Google nixes Yahoo advertising partnership Smith to succeed Davis as Reed Elsevier CEO AT&T working with DDB Chicago Walter Karl launches lead-generation service Study touts value of social networks MRA, CMOR plan year-end merger Advanstar group to la

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Google has decided to drop its attempt to forge a joint advertising partnership with search rival Yahoo in the face of mounting pressure from antitrust regulators and nervous consumers. The proposed deal would have placed ads from Google advertisers on Yahoo's search result pages, but the Justice Department announced in September the possibility of it blocking the deal. In a company blog post last Wednesday, Google Chief Legal Officer David Drummond cited government and advertiser pressure, and the possibility of “a protracted legal battle,” as contributing to Google's decision to end its advertising plans with Yahoo. Reed Elsevier announced that Ian Smith will succeed Sir Crispin Davis as CEO, effective Jan. 1. Davis, CEO since 1999, plans to retire from the company in March. Smith was most recently CEO of Taylor Woodrow plc, a U.K. home-building company. He left the company after completing a merger with George Wimpey plc. AT&T has consolidated its b-to-b advertising account with DDB Chicago, an AT&T spokesperson confirmed. The account was previously handled by Rodgers Townsend, St. Louis. Billings were undisclosed. BBDO New York will continue to handle the agency's consumer and brand advertising. List management and marketing company Walter Karl has introduced a lead-generation service to help clients assemble prospect lists based on Internet users' online form-registration behavior. Leveraging a practice known as co-registration, the company's new Walter Karl Optimization Network has established relationships with a wide variety of sites that require viewer registration of some kind. The company then allows advertisers to place ads at the end of the registration processes, to help build their own lists. A new survey of LinkedIn members revealed that the professional social network can provide market researchers with an efficient and effective source of qualified business opinion, as well as an entrée to decision-makers. The poll, conducted by market research consultancy Anderson Analytics, found that 66% of LinkedIn survey participants have decision-making power or influence over purchase decisions. The company concluded that this level of influence and rich opinion is characteristic of professional social networks in general. The Marketing Research Association (MRA) and the Council for Marketing and Opinion Research (CMOR) announced plans to merge memberships. CMOR was created in 1992 by four research associations—the American Marketing Association, Advertising Research Foundation, Council of American Survey Research Organizations and the MRA. We believe that by combining the missions and deliverables of our two organizations, we have created one organization that will meet almost all the profession's needs,” said Jon Last, president of the MRA. The merger will be effective Dec. 31. Advanstar Eye Health Group Monday announced plans to launch Optometry Times, a magazine aimed at more than 33,000 U.S. and Canadian optometrists, next March. The publication will be published both in print and electronically. It joins other Advanstar titles serving the eye-care market, including Ophthalmology Times, Ophthalmology Times Europe and Ophthalmology Times America Latina. CRM Manager, an on-demand software consultancy, plans to acquire Redxlerant, a provider of customer relationship management consulting and training. Both are consulting partners. The acquisition will enable CRM Manager to expand its geographic footprint, enhance its software-as-a-service consulting capabilities and add key Redxlerant executive talent, according to CRM Manager. The price of the pending acquisition, which is expected to be completed by January, was not disclosed. Digital marketing agency Razorfish announced the acquisition of Wysiwyg, a digital ad agency based in Madrid. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Wysiwyg will retain its brand identity and will be known as Wysiwyg, a Razorfish company. The agency will be managed by its existing leadership team. Razorfish, an independent subsidiary of Microsoft Corp., currently has European offices in France, Germany and the U.K. Advertising and marketing conglomerate Omnicom Group has launched a new agency called Mobile Behavior to incorporate mobile communications into its clients' overall marketing and media mix. Mobile Behavior will be run by Alan Rambam, who has managed Omnicom's Youth and Mobile Marketing practice, as well as its research arm, Next Great Thing. Omnicom is emphasizing the large scale provided by Mobile Behavior's relationships with existing networks and carriers. Media agency Carat announced that Martin Cass has been named president of U.S. operations, from exec VP-head of communications planning. Cass succeeds Scott Sorokin, who is leaving the agency to pursue other opportunities in digital marketing. Cass has been at Carat since 1995, when he joined the U.K. office as client director. He also served as communication planning director of Carat UK. The Interactive Advertising Bureau announced a series of initiatives designed to improve efficiencies in the online advertising industry. The initiatives were announced at the IAB's annual Ad Operations Summit. They are aimed at marketers, media companies and advertising agencies within the digital marketing industry, with a goal of driving industrywide adoption of work-flow improvements, best practices and guidelines. The initiatives include e-business interactive standards, interactive advertising work-flow best practices, a digital video ad serving template, ad load performance best practices and best practices for rich media ads in asynchronous ad environments. The price advertisers are willing to pay for space on ad networks fell 21% in the third quarter compared with the second quarter, although ad prices on business and financial sites remained relatively high, according to a new report by ad optimization company PubMatic. PubMatic's AdPrice Index for the third quarter showed that ads on social networks commanded the smallest price per thousand impressions (eCPM), at 20 cents, down 22% from the second quarter. Ads on business and finance Web sites, with a relatively high eCPM of 86 cents, also were down 22% from the second quarter. Web sites focusing on technology were the only category that didn't see ad prices fall, remaining flat quarter over quarter at 57 cents per thousand impressions. Marketing software and services company Aprimo has entered into a partnership with Eastman Kodak Co. to offer marketers Aprimo's line of analytics and campaign management tools together with Kodak's brand content management and fulfillment services. The partnership gives Aprimo the ability to offer the collateral printing and direct mail capabilities that are Kodak specialties, with Kodak adding Aprimo's analytical and reporting tools to its own fulfillment service lineup. The two companies said they initially will cross-sell each other's tools and services to their clients and expect to launch a fully integrated Aprimo-Kodak product in late 2009. The Direct Marketing Association is linking up with the China Direct Mail Association to promote global business development using direct mail. The two groups will share information, statistics and trend forecasts on direct mail, and consult with each other on cross-membership opportunities, guidelines and ethical codes, best practices, consumer and economic research, and strategies for interacting with policymakers. The China Direct Mail Association is owned by the China Post, the country's postal service. Email services provider Silverpop has released Share-to-Social, a feature that allows its clients to turn e-mails into socially enabled viral messages. Introduced at the Direct Marketing Association's annual conference and exhibition here, Share-to-Social allows marketers to place links in their e-mail messages, enabling recipients to post messages to their profile pages on social networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace for review and comment. A reporting service allows marketers to see which of their e-mail messages have gone viral. Data quality and services company Experian QAS announced the addition of e-mail and phone data cleansing tools to its postal address validation solution. Experian's QAS Email compares e-mail addresses against the company's database of typographical errors, active and dead domain names, and malicious e-mail addresses to root out invalid addresses. QAS Phone parses and standardizes entered phone numbers based on the North American Numbering Plan of appropriate area codes and phone numbers, automating the data verification process before information is entered into marketers' databases. Business information provider Hoover's, and its parent company Dun & Bradstreet, announced the first two releases of a new product line offering mobile access to company and professional contact information. Hoover's Mobile, a browser-based application for iPhone users, and Hoover's MobileSP for BlackBerry and Windows Mobile smartphones, will be accessible by Hoover's current subscribers in beta immediately, with general availability in early 2009, according to the company. Hoover's said the new applications also allow users to sort, integrate and synchronize the business information via smartphone wireless networks. Hoover's MobileSP will deliver additional features, such as GPS custom location radius search and custom call-queuing to manage incoming calls. Business Wire announced that it is partnering with Digital Citizen Media to provide Business Wire members with customizable video and management tools for corporate communication needs. Business Wire said the partnership will allow it to showcase topics in a more compelling fashion. Members will be able to use long- or short-form video in news releases, video annual reports and corporate profiles. The goal of the partnership is to better utilize video distribution platforms for articulating products, assets, management and a company's strategic vision to stakeholders around the world. Akamai Technologies has acquired aCerno Inc., an online co-operative of shopping and purchasing data, in a deal valued at about $95 million. Akamai said the acquisition enhances its Advertising Decision Solutions product line and that the combined capabilities should benefit ad networks, online publishers and Internet advertisers.
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