Online ad specialists ValueClick and aQuantive saw their stock prices surge this week, after reporting solid earnings. Both companies raised their growth forecasts, indicating strength in the Internet sector.
Coca-Cola Co. will feature content from Apple Computer's iTunes music download service on its European Web site, and plans to kick off the venture by giving away millions of songs to users in the U.K. and Germany. Coca-Cola's vice-president of global interactive marketing said, "For Coca-Cola, it is clear that as consumers spend more time online and we need to find ways to become an important, relevant part of their lives."
As the craze in Web video continues, Microsoft's MSN is in a better position than many of its mainstream rivals. The Web site got an early start in the genre, continues to sign deals for TV content, and has become a preferred choice among online advertisers.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau today was expected to announce the formation of an alliance among the major search engines to fight click fraud. The group, which includes Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft and others, will create guidelines to identify and measure click fraud, with the ultimate goal of cleaning up the endemic problem. IAB CEO Greg Stuart said the alliance reflects the industry's "commitment to being the most accountable advertising medium and providing marketers with the highest level of transparency."
Christopher Cox's first year at the helm of the SEC did not pan out as most had expected, with Cox taking a more measured approach on issues, rather than living up to his reputation as a staunch supporter of free enterprise. Cox has spent his time at the SEC building relationships and working to advance several issues, including compensation rules.
James Zarley, CEO of online marketing firm ValueClick, says the company is on the prowl for more acquisitions. "It is still just the beginning. There will be more consolidation in our industry, and we intend to be part of it," Zarley said in a conference call with analysts.