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Placed Adds Former Pandora, Yahoo Platform Execs To Sharpen Attribution Strategy

Former Pandora CEO Brian McAndrews has been named to the board as ex-Yahoo/Brightroll VP Craig Whitmer is tapped to head programmatic sales.

Following deals to validate xAd’s and Retale’s respective guaranteed store-visit ad formats, Placed is adding programmatic veterans as it works to sharpen its location-based attribution offerings.

Attribution is becoming the primary point of difference among location technology companies, as mobile, social media, the Internet of Things, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence/voice-activated search are increasingly central to brands’ and agencies’ marketing programs.

To help solidify its focus on attribution and strengthen relationships with marketing partners, Placed has brought in digital ad vets Brian McAndrews, who will serve on the company’s Board of Directors, and Craig Whitmer as VP of Programmatic.

McAndrews, the former CEO of Pandora and pioneering interactive agency aQuantive,  also sits on the boards of The New York Times Company, Grubhub, and is a Senior Advisor to Spectrum Equity.

His role at Placed is something of a reunion for him and Placed CEO David Shim, as aQuantive was the parent company of Avenue A/Razorfish, where Shim got his start in the industry back in 2002. In addition to Avenue A, aQuantive also ran Atlas ad serving platform which is now owned by Facebook.

The Year Of Location Attribution

“Attribution has been a driver of digital going back to the early days of aQuantive and Atlas,” said Brian McAndrews. “Placed continues that attribution story by starting where digital ends, with the ability to move past the digital screen to measure the impact of all media on offline store visits. This ability to make the offline as accountable as the online world is what attracted me to the opportunity at Placed.”

Whitmer will serve as the VP of Programmatic. Whitmer arrived at Yahoo following its $640M acquisition of video ad platform BrightRoll, where he most recently ran Platform Sales. During his tenure at BrightRoll he built both the BrightRoll Exchange and BrightRoll DSP businesses from the ground up. Prior to BrightRoll, Whitmer also did a stint at Amazon.com where he helped launch the global display advertising business and managed the non-direct sales channels for Amazon properties.

“With over 90 percent of all retail transactions still occurring in the physical world, Placed is positioned to be that de facto currency to connect programmatic advertising to real world behaviors including store visits,” said Whitmer. “2017 will be the year of programmatic at Placed with a focus on activation beyond our four walls, something only a pure play measurement company is able to deliver to its partners.”

Whitmer will focus on expanding the relationships Placed has secured with its 250-plus agency and programmatic partners including Adelphic, DataXu, The Trade Desk, TubeMogul, and TURN.