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Archive for October, 2011

Google ponders financing the purchase of Yahoo! Inc

Google Inc is considering providing financing for an acquisition of Yahoo! Inc by another company or a group of bidders, according to a person who has been briefed on the matter.
The company may opt not to take part in any offer and hasn’t engaged in serious discussions with would-be partners, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private.
Yahoo! is weighing strategic options after firing former Chief Executive Officer Carol Bartz, in part for her failure to keep pace with Google in the online advertising market. Read the rest of this entry »

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Real-Time Ad Targeting Gets Emotional Spectrum tries to leverage state-of-mind

Online ad targeting isn’t just about finding the right people at the right time, says digital media company BuzzLogic, it’s about reaching them with content that encourages the right emotional mind-set.
The San Francisco-based firm, which has pivoted a couple of times since its launch in 2005, said it’s attracted a strong roster of Fortune 500 brands with a platform that scans millions of Web pages to place ads based on audience, topic, and social activity.
Today, the company announced the launch of a new tool, called Spectrum, which delivers page-level ads in real time, based on the emotional effect the content is expected to have on the audience.
“There are three things we know about a page of content,” said Dave Hills, BuzzLogic’s CEO. “How influential it is, how authoritative it is, and, most importantly, we understand—and the thing that we’re most focused on—the emotional connection that’s made between a piece of content and a reader.”
While other ad platforms reach target audiences through content verticals (such as autos, health, technology, etc.), BuzzLogic says that approach is insufficient because it doesn’t factor in the emotional takeaway a brand may want a potential consumer to have.
A beverage company could choose to target sports enthusiasts on ESPN, for example, but the audience’s emotional state could vary depending on whether the story is about an athlete’s injury, gambling, or a big team’s loss.
“Being an ex-agency guy, the challenge I always faced was there were always two sides of analytics that I had to work on and they were very disconnected. There was the research and consumer insights that powered the planning product—getting to understand your consumer, getting into their minds, figuring out how do you excite the consumer based on the brand value proposition and who they are,” said John Donahue, BuzzLogic’s CTO, who joined the company from Omnicom. “But once that plan is baked, it went to the buy side, and it was extremely disconnected . . . It’s really just about buy optimization.”
BuzzLogic said its emotive-based approach goes beyond a single website or content vertical to consider the relative value a single Web page could have to brand’s overall goals, or a dedicated campaign’s specific goals, and then capitalize on the emotion a brand is hoping to tease out.
If a company, for example, has decided that the ideal consumer for a new hybrid car is green-leaning, an innovation-oriented tech enthusiast, Spectrum allows it to scan millions of Web pages to find the content best suited to that mind-set.
Through a dashboard, a client not only enters the topical terms (“hybrid car,” “plugin,” etc.), but could also select “advice seeker” and “enthusiast.”
The tool then scans all of the pages indexed by BuzzLogic (the company said it has more than one billion pages of content in its index, and because it uses its own data, it doesn’t use cookies) to surface the specific stories or content pages that include both the topical terms and phrases like “according to” or “looking forward to” or “can’t wait.”
Donahue said the program conducts a cognitive analysis to uncover the word associations representative of the desired mind-set. It not only makes sure that an ad ends up on a “brand safe” page but in the context of content that fits with the brand’s emotional profile.
Hills said Spectrum rolls up several of the company’s services into one complete platform and that its current clients will be brought on board today.
BuzzLogic said they don’t yet have metrics to show the precise lift of its new tool but said its clients have been pleased with its approach so far, as evidenced by its 300 percent year-over-year revenue growth.
“If brands are going to actually do branding online, they’re going to have to really have a very deep understanding, at a page level, of relevance—and we think that relevance is defined through influence, authority, and understanding the emotional connection that piece of content makes with its audience,” Hills said. “And since it’s a real-time world now and since the consumer is in total control of the media experience, we build this system to address this at the page level and in real time.”

Online ad targeting isn’t just about finding the right people at the right time, says digital media company BuzzLogic, it’s about reaching them with content that encourages the right emotional mind-set.The San Francisco-based firm, which has pivoted a couple of times since its launch in 2005, said it’s attracted a strong roster of Fortune 500 brands with a platform that scans millions of Web pages to place ads based on audience, topic, and social activity. Read the rest of this entry »

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Yahoo’s lackluster 3Q results likely to keep pressure on board to pursue sale or break-up

Yahoo keeps losing ground in the fast-moving Internet market, increasing the pressure on the struggling company to abandon its perpetual turnaround attempts and negotiate a sale with one of several prospective bidders.

The latest signs of Yahoo Inc.’s malaise surfaced Tuesday in its third-quarter earnings report. The lackluster results for the July-September period extended a streak of financial mediocrity that culminated in Yahoo’s abrupt firing of Carol Bartz as CEO last month.

Although cost-cutting measures imposed by Bartz helped boost Yahoo’s earnings after stripping out one-time gains, the company is still selling less advertising at a time when the overall Internet market has been growing. Read the rest of this entry »

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Goldman Sachs forecasts online ad slowdown in 2012

The U.S. online advertising market is heading for a slowdown as a struggling economy crimps marketing budgets, according to a Goldman Sachs forecast sent to investors Wednesday.
Under its revised forecast, Goldman Sachs ( GS – news -people ) now expects U.S. online advertising to climb 10 percent next year instead of its previous projection calling for a 13 percent increase. For the current year, Goldman Sachs foresees a 14 percent gain in online advertising.
Through the first half of this year, U.S. online advertising totaled $12.1 billion, an 11 percent increase from the same time last year, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau.
Goldman Sachs dimmed its outlook because the U.S. economy has been sputtering for most of the year. As economic growth tapers off, advertisers will curtail their spending too, the Goldman Sachs analysts reasoned.
Other projections are rosier. The research firm eMarketer expects U.S. online advertising to increase 18 percent next year after rising by about 20 percent this year.
Goldman Sachs still expects Internet advertising to be a bright spot in the overall ad market. It predicted U.S. advertising across all media will edge up just 2 percent next year, down from the previous estimate of 4 percent.
In an indication that the market was faltering during the summer, The New York Times Co. ( NYT – news – people ) already has warned it suffered a slight decline in digital advertising during the quarter ending in September instead of the slight increase it anticipated.
WebMD Health Corp. ( WBMD – news – people ), an online heath advice service that relies on online advertising, last week said its revenue in the latest quarter will land at the low end of its projected range of $135 million to $140 million.
“We believe that if the overall advertising environment were more robust, we would not be seeing the same level of online advertising deterioration,” Goldman Sachs said in its report.
Investors may get a better handle on the state of online advertising Thursday when Internet search leader Google Inc.( GOOG – news – people ) reports its results for July to September. Besides dominating online search, Google also runs the Internet’s largest advertising network, and it generates most of Google’s revenue.
Analysts surveyed by FactSet expect Google’s revenue to climb by about 30 percent, compared with last year’s third quarter, slightly below the 32 percent increase Google posted for its second quarter.
From: http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2011/10/12/business-broadcasting-amp-entertainment-us-internet-advertising
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The U.S. online advertising market is heading for a slowdown as a struggling economy crimps marketing budgets, according to a Goldman Sachs forecast sent to investors Wednesday.

Under its revised forecast, Goldman Sachs ( GS – news -people ) now expects U.S. online advertising to climb 10 percent next year instead of its previous projection calling for a 13 percent increase. For the current year, Goldman Sachs foresees a 14 percent gain in online advertising. Read the rest of this entry »

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Fuel Tax Media Gets Rolling in San Francisco

Fuel Outdoor – one of the nation’s top Out-Of-Home Advertising companies – has made the move into Taxi Top Advertising by partnering with Luxor Cabs, the second-largest cab operator in San Francisco. Fuel Taxi Media will offer Taxi Top Advertising on a fleet of 250 cabs, providing coverage of the entire Bay Area from SFO International Airport to Oakland International, as well as penetrating all of San Francisco’s most desirable neighborhoods. Read the rest of this entry »

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