Xaxis' 24/7 Acquires Semantic Engine: Will Target Ads Programmatically Based On Language, Not Cookies

In a move that could have some interesting implications for programmatic ad targeting, WPP’s 24/7 Media unit has acquired Crystal Semantics, a company that develops technology enabling advertising and content to be targeted to individuals based on the meaning and the relevance of the content they browse online.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but 24/7 acquired Crystal Semantics from Ad Pepper Media International, and will likely integrate its semantics filtering capabilities into WPP trading desk Xaxis, when Xaxis absorbs 24/7 early next year.

"The ad tech ecosystem has become very focused on audiences, almost to the neglect of the value of both content and context," 24/7 Chairman-CEO David Moore, states, asserting that the acquisition will enable 24/7 and Xaxis to return  “content to its rightful place and [enhance] the digital landscape for all players: advertisers, publishers and most importantly -- consumers.”

The acquisition is also a potential hedge for Xaxis -- which like other agency trading desks, is racing to develop “cookieless” solutions for targeting consumers programmatically as technology and regulation compromise the ability to use browser-based cookies to target individuals based on their online user behavior.

“As cookie-based targeting has become increasingly vulnerable to actions by both regulators and industry, semantic advertising provides 24/7 Media's clients with a valuable alternative method of delivering highly precise advertising,” 24/7 stated in its announcement, adding that semantic filtering makes it possible to target ads to individuals based on “accurately matching ads to the meaning of a page of Web content,” greatly reducing “risk” that irrelevant ads will be served to the wrong consumers.

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1 comment about "Xaxis' 24/7 Acquires Semantic Engine: Will Target Ads Programmatically Based On Language, Not Cookies".
  1. Seth Ulinski from AdTech Advisory, LLC , December 10, 2013 at 10:52 a.m.
    having sold this technology in '08-'10, I can say it worked well but needed massive scale and a programmatic platform (not an ad network) to really drive value- should be a nice fit for Xaxis' business.