Recent data mergers by the likes of Omnicom, Nielsen and WPP have generated possibilities for using consumer data to hone the targeting of marketing messages. But the practice of combining online and offline consumer data is raising questions among consumer advocates and the agencies themselves. Omnicom's chief digital officer, Dr. Augustine Fou, said, "In particular, privacy policies of sites and ad networks will need to be revisited."
In a Web informercial, quick-service chain Taco Bell tells the story of Christine Dougherty, a customer who dropped 54 pounds as part of a two-year weight loss effort that included exercise, calorie counting and items from Taco Bell's Fresco menu.
Cisco joined the venture capital groups contributing to a $27.5 million round of funding for Quantcast, the digital-ad intelligence company. Quantcast will use the funding to bring online its own real-time ad marketplace.
A deal between comScore and Flurry, which both already offer mobile analytics, will attempt to bring more sophisticated and comprehensive metrics to smartphone apps. The new mobile service will be released in the first quarter of 2010.
IGN Entertainment, operator of several game-related Web sites, has announced that it is buying Rotten Tomatoes, a site that targets moviegoers. The deal is IGN's third big acquisition in 12 months, and it reflects the company's effort to attract a more diverse audience.