Alan Schanzer Leaves MEC Interaction for Undertone

Online Ad Network Is Looking for Nontraditional Ways to Work With Web Publishers

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Alan Schanzer is leaving Mediaedge:cia, where he was managing director of MEC Interaction, to become chief strategy officer at Undertone Networks, an online ad network.
Alan Schanzer
Alan Schanzer

His move comes at a time when there is expected to be heavy consolidation in the online ad networks space. Mr. Schanzer said he did a lot of research around the sector. "Undertone is one [network] that has a chance of doing something different," he said.

At Mediaedge, Mr. Schanzer will be replaced by Patrick Cartmel and Carrie Frolich, who will share the top post as managing directors, MEC Interaction. Both execs had been managing partners, digital practice lead, MEC Interaction.

At Undertone, Mr. Schanzer mostly will be trying to build its publisher relationships as the ad network tries to work with content creators in nontraditional ways. For instance, said Undertone CEO Mike Cassidy, a publisher could use Undertone's network to distribute content or to drive traffic from the network back to the publisher's site, share data and extend its reach by selling into the network, similar to the you-sell-we-sell model Yahoo is promoting through its Apt ad-serving system.

"Some networks have gone beyond their place, moving from a supplementary selling vehicle to trying to become a primary one," Mr. Cassidy said. He does not want Undertone to become that but, rather, "we want to help the publisher side. ... Who wins [in the ad network space] will be who has access to the best inventory."

Undertone does not report revenue figures but Mr. Cassidy said its revenue has doubled in the past year and that its headcount should hit 100 by year's and. Undertone is partly owned by private-equity firm JMI.
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