Gannett buys social media ad company Blinq Media

5:37 PM, Aug 21, 2012   |    comments
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McLEAN, Va. - Gannett, parent of 11Alive, has acquired Atlanta-based Blinq Media, a company providing social media marketing services for ad agencies and brands.

Since its founding in 2008, Blinq has managed social media marketing campaigns for more than 600 of the world's largest advertisers, the company says.

"With demand for social media marketing solutions continuing to grow at a rapid pace, this acquisition is part of our ongoing transformation at Gannett and positions us to be a leader in both local and global social media marketing," said Gannett CEO Gracia Martore in a statement. "Blinq will enhance Gannett Digital Marketing Services' ability to deliver a one-stop shop for all marketing needs, including social marketing.

"Blinq has the ability to deliver innovative and differentiated social media marketing solutions, especially at the local level, which is great news for businesses in our 100-plus local communities, as well as for national brands that want to reach audiences in those communities," Martore said.

Gannett (GCI) said that Blinq will continue to operate its core business, providing technology and media solutions for social advertising and engagement, as part of Gannett's portfolio of brands. As part of Gannett's Digital Marketing Services organization, Blinq will help develop social marketing solutions for businesses that want to reach local consumers using Blinq's BAM 2.0 technology platform, which facilitates social media campaign planning, set-up, management, optimization and insights.

Blinq will focus on offering local social engagement at scale, including working closely with Gannett's ShopLocal online local ad circular unit to help shape best practices and results in reaching, engaging and building loyalty with retail consumers via social media.

Dave Williams, Blinq's CEO, will report to Vikram Sharma, CEO at Gannett Digital Marketing Services.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Blinq has had a longstanding relationship with Facebook and has priority access to the Facebook platform. Blinq was one of the first companies to gain access to the Facebook Ads API - which allows developers to create tools and services that create, buy, and manage Facebook ad campaigns - and has built a substantial Facebook as business.

Blinq also is one of a small handful of companies worldwide with two Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer (PMD) badges ("Ads" and "Insights"), and one of a small number of PMDs offering premium media on Facebook. PMD Badges are awarded to developers that have demonstrated value-added capabilities that help marketers scale and achieve efficiency, and extend beyond the functionality of Facebook's native tools.

Blinq continues to focus on current, new and emerging social platforms, including the rapidly emerging mobile social advertising space.

Gannett said Blinq's headquarters will remain in New York City and its technology, finance and marketing groups will remain based in Atlanta. Blinq's sales and support offices will continue in London, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco, Gannett said.

(USA Today)

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