September 6, 2012, 10:53 AM

Rakuten LinkShare buys mediaForge

LinkShare adds display ads to its stable of affiliate and search marketing services.

Lead Photo

Rakuten LinkShare Corp., a provider of affiliate marketing and search marketing services, has agreed to acquire mediaForge, a company that offers technology and services for building personalized online display ad campaigns. Rakuten LinkShare did not say what it will pay to acquire mediaForge.

In acquiring mediaForge, Rakuten LinkShare plans to build on its ability to provide online retailers and other advertisers with the technology and services to run and measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns across multiple channels of affiliate marketing, search marketing and display ads, says Scott Allan, senior vice president of global marketing for Rakuten LinkShare.

“We can now help retailers look at display ads, affiliate marketing and search marketing together to help them understand what they’re spending in each channel,” Allan says.

MediaForge places software tags on client retailers’ web sites to help merchants monitor how shoppers are interacting with site content, then retarget those shoppers with personalized display ads triggered by software tags and distributed through more than a dozen advertising networks, including the Microsoft Advertising Exchange, MediaMath and Yahoo Inc.’s Right Media. After client advertisers provide static ad banners to mediaForge, it connects the banners to content that can include videos and other interactive media stored on a client’s web site, then distributes the ad through ad networks. “The ads are all dynamically created and personalized,” says Tony Zito, CEO of mediaForge.

Advertisers can also choose to target new customers by choosing to place display ads on particular types of web sites within those networks, such as sites offering content on travel or apparel fashions.

MediaForge, which employs 50 people, will continue operating with its entire staff out of its facilities in Salt Lake City.

Rakuten LinkShare, which has more than 110 clients among the Internet Retailer Top 500 and 26 in the Second 500, is a unit of Tokyo-based Rakuten Inc.  Rakuten also owns U.S.-based online retailer and online marketplace operator Rakuten, No. 36 in the Internet Retailer Top 500.

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