As we begin to assess the upfront TV market we are watchful of the new entries at the kiddie table .... online video networks.  Notwithstanding the embarrassment of a $30,000 Mustang give-away (AOL's grandstanding) we nee to keep things in perspective.

The video that follows was produced by none other than Bob Hoffman (Hoffman Lewis Advertising) and says it better than I can. 

Watch and learn. Sources credited here.


GroupOn backers Eric Lefkosky and Brad Keywell, with investments in a host of companies, most notable among them in our world, Media Ocean, have much to explain concerning the financial chess game at GroupOn.

What follows is a recent piece by Chris Nemey, at IT World, on GroupOn’s state of affairs which have since driven the stock price to a new low of $12.58 as of this writing.

As for Media Ocean, a merged entity between Donovan Data and Mediabank, I cannot help but wonder if whatever financial games going on at GroupOn could trickle down to the “Ocean” as Mediabank takes firm management hold.

“Just days after Groupon (NASDAQ: GRPN) had to make yet another revision to its finances, just days after the daily-deals site settled an $8.5 million combined lawsuit regarding illegal coupon expiration dates, just days after the Chicago firm was hit with a shareholder lawsuit accusing it of misleading investors, and just days after it was announced that the Securities and Exchange Commission was again investigating Groupon, the company's stock continues to attract buyers.

Seriously, what is wrong with these people?

Groupon's stock is now selling for less than half its IPO, and I'll tell you right now it's never going to climb above $30 again. The company continues to lose a ton of money, and it essentially has no internal controls.

But you'd think people jumping on board now would know better. Hey, new Groupon investors, I hear Bernie Madoff's starting a new investment business from prison. Get in on the bottom floor!

Maybe they think they're getting some kind of bargain because Groupon hit a new low of 14.01 early Thursday (shares were at 14.35 in the early afternoon). Well, if it's lows they're looking for, they should be more patient because more new ones are coming.

However, they'd be better off being smart than patient. Here's the thing, investors: Whether it's due to incompetence or something far worse, Groupon has proven beyond any shadow of a doubt that it can't be trusted.

Investors aren't supposed to sink money into something they don't trust. That's what casinos are for.”

Disclosure: I am short GroupOn


It's not a game any more.

From an article last week in The Wall Street Journal ...

"Some of the most widely used apps on Facebook—the games, quizzes and sharing services that define the social-networking site and give it such appeal—are gathering volumes of personal information.

A Wall Street Journal examination of 100 of the most popular Facebook apps found that some seek the email addresses, current location and sexual preference, among other details, not only of app users but also of their Facebook friends. One Yahoo service powered by Facebook requests access to a person's religious and political leanings as a condition for using it.

The popular Skype service for making online phone calls seeks the Facebook photos and birthdays of its users and their friends......a user's friends aren't notified if information about them is used by a friend's app.

An examination of the apps' activities also suggests that Facebook occasionally isn't enforcing its own rules on data privacy. "

With thanks to Bob Hoffman at Hoffman Lewis for pointing this out in his blog, The Ad Contrarian.


I just finished reading a report from Marketing Charts that was chock-a-block with percentage increases for paid mobile search. You can read the report here. But to save you the trouble, I counted 44 references to percentage changes ranging from a negative 26% to a whooping spending increase of 221% …. and not a single reference to a whole number.

I do remember from grade school that a 200% increase over the number one is still just 2.

In my opinion, Mobile Search and Social Search buzz amounts to nothing more than a pre-nascent grab at the cool straws that will keep marketing CMOs spending an inordinate amount of time and money on a less than zero-sum game….for now.

It is argued that those who use mobile search are not of the normal search variety. They are wanderers looking for a pizza shop or the nearest Starbucks. Or want the latest sports scores….that just might lead them to a sports bar.

Marketers pay attention: Paid Search dollars are most effectively placed to generate returns on a PC, laptop or mobile device (tablet) that will mimic the former. Cell phones are simply not there yet, unless, of course, you’re drinking their Koolaid.

Until the mobile industry provides a standard and user friendly delivery system, let’s take the lipstick off the mobile pig and stick to simple paid search.

PS….I resent the idea that a tablet (iPad) is called a mobile device. Mobile always referred to cell phones. A tablet is a wireless (not phone) device that is transportable with a more appealing internet interface. When these two devices converge to form a more complete user experience, call me.