Ad Network Assault

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battle1.jpgADOTAS — Third-party ad networks have been under attack by brands and ad agencies for a long time.

Despite the fact that they, for the most part, are the reasons technology was created and developed to collect targeted data as users moved from one site to another, they get little respect.

“The ad-network business, we almost shouldn’t have allowed it to exist,” Rob Norman, chief executive of WPP’s digital-media unit, Group M Interaction Worldwide told the WSJ. WPP acquired the online-ad firm 24/7 Real Media in 2007 and is now using its technologies to build its own online ad-buying system and data warehouse. Tech firms “got there first and dealt with the science before we did,” he says.

But are brands and ad agencies the place for tech advertising innovation? They buy up ad networks that have proven to be successful, but that doesn’t take into account the investment in research and development. And a lot of failure before success.

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