Godzilla meets Rodan
(Image: WikiZilla)

Will 2014 be the year Big Data merges with Big Ad to create one big monster? On a Duets Blog post Jason Voiovich, the vice president of marketing at Logic PD discusses how digital advertising is the way of the future—and how data companies all want a piece of the virtual pie.

“Big data holds the promise of more intimate and more immediate customer relationships. The competitive advantage of which is critical to the future success of today’s top brands,” he says. By breaking down both advertising and data companies’ cash on hand, Voiovich makes some educated guesses who can afford to buy-out whom.

The data companies, such as IBM Corp., Oracle Corp. and Microsoft Corp. have between four and ten billion in cash on hand. Big ad companies like Publicis Groupe, Omnicom Group and Interpublic Group have “only” one to two and a half billion on hand. Although he admits that cash on hand is barely a legitimate way to analyze merger and acquisition potential, Voiovich notes “it does highlight the disparity in market position. The average Big Data company is an order of magnitude larger than the biggest Big Ad conglomerate.”

So, while we know who will be doing the purchasing, there are other impediments to consider. These include whether a merger would pass an antitrust test, legal protections for data and Voiovich’s biggest question of them all: “In the wake of the Snowden affair … how comfortable are we with the potential of one company controlling access to so much data combined with the ability to strategically influence the subjects of said data?” It’s certainly something to ponder in 2014.

Attorney Marlisse Silver Sweeney is a freelance writer based in Vancouver. MarlisseSilverSweeney@gmail.com. Twitter: @MarlisseSS. LTN: @lawtechnews.