display ad businesses should “continue to benefit from the broader macro rebound. But the remaining uncertainty in ValueClick’s Owned & Operated segment keeps us on the sidelines." Read the company’s Q4 earnings release.

Magna’s Wieser Moves To Simulmedia

Simulmedia, the targeted TV promotions startup, has formed a strategic alliance with Magna Global, a worldwide multimedia and strategic investment unit for Mediabrands and IPG agencies. As part of this alliance, Brian Wieser, who has been with Magna since 2003 and served as director of forecasting since 2009, will join Simulmedia as Chief Marketing Officer to lead this effort. His forecasting duties will be handled by Magna President Elizabeth Herbst-Brady. Read the release.

Looking At Ad.com

In a post long on analysis of why Ad.com has suffered from what Cogblog's Brent Halliburton believes is malign neglect, he points to two reasons: convinced Google/DoubleClick would ultimately crush Ad.com, Armstrong and ad sales head Jeff Levick – a former Google colleague of Armstrong’s – decided to concentrate on the content business as a way of attracting premium ad dollars. Secondly, it was a failure of execution. For one thing the market around it changed rapidly in the past year. Halliburton writes: “Ad.com ended up bidding into exchanges to expand their reach (just do simply low frequency bids on run of network-ish inventory, low-tech), but not becoming an exchange because that required more technology execution.” Read more.

Pointroll CEO Shuffle

Pointroll, the rich media provider that has served as the focal point of Gannett’s digital properties, has lost its CEO Jason Tafler. He’ll be replaced by sales head Robert Gatto. Tafler is returning to Canada to be with his family care for his young son, he tells paidContent’s David Kaplan, adding that he will also be taking a job with a media telecom firm. Read the release.

YuMe Hires One, Promotes Another

The broadband video space continues to heat up as consolidation and spending are on the rise. To get itself into a stronger position, video ad firm YuMe has named advertising veteran Bryan Everett to the post of EVP, Business Development and promoted Ed Haslam to SVP, Marketing. Everett, a former Kontera exec, started his online advertising career at 24/7 Real Media, where he led regional media and sales for search and technology and rose to vice president of west coast sales. Read the release.

Sympathy For The Agency

Anyone who works in an ad agency these days knows it’s a far cry from the life depicted on Mad Men. The Drift’s Doug Weaver offers a bitter defense of the modern agency, with all its fears of being replaced en masse by trading desks, the clients who demand the lowest rates on premium websites. Among the bits of advice he has for media sellers, is that need to “Get Off the RFP Crack Pipe and Get Greater Visibility,” by taking some responsibility for your end of relationship. It sound like Dr. Phil advice, but it does make some sense – after all, buyers, sellers need each other, right? Read more.

Morrissey, After Adweek

Brian Morrissey, who has covered the rise and fall and rise of digital advertising since his days at ClickZ, has spoken to PR Newser’s Joe Ciarallo about his goals and reasons for signing on as editor of trade media and events provider Digiday. “The era of the generalist is over,” he says. “The long-term ambition is for Digiday to be the leading media company focused on digital media and marketing. We’ll get there bit by bit. My goal is we improve every week.” Read more.

Anti-Malvertising Do's

Nilesh Zacharias & Joe Wojak of the Yahoo! Right Media have made a list of what they contend is the rules to the road in combatting malvertising - the nasty advertising which can come from suspicious creative - or people. Among the RMX team's recommendations: "Before you start working with any new advertiser, check their company domain address (or creative clickthrough URLs) against the WHOIS database." Read more.

Releasing The Notes

Lotame CEO Andy Monfried has started posting his company's product release notes on his personal blog.  He believes this has potential appeal to your "inner geek".  Get geeky now.

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