Landmark to Buy IP Targeting Firm Digital Envoy

Landmark Communications has acquired Geolocation and IP intelligence tech firm Digital Envoy. Landmark, which owns The Weather Channel, Weather.com and a newspaper, among other holdings, plans to use Digital Envoy’s expertise to create non-invasive local ad solutions.

“We’ve long had an interest in solutions for local advertising and enabling local advertising and solutions for Web publishers and advertisers,” said Michael Alston, president of Landmark Interactive, the business unit responsible for the acquisition. “Digital Envoy was the pioneer of the IP intelligence methodology of geotargeting. It allows advertisers and publishers a way to tailor content or advertising to users without disclosing their identities.”

Digital Element, the unit of Digital Envoy which serves the Web and advertising communities, services clients like DoubleClick, Advertising.com, aQuantive, CNET Networks, AOL/TimeWarner, BlueLithium and Omniture. The acquisition won’t interrupt business with ad serving and management companies, said Digital Envoy’s co-founder and EVP of corporate development Rob Friedman, who added the firm’s technology will continue to develop and its client base will continue to grow.

“That’s one of the reasons we were attracted to Landmark. They’re kind of like Switzerland; they want to increase the use of ad intelligence in the marketplace, and to grow the business,” Friedman said.

Digital Envoy’s two main operating units are Digital Element and Digital Resolve, an online fraud and identity theft prevention solution used by financial institutions and enterprise businesses. Though the initial interest in Digital Envoy focused on the geolocation unit, Alston said, “These are two businesses with wonderful growth prospects.”

Landmark Communications is a privately-held media company with representation in newspapers, broadcast and cable programming, print and online classified marketplaces, broadband services, interactive marketing, Internet video distribution, and other businesses. Its interactive media units include Weather.com and The Virginian-Pilot’s online Web site.

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