AOL, Taboola and Google all made performance marketing headlines in a bumper week for expert-led features and breaking news, but it was a company very close to the world of affiliate marketing that attracted the bulk of the attention.  

TD attracts a bidder

Last week PerformanceIN brought you the news that US ad-tech firm Gravity4 was looking to acquire a large stake in performance marketing network Tradedoubler for SEK 282 million (£21.6 million). Developments on this front took an interesting turn on Wednesday (May 20) when Gravity4 doubled its bid to SEK 565 million (£43.4 million) through the addition of stock, also confirming the offer was to acquire 100% of the company.

Analysts had questioned the bid’s authenticity in light of another takeover attempt from Gravity4, for programmatic media firm Rocket Fuel, which was turned down over a lack of credibility.  

But after nearly a week of speculation, the bid for Tradedoubler was rescinded after objection from a member of the network’s board. Gravity4 CEO Gurbaksh Chahal told PerformanceIN he would still be looking to announce his firm’s 10th acquisition in the coming weeks.  

After numerous requests from PerformanceIN for comment, Tradedoubler decided to keep schtum – thus leaving one side of the story untold. The company remains unavailable for comment. 

In the news

One company that has guaranteed a cash injection is content recommendation platform Taboola, who has reportedly attracted ‘millions’ of dollars in funding from Chinese search giant Baidu. It’s thought the money will be committed to aiding Taboola’s Asian expansion.

But it wasn’t all good news for ad tech companies, as Adblock Plus – the company on a mission to rid the internet of advertisements – released its very first ad-free browser

Analysts and experts have been quick to comment in light of the app’s release, with xAd’s Berit Block warning PerformanceIN’s readership about ridding the web of something that keeps it free.


There were insights aplenty coming out of our master class slots this week, provided by strategy guru Cat Leaver, on picking between Google’s search and display offerings, while PMI: Europe speakers Fili Wiese & Kaspar Szymanski ran through approaching, tackling and resolving manual spam actions for the benefit of PI’s SEO experts. 

Also taking the stage in Berlin, ad2games’ Shir Nissanpur covered off tips for standing out with good user experience

But for a fully interactive lesson, readers should head to Matomy’s ‘Ultimate Email Acquisition Marketing Webinar’, which is now available to download. 

That’s all for this week – so from all the PI team, happy bank holiday!