Two "industry insiders" tell TechCrunch
that Publicis is receiving "kickbacks" from Google for funneling a ton of ad dollars
through the search giant's display ad business. Flatly denying the payments -- or at least their characterization as "kickbacks" or "rebates" -- Kurt Unkel, an SVP at Publicis' Vivaki unit, tells
TechCrunch: "There isn't a rebate in play. We have a strategic partnership."
Oh, and any suggestion that Publicis is accepting payments from Google in return for driving online ad spending
through Google is "an utter crock of shit," Unkel adds. "That is illegal in the U.S." That may be, but as a Google spokesperson confides in TechCrunch: "There are incentives ... I don't know that
there is a wad of cash ... payments are predicated on a bunch of things." As TechCrunch interprets Google's comments: "There are payments, but they are framed as technology incentives to help Vivaki
test and prove out its exchange." Either way, you can be sure Washington's watching closely.
Read the whole story at TechCrunch »