The advertising firm Real Media was founded in 1995 and has ever since been growing. Today news came out that it has been acquired by the London-based WPP-group . The pricetag is approximately $649 million.
Real Media, with headquarters in New York, is known as the agency that managed ads for Netscape and other internet trailblazers. Today it has 20 offices in 12 countries and nets 200 billion ad impressions every month.
WPP, on its side, is a world leader in marketing communications focusing on strategy, advertising and monitoring progress.
The news created lots of buzz in the blogsphere. But attention quickly changed from the actual acquisition to the affect on the software-giant in Redmond – Microsoft (who reportedly also has been bidding to buy 24/7 Real Media).
So – what is Microsoft’s game plan now, in the wake of Google’s purchase of DoubleClick and Yahoo’s acquisition of Right Media? Will this give new fuel to the rumors on a possible partnership with Yahoo?
At Good Morning Sillicon Valley John Murrell asks what Microsoft is up to: Will these services now be built in house? Valleywag puts it this way: “Microsoft, which allowed WPP to win the bidding for 24/7, is left without a dancing partner.” David Hunter at Microsoft news tracker follows the same track; “the consolidation in Internet advertising is proceeding rapidly and Microsoft always seems to get left standing at the altar, he writes”
Scott Karp at Publishing 2.0 views the deal as a clear step from WPP to compete with both Yahoo and Google. And the Alarmclock-blogger figures that – as an analyst put it earlier – “24/7’s poor quarterly performance might have spoiled their chances with Redmond” adding that it is more likely that Microsoft will develop its own business or partner with Yahoo.
Last but not least a word from blogger Leigh´s Blitherings: “Ad Agencies are clear that they aren’t technology companies,” he writes. “Instead, they (ad agencies) outsourced, undervalued, misunderstood and gave away the data to “technology” companies”. They did not understand that they gave away relationships with their clients at the same time.”
We look forward to see what role Microsoft will take on in this context. A pure tech-company – or what? We will follow the story with great interest.
By Anders Bjers and John Furrier