The Dreaded Restructure; New Mobile Codes

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The Dreaded Restructure

Syncapse announced major layoffs, according to CBC News, just one year after its Clickable acquisition. The social media marketing firm has been around since 2007, and had around 110 employees as of the end of last year. "Despite our best efforts, the organization lacks the resources to move forward successfully and as such must enter a period of restructuring," Syncapse founder and CEO Michael Scissons told employees in an email. Read more.

New Mobile Codes

The Digital Advertising Alliance and the Network Advertising Initiatives both rolled out mobile privacy guidelines for their members yesterday. The codes, which were created separately, require member companies to notify consumers that data is being collected about them for advertising purposes and to allow them to opt out of receiving behaviorally targeted ads on mobile devices. Read more about the DAA’s code here and the NAI’s code here. And, download the DAA “principles” here (PDF).

Retail Buying Tech

Yesterday, Walmart Labs bought website performance company Torbit, according to VentureBeat. The small company will be responsible for making Walmart’s sites faster and more efficient across all devices. Walmart is also looking to hire around 150 tech employees, which makes sense given the vast ecommerce market and stiff competition from sites like Amazon. Read more.  Buying startups is not new for Walmart Labs. The Walmart subsidiary bought OneRiot in 2011, for example.

China’s Amazon

Amazon is an e-commerce powerhouse in the U.S., but Chinese-based Alibaba could pose a serious threat to the company if it expands worldwide. According to Forbes, Alibaba handled gross sales of $170 billion in 2012, more than Amazon and eBay combined. Global expansion is definitely on the table for the company, along with an IPO. Yahoo, which has 24% of Alibaba shares, stands to benefit a lot from a public Alibaba. Read more.

State Of The Internet

Akamai released its first quarter state of the Internet report, estimating that the number of unique Web users connecting to its platform during the quarter to be well over one (1) billion. "[The report] shows continued positive growth in terms of Internet and broadband adoption worldwide. We have seen overall increases in average and peak connection speeds along with greater broadband penetration on both a quarterly and annual basis," said David Belson, the report's editor. "However, the levels of malicious activity we've observed show no signs of abating, as evidenced by the ongoing rise in DDoS attacks. Read the reportDownload the Figures (.zip).

Feeding Display

Chango says it’s in the Facebook news feed, too, with its search retargeting product. See the release.  Meanwhile, Chango marketer Ben Plomion tells discusses what he sees as the myths of display ads in a think piece on ClickZ.  In myth #4, he debunks the notion that display is expensive: “The average CPM for remnant inventory is between $1 and $2. Even in super competitive verticals such as finance, display can often be a cheaper (and more efficient) acquisition channel than SEM.” Read it.

Marketer RTB

Kellogg’s digital director for Europe Matt Pritchard tells UK ad trade The Drum that it "has 'reduced wastage' and improved cost-per-engagement across various brand campaigns during the last 15 months of RTB activity, as a result of being able to deliver the right ad to the right target audience and the right time, which RTB enables." Read more.

Ad Tech Bubbles

On Digiday, DMP Lotame’s COO Adam Lehman is emphatic: “There is no ad tech bubble.”  He continues, “Notwithstanding the shots taken at ad tech as a segment, it actually presents a lower risk profile to investors than many other segments, since ad tech companies are often quick to generate revenues, sustain solid margins and can, in many cases, achieve profitable scale without needing to be the sole or lead player in a category.” Read more.

Programmatic Upfront

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