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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Ad Agency Deathwatch: Eliminate Middle Man

Business Week has an interesting one pager on a company that allows consumers to get paid directly for vendor leads, eliminating the middle man (pg. 92; 9/25/06 in print). Instead of Lending Tree benefitting up to $75 on your information, you go to the Root Exchange and reap the monetary reward for your quality lead.

Due to initial investor interests, the site is thus far exclusively for mortgage leads, but there's no reason why it couldn't extend to everything else: Car/home insurance? Business travel? Pet ownership? Obviously, the value of the information to a brand (and corresponding incentive for a consumer to divulge) increases with the cost of the item in question, but it could potentially work with anything. Hey, people are going to shop Target, some might be up for seeing a relevant promotional ad once a week for a quarter added to their kitty.

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