'Subprime' Ad Pundit Joe Marchese To Chair Attention-Based Startup

Joe Marchese, a long-time MediaPost columnist who arguably helped jumpstart the ad industry’s shift to an attention-based marketplace with columns like “The Coming Subprime Advertising Crisis” (April 17, 2014), and “Attention: Nothing Else Matters” (Sept. 18, 2014), has been named chairman of Adelaide, one of a crop of promising new startups based on attention-based media delivery.

Marchese, a serial entrepreneur best known as the founder of True[x], which he sold to Fox, as well as his stint as Fox’s ad sales chief, says he has given up his operating roles in the ad business, but plans to be an active chairman in shaping Adelaide to vie for the ad industry’s attention moving forward.

Marchese’s appointment comes as a VC firm he helped found, Human Ventures, led a seed round of funding for Adelaide, which makes a market by selling “attention units” based on its proprietary media attention quality scores.

As part of his mission, Marchese says he plans to help push the new metric and AU advertising model into the burgeoning CTV (connected TV) and streaming marketplace.

Attention metrics and/or programmatic ad inventory models like Adelaide’s has clearly gotten the attention of Madison Avenue, and a wide variety of startups have entered the field with proprietary methods, models and panels to provide it. 

Marchese’s move follows a recent announcement by Havas that it is incorporating “bespoke” attention research data provided by Lumen Research, which claims the world’s largest attention-based consumer panel, into its media planning and buying systems.

While not an explicit operational role, Marchese says he plans to be very involved in Adelaide’s next phase of development and marketing, and he also prides himself as having gained some direct brand marketing experience in recent years, because he’s also become an investor and de facto "marketing intern" in a successful consumer brand: Casa Komos Brands Group, which markets premium tequila.

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