/// Cable TV Consortium Ends Effort to Promote Interactive Ads
The news that a consortium of cable companies would end years of work on interactive television advertising came as little surprise to Madison Avenue.
The consortium, known as Canoe Ventures, was formed four years ago by six cable powerhouses, including Cablevision Systems, Comcast and Time Warner Cable. The news that it would narrow its work considerably by ending its interactive TV ad operations was reported on Wednesday by the trade publication Multichannel News.
The decision was not unexpected because there had been little to show from the efforts by Canoe Ventures concerning interactive ads. Canoe stopped work on one such product in 2009. A year later, it brought out another, but never identified any marketers or agencies that were using it.
Advertisers decided that the logistics involved in using the interactive ad product that Canoe produced — centered on viewers pushing buttons on remote control devices to request information — were too complicated. And while the interactive ad option was available in more than 25 million homes — no doubt, a large number — that total was considered too small for advertisers seeking maximum reach to sell mass-market brands.
Canoe will lay off 120 of its 150 employees, close its office in New York and dismiss senior managers who include the chief executive, Kathy Timko. She followed the founding chief executive, David Verklin; his departure last July was deemed another sign that Canoe was facing daunting challenges.
The remaining Canoe employees will work from an office in Denver and focus their efforts on creating a national platform for ads to run on video-on-demand TV systems.