• TargetCast Launches Agency Direct Unit, Taps Orell To Run It
    Independent media services agency TargetCast tcm today announced a new division that will service other independent agencies outsourcing some or all of the media services, and named long-time Madison Avenue media executive Larry Orell to run it. Two independent agencies, MMB and imc2, are clients of the new service. imc2's roster includes Procter & Gamble, Pfizer and WorldVision. MMB, founded by former Hill, Holiday executives Fred Bertino and Jamie Mambro, handles such accounts as Subway, ESPN and Tractor Supply Company. Orell, who was most recently at WPP's MediaCom unit, joins TargetCast on Feb. 15.
  • Nielsen: Consumers Optimistic, Still Redefining Value
    Consumers may be working their way back to optimism, but new research from Nielsen shows they're also wary, redefining the way they see value in this uneven recovery. While U.S. consumer spending is climbing faster than expected—with the U.S. Commerce Department reporting that spending is rose at its fastest pace in three years--Nielsen reports that shopping habits are quite different by income level. Among households earning $100,000 or more, the number of shopping trips are up 5%, and the amount spent on each trip is up 4%, Nielsen's James Russo, VP/Global consumer insights at Nielsen, says in a presentation. …
  • Mobile Banking To Reach 50 Million In 2015
    Driven by wider smartphone adoption and regular mobile Web use, the number of Americans banking by mobile phone will jump from 10 million today to more than 50 million by 2015, according to a new Forrester report. But the research firm warns that financial institutions face a key challenge reaching that target: convincing customers that they can do something new and different with their mobile phones than they can't do online. In a recent Forrester survey of more than 3,000 consumers, for example, the main reason (37%) given for not using mobile banking was that customers saw no value …
  • Case Leading "Startup American" Initiative
    As part of President Barack Obama's plan to promote entrepreneurship, AOL co-founder Steve Case will lead an administration-sanctioned campaign to support private sector investments in startup companies and small businesses. "In his Jan. 25 State of the Union address Obama said part of his plan to 'out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world' includes more investments in education, technology and infrastructure," Bloomberg reports. The initiative includes pledges from companies including Facebook Inc., Intel Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., and International Business Machines Corp. to increase their investments in startup companies. Carl Schramm, the president and CEO of the Kauffman …
  • Can Quora Survive Without Scoble?
    To some degree, question and answer platform Quora owes its early success to the heavy involvement of influential tech blogger Robert Scoble. Calling Quora "the biggest blogging innovation in 10 years" didn't hurt either. Over the weekend, however, Scoble decided he was no longer a fan because, among other reasons, he believes the Quora community is turning on him. "It might seem as though this dustup is of interest only to Scoble fans and other Silicon Valley insiders, but it has focused another spotlight on some important hurdles that Quora has to face as it tries to grow," writes
  • KIT Digital Buys KickApps, Kewego AND Kyte
    KIT digital has acquired three social software and video companies, TechCrunch is reporting. All told, the cloud-based video asset management company just dropped about $77 million on New York City-based KickApps, Paris-based Kewego, and San Francisco-based Kyte. Per the deals, KickApps CEO Alex Blum has been named Global COO of KIT digital, while KickApps CFO David Lapter will now serve as SVP Finance and Administration within KIT digital. Blum will be responsible for the overall business operations of the company, including product management, R&D, client operations, and business administration. “So why KickApps, Kewego and Kyte -- apart from the …
  • Google Aims To Own App Market
    Google may now have the most popular mobile software on the market, but Apple is still seen to have the edge on apps. Likely as a result, Google reportedly plans to hire dozens of software developers to create apps for smartphones and other mobile devices. As sources tell The Wall Street Journal, the hiring binge is part of a "new strategy aimed partly at helping Google counter Apple Inc. in one of high tech's hottest sectors." Hires include software engineers, product managers, user-interface experts and other mobile app-focused experts. Meanwhile, some existing Google employees are now shifting their attention …
  • Chevrolet Grabs The Super Bowl
    I met Joel Ewanick, now global marketing chief at GM, and Chris Perry who now oversees the automaker's four brands in the U.S. at the Hilton on 42nd Street in NYC this morning. They are in town to reveal their Super Bowl ad buy. But I got the chance to talk to Ewanick about his new role. More on that later this week. Ewanick and Perry have brought a strategy they used at Hyundai Motor Americica -- owning big broadcast events -- to Detroit. Chevrolet is going to all but own the Super Bowl automotive sector this year with …
  • Evil: You Know It When You See It, No?
    After I suggested to my privacy panel that the new industry opt-out icon should maybe carry a tagline like, say, "We do no evil," privacy panelist and Ad.ly CEO Arnie Gullov-Singh suggested that may not be such a good idea, depending on how that tagline is actually spelled out. "Is it, 'We do know evil,'" Gullov-Singh quipped. That made me wonder with Google knows evil.
  • Former Adweek Critic Lippert Joins Goodby
    Barbara Lippert, the long-time ad critic at Adweek magazine, has joined San Francisco agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners as curator of popular culture.
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