REAL ESTATE

Hastings Entertainment selects Actions Services Group for maintenance

BY Dan Berthiaume

Aston, Pa. — Hastings Entertainment, a 136-unit multimedia entertainment retail chain, has signed an agreement for Actions Services Group to provide interior lighting maintenance to locations in the states of Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming.

The multi-year lighting maintenance program covers scheduled bi-monthly interior lighting inspection and service to the designated locations as well as on-demand exterior lighting maintenance for selected store locations. The lighting maintenance program also covers Action Services Group managing bulb and ballast manufacturers’ warranty coverage to reduce product replacement costs as applicable.

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News

Measuring the path to purchase on many screens

BY CSA STAFF

With the path to purchase routinely involving multiple screens, comScore and Google have struck an agreement designed to simplify the ability of marketers to measure shopper behavior in real time.

The online measurement firm comScore already had a multiple screen measurement service known as cVE, short for validated Campaign Essentials. It provides brand marketers with campaign insights by providing an unduplicated accounting of impressions delivered across a variety of dimensions, such as ads delivered in-view, in the right geography, in a brand safe environment and absent of non-human traffic.

However, the relationship with Google means comScore’s vCE metric will be built directly into Google’s DoubleClick ad server that publishers and marketers use to deliver their ads. It will initially be available in the U.S. later this year for desktop-based display and video ads, with eventual plans to expand the service for mobile and cross-platform.

“We’re deeply committed to creating metrics that are as meaningful for brands as the click is in performance advertising, and we have a number of efforts underway to provide actionable brand measurement,” said Neal Mohan,” Google’s vp of display advertising. “To accomplish this, we’re investing in our own technologies as well as partnering with trusted industry leaders, like comScore. We look forward to working with them to give brand buyers and media sellers better access to real-time insights.”

According to comScore president Serge Matta, the partnership with Google is more than a simple technology integration.

“It allows us to radically simplify digital media buying for the industry, while enhancing quality and accountability. This directly addresses many of the everyday challenges that prevent our clients from investing further in digital,” Matta said.

To validate their claims of effectiveness and simplicity, comScore and Google served up a number of testimonials from marketers.

“What’s exciting about the comScore-Google integration is the ability to leverage real-time cross-media comparable metrics and rich demographics within a single platform. For us, this means a level of simplicity and actionability that we haven’t experienced before, and it’s something that can help move multi-channel media planning, measurement and optimization forward in a major way,” according to Jon Suarez-Davis, vp of global digital strategy and North American media at Kellogg Company.
“This is a tipping point for brand advertising in the digital realm,” said Lisa Weinstein, president of global digital, data and analytics with Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG). “As a vCE company, SMG strongly supports any effort to deliver comScore’s campaign validation on a wider scale and with more workflow efficiency, and there is no platform that can better accomplish that than DoubleClick.”

According to Scott McDonald, SVP of research at Conde Nast Publications, the move represents a commitment to transparency in digital advertising that will eliminate barriers to achieving greater scale and efficiency while rewarding content publishers who deliver on their promise of quality audiences.

“With many advertisers currently increasing their spend on display, video and mobile, it’s important to have an infrastructure in place that allows them to spend with confidence,” McDonald said.

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FINANCE

NRF applauds delay in ACA revisions

BY Dan Berthiaume

Washington, D.C. – The National Retail Federation (NRF) is applauding a decision by the Treasury and IRS to delay implementation of some employer requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) until 2015 and eliminate other requirements for small businesses.

As a result of changes to ACA regulations announced on Feb. 10, the percentage of full-time workers that large employers with 100 or more employees need to offer coverage to will be phased from 70% in 2015 to 95% in 2016 and beyond. Companies with 50-99 employees that do not yet provide quality, affordable health insurance to their full-time workers will report on their workers and coverage in 2015, but have until 2016 before any employer responsibility payments could apply. And small businesses with fewer than 50 employees are not required to provide coverage or fill out any forms in 2015, or in any year, under the Affordable Care Act.

“The Administration should receive a gold medal for recognizing the enormous complexities of the Affordable Care Act, and its agility and flexibility in working with retailers and others in crafting these much-needed and commonsense reforms and revisions,” said Neil Trautwein, VP and employee benefits policy counsel for the NRF, in a statement. “Continued simplicity, streamlining and clarification of the Affordable Care Act are in the best interest of employers and employees and the Administration and Congress."

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