DoubleClick Touches ‘Nerve’

NEW YORK DoubleClick is undertaking a trade campaign to cement its image as the “nerve center of digital marketing,” a designation that will likely only grow as it becomes part of Google’s growing Web empire.

The centerpiece of the push is a micro-site (www.doubleclick.com/nervecenter), built by AKQA, featuring Web notables such as DoubleClick CEO David Rosenblatt, AKQA ecd Lars Bastholm, Craigslist founder Craig Newmark and others discussing the most pressing issues facing the digital ad industry.

One topic not covered: whether DoubleClick as part of Google bodes well for publishers and advertisers.

It is precisely DoubleClick’s vital role as nerve center for serving and measuring online advertising that unnerves some industry players.

Microsoft has said it believes the deal might violate antitrust law by giving Google a dominant position in online advertising. Privacy groups have asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the implications of Google having access to voluminous customer behavior data.

And some DoubleClick competitors have questioned whether the deal is good for advertisers and publishers. 24/7 Real Media ran ads in the days after the pending deal was announced asking, “Google to buy DoubleClick for $3.1 billion. Good for them. Good for you?”

DoubleClick in response released a statement on Friday that assured customers it would not marry ad data with Google’s trove of consumer Web behavior information.

The campaign is part of a broader corporate rebranding exercise that features a new logo for the company, developed by Ogilvy & Mather’s branding group.

It was in the works for over nine months, CMO Marianne Caponnetto said, long before Google inked a deal to buy DoubleClick for $3.1 billion two weeks ago.

“The nerve center reflects the fact that we are at the nexus of the marketplace,” she said. “We serve both the leading buyers and sellers of the marketplace.”

Caponnetto said the “nerve center” positioning was developed based on customer feedback prior to the Google deal, and the new circumstances did not warrant a change in approach.

“There are no plans to change the DoubleClick brand identity after the close,” she said. “We’re operating on that premise.”

DoubleClick is supporting the campaign with online media and print. AKQA will also overhaul the client’s corporate Web site.