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House of Lords calls for action on online security

A House of Lords committee has called on the government to take more action on the issue of online fraud and security, calling the current policy 'unrealistic'.

The Lords' Science and Technology Committee, which has been investigating online security over the last six months, referred to the government's current policy as a 'Wild West' approach.

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'YouTube killer' bags $100m funding

The as yet unnamed joint online video venture from News Corp and NBC, touted as a 'YouTube killer', has received $100m (£49.5m) in funding from Providence Equity Partners.

The VC firm will take a 10% stake in the company, which gives it a valuation of $1bn (£495m) - not bad for a site that's as yet unlaunched and thus unproven.


London leads Europe in VC investment

London attracts more technology investment than any other city in Europe, with tech firms in the capital accounting for 8.2% of all European deals so far this year.

A study by Tornado Insider (via Alarm: Clock Euro) shows Berlin is also attracting more startups, taking 3.5% of all tech investment, and moving up from eighth place last year to third in 2007.


aQuantive shareholders clear Microsoft buyout

Shareholders of aQuantive have given the green light for the company’s $6bn purchase by Microsoft in a meeting that reportedly lasted for a little over six minutes.

The acquisition, which gives the Redmond giant ownership of ad technology provider Atlas, as well as interactive agency AvenueA and targeting tech company Drive PM, is now expected to close in the next few days.


P&G stalls online ad campaigns, blames 'metrics'

Oh dear. One of the biggest advertisers in the world is making bad noises about the internet, disguised as good noise. Who could it be?

In this case, it is Proctor & Gamble. The firm's corporate marketing director, Roisin Donnelly, has been talking to NMA. It made the front cover, under the banner: “Poor metrics curb ad spend.”

It pains me to inform a company with such deep pockets that they're wrong about all this, but as the following statements show, they seem badly off track.


Wal-Mart aims to woo Facebook users

Asda parent Wal-Mart is back in the social networking game after various high-profile mishaps – this time with a sponsored Facebook group for students.

Reuters reports that the retailing giant is inviting college-goers to design their dorm rooms on its page, before recommending products that fit in with their decorating style.


Firefox has user retention problems

Around 75% of people that download the Firefox browser don't actually use it regularly, according to figures from Mozilla.

According to the Mozilla Wiki (via ZDNet), approximately 50% of the people who download the browser try it out, but only 50% of those become regular users.  


Google News to enable comments

Google is to begin allowing some users to air their views on stories, with their comments to be displayed alongside headlines.

However, only those involved in writing articles or connected to the story in some way will be able to add their opinions, which will be vetted by the Google News team before being displayed on the site.  


Blockbuster buys movie downloading service

Movie rental company Blockbuster has snapped up film downloading service Movielink after negotiations said to have lasted since March.

The move, the retailer hopes, will give it a stronger presence in a fast-growing but small and competitive market.


Zlio partners with Shopping.com

French start-up Zlio, which allows you to create and stock your own online store, has announced a CPC partnership with price comparison site Shopping.com.

The deal will allow Zlio's shopkeepers to earn commission every time someone clicks through to a product on the comparison site, while Shopping.com will benefit from the leads generated by Zlio users.


Customers 'annoyed by mobile provider spam'

The UK’s mobile operators are annoying many of their customers with “irrelevant” marketing messages, according to a new survey.

The GfK NOP research, commissioned by Pontis, found a lack of segmentation by mobile service providers when marketing their services.


An email dialogue: conduct some research!

In the excitement of the latest email marketing buzzwords such as using dynamic content, triggered campaign sends, improving deliverability rates and integrating databases, many email marketers are forgetting one of the most powerful uses of email marketing. 

Email is excellent at driving people to surveys and gathering essential customer intelligence.