Criteo Buys Brandcrush, In-Store Media Capability

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Adtech provider Criteo has acquired Australian firm Brandcrush, expanding its media offerings to in-store ad inventory by providing a platform for automating various aspects of buying, selling, booking, placing, measuring and reporting on multimedia ad placements in physical locations.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Criteo has made a raft of acquisitions over the past seven years, from HookLogic’s audience monetization tool in 2016 to Iponweb’s demand-side platform last year. It was that DSP capability that longtime client Best Buy signed onto last fall, letting brands and agencies purchase ads across its retail media network in self-serve fashion.

The company is looking to open up new revenue opportunities with Brandcrush as it faces a challenging adtech climate. Along with other firms in the sector, it has reportedly been part of a wave of staff layoffs, and a sale is a possibility, according to Digiday. Last month, Criteo reported a 14% decline in fourth-quarter revenue, and a 79% drop in net income.

Sherry Smith, Criteo’s general manager of global enterprise, said the Brandcrush acquisition brings a missing piece to its offering, automating an archaic manual process of managing in-store multimedia, including signage, promotional materials, POS, audio streams, circulars, samples and display screens.

“Typically, the way it’s managed by retailers is more through spreadsheets and large operating teams,” Smith said. “There’s been a desperate need for (in-store media management) to come into the digital age. This takes the best of what Criteo has along with Brandcrush to offer a more holistic, omnichannel monetization solution for retail partners, onsite, offsite and in store.”

Teresa Aprile, CEO at Brandcrush, said there is a sizable media opportunity in front of retailers, but fragmentation and manual processes have acted as headwinds. Aprile said her firm’s technology tackles this issue with inventory management, supplier management and billing tools, plus customizable workflows.

“Our technology provides a solution for the current complexity of multimedia channels, multiple execution partners, internal teams and the critical paths needed to book media and effectively execute it,” she said. “We remove the need for manual processes and unlock long-tail monetization.”

Smith said Criteo and Brandcrush have been working together for the past year, sometimes pitching business together. The solutions are integrated into a single sign-on for managing and analyzing digital campaigns as well as in-store activations. In particular, she said, the acquisition opens up opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region, where Brandcrush has a strong presence, as well as a chance to go deeper with Criteo’s 175 retail customers.

“We’ve worked together on consolidated campaign creation and reporting workflows,” she said. “Very soon we’ll have an end-to-end offering. There are quite a number of different initiatives we’re working on together, as well as standalone opportunities of each.”