Gannett Combines Digital Ad Holdings, Merges Ripple6 Into PointRoll

Gannett’s social media services firm, Ripple6, has been swallowed by corporate sibling PointRoll and will henceforth operate as PointRoll’s social division. The move marks another step in the evolution of Gannett’s digital marketing services, a category it broke into five years ago when it bought PointRoll.

“This is a full sales and marketing leadership integration,” said PointRoll CEO Jason Tafler. While Ripple6 and its staff will remain in New York, the firm’s founder and CEO Sang Kim will now report to Tafler.

As Gannett has expanded its digital media capabilities, PointRoll has become a central hub for service offerings associated with acquired firms like shopping circular provider ShopLocal and Ripple6. The firm believes its advertiser clients want more integrated ways to engage consumers online, and bringing together things like social media capabilities and rich media ads is one way to do it.

PointRoll enables clients to track the same engagement metrics across its video, mobile, social, and rich media campaigns.

The company is also working on employing conversational data gathered through Ripple6 for dynamic ad targeting. “Social conversations on a brand site are actually another targeting variable we can use,” explained Tafler. That offering is not currently available.

After acquiring all of ShopLocal in 2008, Gannett made the firm a retail division of PointRoll. Gannett shared ownership with McClatchy and Tribune before the complete ShopLocal buyout.

To illustrate how PointRoll, Ripple6, and ShopLocal offerings could work together, Tafler said a retailer might integrate social conversations into PointRoll rich media ad units, while including ShopLocal circular ad offers in its social communities, powered by Ripple6.

The Ripple6 sales team brings PointRoll’s sales staff to around 60 people, said Tafler, adding that Ripple6 salespeople will be the social experts of the sales staff.

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