The Next Time Your Spouse Asks Why You Have To Bring Your Smartphone To The Beach...

It’s hard to measure which got more coverage: A-Rod's drug-fueled, two-year banishment from baseball (just about the time he was batting cleanup in Chicago), or the combination of Publicis and Omnicom? As far as I know, neitherMaurice Levy or John Wren is being investigated for growth hormone or anti-aging substance abuse (hopefully Botox doesn't count), which might have assured their story got a first-place finish. That they even tried to put a "data" spin on the deal was as amusing as it was absurd.  But I am sure the regulatory agencies in the U.S. and Europe appreciated the heads-up. If you really want user data, you should just buy it from the NSA.

It was interesting to see how quickly reporters and commentators moved away from the terms of the deal to speculation about the impact it might have on the media/ad industries. One went so far as to speculate that this would be the beginning of the end for broadcast companies because the combined buying strength would put perpetual downward pricing pressure on TV inventory prices. But as another observer noted, if they think they can threaten the networks, where else are they going to spend their money? Facebook? Good point. Meanwhile, clients of both are probably wondering just how all of this helps them achieve their goals in a world where nimble and flexible seem to be part of every RFP.



It was pretty amazing how quickly speculation about Publicis Omnicom Group ground to a halt when Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post Company. It will be interesting to see what he can do that hasn't been tried elsewhere to get a newspaper off life support. Hotlinks words like "book" and "music" and "paper towels" to you-know-where? At any rate, Bezos will enjoy the group suck-up that Mark Leibovich so wonderfully and deliciously describes in "This Town."

Meanwhile, the collective groan over at Tremor Media (which is trading at about a $400 million valuation) was audible all the way up here in Connecticut at the news that AOL is paying $405 million in cash and stock to acquire Adap.TV. Said Adweek: "The deal puts AOL squarely in the middle of the ongoing shift in Web advertising toward programmatic buying -- a place from which CEO Tim Armstrong believes AOL can challenge the likes of Google." Really? Just like Patch was going to challenge local news sites that are kicking its ass? To add insult to injury, on the same day, YuMe Inc. rose as much as 9% in its market debut (after its IPO was priced 25% below the low end of the expected range), valuing the video company at about $300 million.

If these be the dog days of summer, those dogs should also be screened for growth hormone or anti-aging substance abuse.

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