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Google, AOL Up the Stakes in Battle with Ad Agencies

As ad agencies descend on Cannes this week for the annual advertising festival, the mortal threat they face from Google and other digital media firms is growing more frightening every day.

The latest battle for control of digital advertising is over an arcane set of technologies for what’s known in the industry as “ad attribution.” Google announced in early May that it had acquired ad attribution service Adometry for an undisclosed amount. The same day, AOL picked up rival Convertro for $101 million.

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“I think a lot of what we do is about reengineering what ad agencies do today,” Convertro founder Jeff Zwelling said.