-- TNS still resisting WPP takeover: Even though German audience measurement firm GfK has pulled the plug on its bid to merge with British research company Taylor Nelson Sofres, that does not mean smooth sailing for WPP Group's takeover plan. The company is reiterating its complaint that WPP's offer is too low. It has the support of Cedar Rock, a British fund manager and TNS' largest shareholder, in trying to find another entity to fend off WPP's continued advances.
-- YouTube banner ad revamp?: The video site might be changing its homepage to accommodate banner ads that run across the width of its homepage, says SAI, citing unidentified sources. The placement is modeled on a recent banner that YouTube created for the Sony (NYSE: SNE) Pictures stoner comedy Pineapple Express. YouTube could charge about $200,000 a day for the spot, much more than it gets from its current pre-rolls, for certain.
-- CNBC web ads: 'not exactly porn': Web publishers often complain about ad networks sending the wrong kind of ads to their sites. CNBC recently had a prime example: as part of its ad partnership with Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), the business network was served display ads featuring women unbuttoning their tops. Allen Wastler, CNBC.com's managing editor, reaction: "These ads aren't exactly porn, but they cross the business journalism decorum code."
-- Media Kitchen spawns ad exchange service: MDC Partners is taking a piece out of its its media planning consultancy, The Media Kitchen, to establish Varick Media Management, which is calls a "digital management company." Varick will set clients up with the use of online ad exchanges and media trading, as well as ad networks, investment management advice, audience analysis.
By David Kaplan