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Advanced-Ad Growth Leads Executives to Find New Homes

Some pioneers in addressable advertising have new addresses. Having spent years proving that data-driven advanced advertising techniques work, these executives are forming their own specialized companies or are moving to the networks, where technology is eating away at the appeal of mass media.

The latest: Mike Bologna and Jamie Power, top executives at GroupM’s advanced-advertising unit, Modi Media, said they are forming their own addressable video company, one2one Media, backed by Cross MediaWorks.

Also, Adam Gaynor has joined AMC Networks as vice president of advertising and data solution sales, from satellite-TV provider Dish Network. His colleague at Dish, Prasad Joglekar, joined Viacom late last year as vice president of data strategy and solutions.

Similarly, last year Tracey Scheppach, another addressable-advertising leader, left Publicis to found Matter More, a precision-marketing company, with her colleague Steve Murtos.

These executives could only go so far within their current organizations, said Tim Hanlon, who left the big agency business in 2011 to start the Vertere Group. THe moves are happening even though advanced advertising “is at the cusp of breaking wide open, which is the irony,” he said.

Big agencies are about scale, buying as much media for the lowest price they can. Data-driven marketing “is a very different activity and not immediately welcomed at big agencies,” Hanlon said.

It’s a change for the networks as well, where big ratings and big events drove sales.

“Some of the brighter lights in the agency space are breaking off to concentrate on it in a more entrepreneurial way, because they know they’re onto something big and the big machine doesn’t immediately embrace them,” Hanlon said.

These pioneers now see opportunity in advanced advertising.

“I’ve been through 15 years of heavy lifting and dark days, asking if this it ever going to happen,” Scheppach said. “What is super-clear now that I’ve executed 250 campaigns in addressable data-driven television in the last three years is, it’s time to go.”

Matter More is consulting with media companies on creating data driven ad products and working with clients on precision marketing. Being outside a big media agency holding company will make it easier to be nimble and push the boundaries.

Last week, Matter More made a deal to work with Tapad, which licenses smart TV data from Vizio. Scheppach noted that Publicis had a great optimizer, “but it was built on top of Nielsen, and I knew that wasn’t good enough.”

She thinks using a data-driven approach will convince sophisticated mid-sized companies that use digital advertising, such as meal-delivery service Blue Apron or exercise bike maker Peloton, or direct mail, such as retailers Williams Sonoma or Land’s End, to move to TV.

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.