ExchangeWire European Weekly Round-Up
1. Publicis/Omnicom Merger Receives Green Light In Europe, So What Will This Mean For Accuen And Vivaki?
The merger is quite rightly billed as one of the biggest stories in the advertising industry, and this week the proposed ‘super agency’ took a significant step closer to fruition with the proposed $35bn dollar merger receiving the all clear from European Union’s antitrust authourity.
Firstly, the proposed merger – which is now all but assured of completion – begs the question of what will happen to the entities’ respective trading desks (i.e. Publicis’ Vivaki, and Omnicom’s Accuen)?
Surely, synergies are at the core of the thinking behind the merger, and the rest of the industry will be asking itself will the two compete against each other, or is a merger imminent?
Further questions facing the wider ad tech industry are: What effect will such a ‘super agency’ have on the market? Namely, what will the effect on publishers’ pricing models be with the emergence of a single entity which has unprecedented scale?
2. GroupM Buys Plista – A Sign Of The Blurring Lines Of Demarcation In The Industry.
In a reputed €30m deal, WPP’s media investment arm GroupM confirmed its purchase of Germany-based Plista, adding to its existing stable of programmatic entities, namely Xaxis and Quisma.
The deal is validation of the Berlin-based ad network’s stellar progress in the German and Central European markets, and also brings the market’s biggest ad buyer a step close to its aim of generating up to 45% of its revenues via emerging media platforms by 2015 (digital will play a big role in this), as it aims to take the Plista proposition global.
However, the deal prompted ExchangeWire to ask the question of how third-party buyers and ad tech point solutions provide continue to add value to agencies, especially whenever such purchases are taking place in the market? In the last three months GroupM has made a number of acquisitions in the tech and ad network space (with more rumoured to be on the way). Can point solutions and undifferentiated third party buyers continue to access spend? The debate rages on.
3. Yahoo Prepares European Charm Offensive For ‘Simplified’ Yahoo Advertising Play.
Although the announcement of the new look Yahoo Advertising platform took place in the US, at this year’s Consumer Electronics (CES) exhibition, its impact will be global, and sources tell ExchangeWire the US firm is gearing up to brief European ad execs on the upcoming changes.
So far, the top line news is that the RightMedia Exchange is to be retired for a more “simplified” offering in the guise of the Yahoo Ad Exchange, according to the firm. The new exchange will go after premium supply after a “clean up” of existing RMX inventory.
Also among the new propositions is the new self-serve bidder that will hit the European ad market this year. The first of many media companies looking to tap programmatic buys from trading desks, Yahoo’s data-driven bidder will look to offer Yahoo segments (built from a myriad of data sources, including search and email) exclusively through the solution.
It’ll be interesting to see how it will compete (and how it will position itself) against new players like AOL and Amazon and existing off-the-shelf bidders (DBM, MediaMath, Turn, etc) already entrenched at the agency level. Looks like ExchangeWire is already two for two in its (non) predictions for 2014.
4. Does GroupM’s Modi Media Sideline Xaxis, Or Provide Further ‘Healthy Internal Competition’?
In a big news week for WPP, its GroupM arm also announced the formation of a new TV ad buying unit Modi Media. Again, this announcement was made in the US, but surely its arrival in Europe cannot be far off.
An official release from GroupM claims the new unit will “offer clients superior targeting and engagement capabilities in what has become a technology driven, data fused, addressable media environment.”
The new entity also claims to offer “addressable television” ad solutions, i.e. offering brands the ability to send a TV commercial to a specific household based on a brand’s actual target profile via digital channels.
But market sources have raised the question of whether or not this rivals GroupM’s existing programmatic targeting play Xaxis? Can the two co-exist, or are more ‘synergies’ imminent?
5. MediaMath’s Wasserman Expands European Remit, Appointed Global Revenue Chief.
MediaMath co-founder Erich Wasserman has been appointed to the newly-created role of global chief revenue officer to lead the company’s sales and account management business units across North America, LatAm, EMEA and APAC.
Wasserman has been quietly building a healthy international business in his previous role, and has signed some landmark deals in APAC including Korean agency giant (the global Samsung agency of choice), Shield, and Japanese ecommerce behemoth, Rakuten, which has white-labeled MediaMath’s tech to power its own data-driven ad solution.
After three years as MediaMath’s general manager for EMEA & APAC, Wasserman assumes the new role with the aim of doubling investment in sales and marketing globally, according to the firm.