Articles of the Day


Publicis Launches Centralised Ad Platform With Tech Giants — France’s Publicis Groupe has reached agreements with AOL, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! to create a technology platform that provides a unified resource for its agencies to more easily buy large-scale digital advertising campaigns. The world’s fourth largest advertising group owns media-buying operations such as ZenithOptimedia and Starcom, as well as creative agencies including Saatchi & Saatchi and Digitas. The company says it is launching the platform, called the VivaKi Nerve Center, to allow an advertiser to access all publishers, other ad networks and ad exchanges through a single interface.

Google, PayPal And Microsoft Launch Digital ID Scheme — Google, Microsoft and eBay-owned PayPal want to make online authentication simpler and safer by introducing what they describe as digital wallets. The companies are among 15 founding members of the Information Card Foundation (ICF), which is officially launching this week. Other founders include Equifax, Novell and Oracle. The ICF wants to bypass the need for login and password details when accessing secure sites or purchasing items online. Instead, using digital information cards, users will be identified by simply clicking on an ICF logo on any partner site. The foundation says such a system would eliminate the need to have multiple login identities and reduce the risk of phishing from hackers.

Microsoft Offered $1 Billion For Yahoo Search; Plus $8 Billion Investment; Wanted 10-Year Exclusive — Yahoo has sent another open letter to its shareholders, in an attempt to allay any fears about renewed talks with Microsoft, following the Google deal. Besides a repetition of why the Google search deal makes sense, it has disclosed some new details of what MSFT proposed in a sub-set deal following the first proposal of outright buyout of the online company. Some details from the letter: “Rather than acquire our whole company as it had been proposing for months, Microsoft now proposed to acquire only our search business for $1 billion and a share of future search advertising revenue. This proposal also included an $8 billion investment in Yahoo but required Yahoo! to commit to a 10-year exclusive arrangement that would have made us dependent on Microsoft for all of our search business.

Meebo Joins Forces With Social Net App Developers — Instant-message site Meebo today is expected to announce partnerships with social network application developers Buddy Media, Commagere Ventures, FrozenBear, K-Factor Media, Mesmo TV, Rockstarted, Spicerack Media, Trippert Labs and Unit 501. The deals allow Meebo to syndicate its API-powered embedded chat rooms — Meebo Rooms — inside their social applications. 

Microsoft, Google And Others Agree To Electronic Health Records Standard — In a move designed to prompt more people to store their medical records online, Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), Google (NSDQ: GOOG) and several others have agreed on privacy standards to protect patients’ information. The list includes WebMD (NSDQ: WBMD), MedicAlert, AARP, Consumer Reports publisher Consumers Union, BlueCross BlueShield, and other insurers.

NBCU Will Provide Advertisers With Streaming Metrics For Specific NBC.com Shows — Trying to carve out another space where it differs from the competition, NBC Universal is claiming first-in status when it comes to providing metrics on streaming media to advertisers. Starting next month, NBC Digital Entertainment says it will use Nielsen Online’s VideoCensus to provide online streaming data by show in addition to the more common network-wide stats for NBC.com. The rationale: advertisers have been asking for it and NBC, the first broadcaster to tag streaming video for VideoCensus, thinks the numbers are accurate.

WPP Revenues Grow 4.5% Despite European Slowdown — Advertising giant WPP say like-for-like revenues grew 4.5% in the first five months of 2008 but warned of slow growth in developed markets. The growth figure, which excludes currency fluctuations and acquisition impacts, was aided by faster growth in emerging markets. However, WPP warned that growth in Western and Continental Europe, started slowing down in Mar, despite some recovery in Germany. WPP’s overall revenue growth was down 0.3% over the five months, compared to Q1 growth of 4.8%, reports the Financial Times. However, revenue grew 20% in the Middle East and 14% in Latin America.

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