Amid this week's Upfront festivities, our business has moved headfirst into merger mania -- and these are some pretty darn interesting pairings up.
Earlier this week, WPP announced the acquisition of 24/7 RealMedia, marking their move beyond advertising and media buying into ad sales and serving. Overnight, Microsoft announced it's acquisition of aQuantive -- some of the early reports I saw stressed aQuantive's ad serving and display ad sales assets, but one of aQuantive's crown jewels is digital agency Avenue A/Razorfish. (And of course Google's recent moves have no doubt spurred these moves, although they claim to have no intention of disintermediating the ad agencies.)
Our business has historically been characterized by amiable friction between buyer and seller, and kept honest by impartial third party serving and measurement. Now the buyers own the sellers, the sellers own the buyers and -- well -- if the buyers/sellers own the serving and measurement then you'll just have to trust that the marketers are getting what they pay for.
I'd love to hear from you -- is this good or bad news for the industry? How about for consumers? Chime in.