Scott Knoll has left audience targeting and measurement firm Aperture, which he founded and brought to Datran Media four years ago, to join online ad security/verification firm AdSafe Media as chief executive officer.
Knoll replaces Helene Monat, AdSafe's co-founder, who has served as CEO since the company's launch in 2009. Monat remains on the board of directors.
An online ad veteran, Knoll has also been CEO of digital ad company BlackFoot, a senior executive at DoubleClick, and COO of Verified Person. He told Online Media Daily that moving to AdSafe fulfills his goal of running a company -- something he wasn't able to do with Aperture falling under the Datran umbrella.
Knoll expects to double AdSafe's 35-person staff within nine months. He said the firm is currently "hiring across the board...from sales to technology to data science."
Such expansion is possible, he added, as a result of rapidly increasing revenues resulting from success with particular brand clients that, in turn, led to greater agency penetration.
Knoll stressed, however, that AdSafe's clients will continue to cover the entire online ad ecosystem -- from publishers and agencies to networks and exchanges.
With growth secured in such core AdSafe businesses as ad verification and content ratings, Knoll now wants to use the company's data science technology to expand into what he called "ad decisioning." He said that Adsafe can leverage "the differences and nuances among subjective content" to help advertisers value and place ads in inventory without the need of cookies.
"One of the things I recognized at Aperture," he said, was that "audience targeting using cookies doesn't scale for most advertisers ...and with potential privacy issues, will get harder and harder."
AdSafe, he said, can bring about a "change of paradigm." Instead of targeting users, advertisers can target a page of information. The result? "No privacy issues, no scaling issues."