News Briefs


Veteran Ad Exec Joins Instacart


Instacart has hired veteran ad executive Tim Castelli from iHeartMedia to be the online delivery company’s vice president of global advertising sales.

Castelli will lead Instacart’s advertising sales organization, focusing on building strong relationships with brand partners and media agencies across the industry. He will report to chief business officer Chris Rogers.

Castelli has more than 30 years of industry experience building advertising solutions for brands. He spent the last 10 years at iHeartMedia, leading sales functions and most recently serving as chief revenue officer of the media company’s multi-platform group.

Prior to iHeartMedia, Castelli was a senior vice president of sales for AOL. He also led advertising and partnership activities at Google as the technology industry director. Further, he has served as the publisher of Rolling Stone magazine.

This hire comes as Instacart continues to grow its advertising business, Instacart Ads, which currently serves some-5,500 brand partners, according to the company. In 2022, the company rolled out a slew of new solutions, including “new to brand” metrics and A/B and lift testing.

Brands including ApplegateGeneral Mills, Kellogg and Unilever have leveraged Instacart’s advertising solutions.

Instacart told the Path to Purchase Institute in an email that Kellogg saw a double-digit sales lift from Instacart Ads, as one of the first to pilot its sales lift and A/B testing capabilities.

Additionally, Unilever’s “The Ice Cream Shop” pop-up on the platform revealed that more than 75% of customers are net-new to the brand.


Walmart Connect Adds Automation Partner


E-commerce advertising provider Trellis has partnered with the Walmart Connect API to automate key components of the retail giant’s advertising platform using artificial intelligence.

As a Walmart Platform Partner in the U.S., Trellis provides Walmart Marketplace advertising clients with real-time, data-driven adjustments for keyword and campaign management. As of Feb. 1, Walmart sellers can deploy both Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands through Trellis. observes up to 100 million unique visitors a month, according to comScore. Since more customers are opting to shop online, the automation of Walmart ads could help sellers capture and grow this market opportunity, according to a news release from Trellis.

"By connecting ad automation with Walmart Connect through their API, we open the marketplace to everyone. Quality automation gets sellers up to speed quicker," Trellis chief product officer, Krishna Vemulapali, said in the release.

Trellis' advertising automation aims to streamline and enhance advertising performance by leveraging performance data to drive profitable keyword harvesting, bid adjustments and day parting. Automation brands can use Trellis to drive focus on marketing strategies while AI manages the day-to-day tactical changes. 

Walmart reaches nearly 90% of U.S. households each year. In a recent survey with Walmart customers, most said they feel comfortable purchasing from a seller, and more than half said they recently purchased from a Walmart Marketplace seller, according to the retailer’s first-party data shared by Trellis. 

Trellis is also a verified partner of Amazon Ads and works with top brands including Unilever and Adidas.


Chicory Shuffles Leadership Amid Revenue Growth

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Commerce advertising platform Chicory promoted Meghan Howard to chief revenue officer (CRO) in January. Also, Jason Young will transition from an operational role as president to Chicory's board of directors. The transition comes after Chicory celebrated its highest revenue year to date in 2022.

"We are very grateful for [Young’s] energizing leadership and ongoing commitment to Chicory, and are extremely excited for this new chapter with Meghan Howard as our CRO," Chicory CEO and co-founder Yuni Sameshima said in a media release.

Over the past 18 months, Chicory has laid out a 10-year vision, grown its team by 30%, launched two new products and developed new marketing strategies, according to the release.

The leadership team now consists of Sameshima, chief operations officer and co-founder Joey Petracca, Howard and vice president of strategic partnerships Nick Minnick. As CRO, Howard will be responsible for executing the company's growth plans and revenue operations.

Howard, based in New York, served as Chicory's VP of sales and account management for more than four years, growing the team and increasing company revenue. Before Chicory, Howard spent time at Valassis, holding different positions in both the sales and client success organizations. There she garnered experience in organizational structure, resource deployment and process architecture.

"I'm thrilled to be promoted to CRO at such an exciting time in Chicory's — and the industry's — evolution," Howard said in the release. "Chicory's commitment to building and delivering innovative solutions that drive results for our clients in an ever-evolving landscape will continue to be key to our growth."


eGrowcery, AdAdapted Partner to Grow Shopper Engagement

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eGrowcery, a white-label e-commerce platform serving grocery retailers, and AdAdapted, an advertising technology solution specialized in getting brands on shopping lists, have partnered to help retailers grow their digital footprint and related sales.

The partners will support CPG brands in personalizing the shopping experience and driving engagement, purchase intent and increased spend on retailers’ digital advertising platforms, according to a news release.

“This partnership is all about eGrowcery and AdAdapted driving more platform eyeballs and enabling more sales for the retailers we serve,” Patrick Hughes, CEO, eGrowcery, said in the release. “It creates the optimal combination of shoppable promotional messages that are relevant to the shoppers’ needs and match those with our retail client’s objectives."

The joint AdAdapted-eGrowcery offering was forged to help retailers and brands extend their reach to where customers organically spend their time online, while also giving them a first-to-market path to conversion with one click. The move also aims to expand retail media opportunities for grocers.

“AdAdapted’s patented shoppable technology and experienced sales and execution team, combined with eGrowcery’s superior e-commerce experience, creates a win for the customer, advertiser and retailer,” Molly McFarland, co-founder and chief revenue officer, AdAdapted, said in the release.


Criteo Extends Retailer Audiences into CTV

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Advertising technology company Criteo has forged a preferred relationship with Magnite, an independent omnichannel sell-side advertising platform, to enable Criteo’s global retailer partners to leverage connected TV (CTV) through Magnite.

The collaboration will help retailers drive growth by extending their audiences off-site into addressable CTV environments to provide closed-loop measurement to their brand and agency partners, according to a news release. 

In terms of digital ad channels, CTV and retail media are continuing to grow this year, with CTV projected to grow 27.2% and retail media by 20.5% in the U.S., according to eMarketer. 

“Retail media is moving up the marketing funnel, and we’ll see CTV and closed-loop measurement converge this year,” Brian Gleason, chief revenue officer at Criteo, said in the release. “Together, Magnite’s brand-safe, best-in-class CTV inventory and Criteo’s powerful in-market, commerce audiences will bring meaningful, measurable results to retailers, driving more revenue.” 

The partnership enhances Criteo’s demand-side platform (DSP)  Commerce Maxdesigned for enterprise brands and agencie while also offering demand opportunities for Magnite’s platform customers. Commerce Max soft-launched after a market test with Best Buy in September 2022 and will roll out to key markets later this year. 

Criteo occupies a unique position in the retail media marketplace, helping 160 retailers globally extend their audiences beyond their own walls,” Sean Buckley, chief revenue officer at Magnite added. “We’re excited to work closely with the Criteo team to add value with our CTV expertise and help retailers leverage the high impact of premium, large-screen CTV along with the dynamic, audience-specific strengths that this format can deliver.” 


Kroger Campaign Pushes In-Store Health Services

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Kroger Health, the healthcare division of The Kroger Co., has unveiled a new brand campaign dubbed "A World of Care is In-Store." The effort focuses on the various ways shoppers can take advantage of Kroger’s health services at its local grocery stores. 

Through streaming video, radio commercials, social media posts and in-store signage, the brand campaign aims to tell the story of how Kroger’s 24,000 health professionals (e.g., registered dietitians, pharmacists and nurse practitioners) make it easier for customers to live healthier lives, per a news release.

"'A World of Care Is In-Store' speaks directly to our purpose to feed the human spirit," Colleen Lindholz, president, Kroger Health, said in the release. "It highlights that Kroger Health is no farther away than our neighborhood grocery store. We sit at the nexus of food and pharmacy, which uniquely positions Kroger Health to improve outcomes through simplified health, wellness and nutrition solutions. Every day, we provide millions of customers the care they need to thrive, right in their communities."

The Kroger Family of Pharmacies and The Little Clinic teams have collectively administered more than 12 million COVID-19 vaccines across 35 states during the last two years. The company's 226 The Little Clinic locations offer diagnostic treatment, ongoing health management, wellness visits and preventative care, among other services.

"By offering a variety of services, we aim to transform how quality and comprehensive health care is delivered," said Marc Watkins, MD, chief medical officer, Kroger Health. "This campaign demonstrates Kroger Health's commitment to ensuring health services are accessible and are available for customers where they are."