Ad network Halogen Media is merging with YouCast, a social media and ad technology firm, in hopes of adding a little earned-media firepower to its luxury-focused advertising business.
"There are many people trying to figure out how to 'do social' successfully, consistently, and at scale," said Greg Shove, CEO of Halogen, in a blog post. "Halogen has great paid media expertise. YouCast knows earned media, and has the technology solutions in place to prove it."
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The two companies are referring to it as a merger, though YouCast, which is based in New York, will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Halogen.
Halogen, which is based in San Francisco but also has offices in New York and Los Angeles, delivers ads from high-end advertisers like BMW, Mercedes, Neiman Marcus, and American Express to "tastemaker" publishers like GuestofaGuest.com, Fashionista.com, and JamieOliver.com.
YouCast's "earned media" model is centered on pushing campaign messages through thousands of publishers that act as independent, though incentivized, advocates. Bringing the two approaches under one roof will provide scalability and better measurement for clients.
"John [Eaton] and I have always been passionate about bringing the quality and precision of paid media analytics – from search metrics, to CTRs, to reach and frequency – to the earned media channel," said Jonathan Cohen, YouCast's chairman and chief development officer, in the blog post, referring to YouCast's president. "We've already had some success at measuring the effectiveness of various social media efforts for clients, but this merger helps us (and Halogen) do it on a much higher level."
YouCast clients include Pepsi, Macy's, and Novartis. The companies claim there are no conflicts between the two client lists. YouCast co-founders Eaton and Cohen will remain in their current roles, and no layoffs or office closures are expected.
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Douglas Quenqua is a journalist based in Brooklyn, NY who writes about culture and technology. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Wired, The New York Observer, and Fortune.
March 19, 2014