We’ve written many times about Spot Runner, the Los Angeles startup that is trying to apply web advertising techniques to TV, after the company was embroiled in controversy over the past year amidst massive layoffs and an alleged “pump and dump” scheme. WPP sued the Spot Runner for securities fraud and the lawsuit was later dismissed. It looks like some good may have come out of the mess. Simon… → Read More
TV advertising startup Spot Runner really is running on fumes. According to a lawsuit filed by one its irate investors, advertising giant WPP, Spot Runner has “expended all but approximately $20 million of its investor capital, while losing money at the rate of $35-$45 million a year.” The company has raised $100 million since 2006, and at one point employed more than 500 people before a string… → Read More
Yesterday was a particularly bad Friday the 13th at Spot Runner, the Los Angeles startup that is trying to Web advertising techniques to TV. The company told employees it would need to go through its third major round of layoffs in less than a year. At least 60 people were told the would be let go, the company confirms. We’ve added the 60 to our Layoff Tracker.
The layoffs at Spot Runner are a lot worse than we expected. Instead of 50 to 75 people, Spot Runner is cutting much deeper—eliminating 115 jobs. Co-founder and CEO Nick Grouf characterizes this as “under 30 percent” of the company’s total headcount (which he declines to specify, but must be at least 384 people). We’ve added them to our Layoff Tracker. The majority of these cuts, he tells… → Read More
There is no escape from the advertising recession. Not even for hotshot TV advertising startup Spot Runner. Despite having raised more than $111 million, half of that as recently as last May, the LA-based company may be in for a major round of layoffs next week following the election (and the associated last-minute media blitz).
As many as 25 percent of its more than 300 employees may find… → Read More
The first rule of Startup Club is take the money when you can. Spot Runner CEO Nick Grouf understands that, which is why he just raised $51 million in a C round from a group of strategic investors that include the Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT), Grupo Televisa, Legg Mason Capital Management, and Groupe Arnault/LVMH. And that’s on top of the $60 million in venture capital he raised in… → Read More
Since last June, Google has been piloting a test with advertisers in private beta to put regular 30-second video commercials on TV in an automated fashion through AdWords. Today, Google is opening that program up to all advertisers and even offering a $2,000 promotional credit towards creating a professional TV commercial. I love how Google fails to mention anywhere in the announcement that these… → Read More
Political campaign season is upon us and that means one thing: really bad political ads on TV. There are 50,000 public elections every year in the United States. And an estimated $3 billion will be spent on political TV ads alone in 2008. Spot Runner wants to get in on the action, and maybe even raise the quality of the ads a little, by turning its self-serve TV advertising platform over to… → Read More
Whenever cable companies feel threatened, they form a joint venture. The latest is called Project Canoe, an effort by all six major cable companies in the U.S. to deliver targeted TV ads to viewers through their set-top boxes. The NYT reports: Collectively, the cable companies will initially put about $150 million behind the effort in order to build a national service that can sell targeted… → Read More
Spot Runner, an online service that helps local businesses develop and run professional-looking advertisements for TV and radio, has acquired Weblistic, a company that helps these same businesses run online advertising campaigns. The all-stock deal intends to produce profitable synergies between traditional and new media. As part of the announcement, Spot Runner is citing a Jupiter Research study… → Read More
Advertising conglomerate WPP is looking to increase its Web advertising revenues through more acquisitions. Last year it purchased 24/7 Real Media for $649 million, and is currently making a run at Nurun, a Montreal-based interactive ad firm. But it may try to boost its Advertising 2.0 cred even further with more small acquisitions. The NY Post, not always the most reliable source but pretty good… → Read More