Time Warner’s AOL, which purchased behavioural ad network Tacoda for $275 million a year ago, is terminating all of its publishing contracts, and is asking Tacoda customers to sign on to its Ad.com/Platform A network. VentureBeat has a copy of the memo AOL has sent out to Tacoda publishers.
PaidContent’s David Kaplan tracks down Platform A head Lynda Clarizo, who says this doesn’t mean AOL is getting rid of Tacoda — just merely finishing up a long-planned integration. She notes that Ad.com will be using Tacoda’s technology, a decision the company announced in April. And she says that Tacoda’s clients wanted to move into Advertising.com, anyway: “Because of the relatively small network it had… it wasn’t a very scalable solution on its own.”
But while Clarizo goes out of her way to argue that she’s “expanding, not shuttering” Tacoda, we’re not sure it will seem that way to Tacoda customers, whose contracts will expire at the end of August. And the argument may be semantic to most of Tacoda’s former employees.
Kaplan reports that a year after AOL bought Tacoda, only one-third of its 97 employees are still on board. Some, like former CEO Dave Morgan, apparently left on their own (disclosure: Dave is an investor in SAI publisher Silicon Alley Media). Others were pushed out. No big deal, says Clarizo:
“All I can say is that there were some people who left, there were some we asked to leave. But we have the entire Tacoda engineering team, which is based in Fort Washington, PA., and they are the key to Tacoda’s product.”
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