Category Archives: Online Advertising

Adloox in MediaTel

Adloox in MediaTel


Thought-leadership piece from Anglo/ French ad verification company Adloox.  The company, which helps media agencies get better value from their clients’ digital advertising budgets, is making progress as more ad spend is invested in ‘programmatic’ real time advertising: when the advertiser buys an ad spot based on what is known about that person (independently of the website they are looking at), rather than buy an ad spot on a particular website.

The effectiveness of online advertising can be hit and miss. Sometimes ads are out of sight (viewability), sometimes they’re not clicked on by a real person (fraud) and sometimes the technology puts ads in inappropriate places and contexts (brand safety).

While other companies offer such ‘verification’ services, Adloox operates an extensive whitelist, which gives advertisers confidence that ads will only appear on websites professionally vetted by the Adloox team (rather than running a reactive ‘blacklist’). The company also offers really detailed auditing at ‘domain URL referrer level’, in other words, the media agency can see which sites were successful in a campaign, and those that were less so.

In this article in MediaTel, CEO Marco Ricci argues that while working to improve viewability is important, the bigger issue is an industry suffering from a lack of transparency – and how that makes it vulnerable to fraud.




Building reputation: VisualDNA

VisualDNA uses visual quizzes to create digital profiles of people: free personality quizzes that help people to understand themselves better, and can also be used help businesses to understand people online.

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Despite having been established in 2006 VisualDNA has kept a low media profile – engaging in virtually no proactive media relations between 2009 & 2012.

The company has been growing in size rapidly since mid-2012 and now employs around 120 people, most of whom are based at its Shoreditch office.

In addition to a large tech team, the company employs psychologists and data scientists to develop the quizzes, and convert them into data for three main commercial markets – media (targeted advertising), web analytics, and financial solutions.

As a data provider, VisualDNA has two main points of difference:

  • ‘psychographic’ audience profiling – the ability to segment an online audience by personality or ‘emotive’ traits such as extraversion or neuroticism.
  • high-quality UK data: due to partnerships with UK offline data companies such as CallCredit, the depth and detail of the first-party data collected from quizzes, and its large UK cookie footprint

Initially consulted on how to manage media relations for the launch of a new consumer product, I continued to work with the company part-time to deliver a comms strategy covering media relations, digital PR and events – raising the company’s b2b profile as a data provider with a point of difference by;

  • establishing a company blog and editorial programme for it
  • creating news & writing content/ opinion pieces for media
  • hiring and managing UK & US PR agencies to support a product launch and ongoing media relations activity

Having hired UK adtech/ media PR specialists Propeller Group in May, VisualDNA achieved 22 key pieces of coverage between June & December 2013, including The TimesThe GuardianThe DrumRealBusinessMediaTelCampaign, Marketing Week (letter) (data story), M&MGlobalEliteBusinessThe MakegoodPerformanceInExchange WireFigaro DigitalDataIQ QuarterlyRetail Week,  Daily MailAdotas and Media Post.