Spot Runner

Spot Runner

Spot Runner is an American Internet-based advertising agency based in Los Angeles, Calif., that allows advertisers to produce, media plan and media buy all through its website. The company was co-founded by serial entrepreneurs, Nick Grouf and David Waxman, who also co-founded Firefly Network, Inc., which was sold to Microsoft, and PeoplePC, which the co-founders took public before it was acquired by EarthLink.

Spot Runner officially launched on January 11, 2006, although it ran as a beta platform before its official unveiling.

A unique twist to the web-based service is the ability to pick and choose from Spot Runner's library of pre-produced ads and customizing the spot through an online process, including the advertisers logo, voice-over script, and other company information.

Spot Runner claims that through its proprietary media planning engine, the service can also create customized media plans by using some basic information entered by the advertiser, such as their industry, target demographics and budget.


Spot Runner received $10 million in its Series A financing from Index Ventures and Battery Ventures in early 2005, disclosed at the company's launch on January 11, 2006 [ [ "Interview with Nick Grouf, co-founder, Spotrunner"] , socalTECH, January 11,2006.] . The start-up received another financial boost on October 30, 2006, when the company announced that WPP Group, CBS Corporation and Interpublic Group, in addition to other key investors led by Lachlan Murdoch, had made equity investments in the company. [ [ "TV ad start-up Spot Runner lands $40 million"] , CNET, October 30, 2006.]

Acquisition Rumors

After Spot Runner's initial launch, many in the business media speculated an acquisition of Spot Runner by Google or Yahoo was imminent because of Spot Runner's easy-to-use web-based platform, which would strategically bridge the online advertisers into the television advertising business. [ [ "Will Google Buy Spot Runner?"] , StartUp Beat, April 12, 2007.]

Most large companies are no longer interested in media services from this area, however. Acquisition talks with Microsoft have recently broken down [ [ Rumormonger: Microsoft board nixes $550 million bid for Spot Runner ad agency ] ] , while Google has purchased DoubleClick and Yahoo is working with Google (and fending off Microsoft) for online advertisement.

On August 12, 2008, Valleywag reported that Spot Runner terminated 50 employees. [ [ Report: Spot Runner lays off 50] ]

External links

* [ Spot Runner website]


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