Yahoo/Wal-Mart Deal Further Blurs Publisher-Retailer Line

Published on: 2015-02-05

According to this press release (ironically, on Yahoo News):
Yahoo! announced a strategic, multi-year relationship for online display and video advertising with This agreement enables to leverage Yahoo!s advertising platform to present new offers to online customers. Yahoo! also becomes the exclusive portal to resell Walmart.coms display inventory.

Yahoo! will bring its extensive network of leading brand advertisers to and serve as the primary marketing and sales channel for the site's display and video advertising. Yahoo! will also apply its industry-leading ad-serving, targeting and inventory management capabilities to power ad pricing, targeting, delivery and reporting for The site will ultimately become a participant in AMP! from Yahoo!, the recently announced advertising management platform that will become available to publishers later this year.

This announcement builds on our strategy to be the partner of choice for leading brands looking to engage more customers with compelling offers online, said Todd Teresi, senior vice president of the Yahoo! Publisher Network. "By combining Walmart.coms leading position as a multi-channel retailer with our industry-leading display advertising sales and ad management technology and sales force, we will be able to provide advertisers with the easiest, most effective way to deliver targeted, relevant marketing messages to shoppers."

Our take:

As AdAge pointed out, many take the announcement as a further sign of the blurring between retailer and media company.  Wal-Mart has already been operating what is essentially the nation's fifth largest network -- Wal-Mart TV -- for many years now, though clearly it has been thought of as an advertising vehicle exclusively (well, ok, most of the other major networks seem to have the same mentalit nowadays).  The deal with Yahoo! extends the retailer's own reach and audience size while giving Yahoo! access to Wal-Mart's already-enormous customer base.

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