News Briefs


Institute Members and Partners Recognized on Inc. 5000 List

Inc. named a number of Path to Purchase Institute members and sponsorship partners in its annual list of fastest-growing private companies in America.

Among the companies recognized in the advertising and marketing industry, the 2023 Inc. 5000 ranked:

  • Moloco, a machine learning and advertising technology company (476).
  • Grocery TV, a digital in-store advertising network (871).
  • Pathformance Technologies, a marketing technology and data integration firm (1,437).
  • Chicory, a commerce media platform specialized in recipe content (1,873).
  • New Engen, a digital marketing agency and parent company of influencer marketing agency Acorn Influence(3,459).
  • The Mars Agency, a commerce marketing company (4,376).

The Inc. 5000, which began in 1982 as the Inc. 500, ranks companies by overall revenue growth over a three-year period. Many household brand names, including Facebook, Chobani, Under Armour, Microsoft and Patagonia, all gained initial national exposure as honorees on the list at some point.

“We are honored to be included as an honoree on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies for the second year in a row,” Elizabeth Johnson, Pathformance CEO, said in a media release. “In the past year, we have grown our team and expanded our services so that we can better serve our clients. I am proud of our team for delivering incredible year-over-year growth results.”

The Inc. 5000 class of 2023, which included 637 newly founded companies and over 3,000 repeat honorees, represents businesses that have driven rapid revenue growth while navigating inflationary pressure, rising costs of capital and hiring challenges. Among this year’s top 500 companies, the average median three-year revenue growth rate ticked up to 2,238%, according to the release. In all, this year’s Inc. 5000 companies have added 1,186,006 jobs to the economy over the past three years, and $358 billion in revenue in 2022, per the list.

The top 500 companies are featured in the September issue of Inc. magazine.

“Running a business has only gotten harder since the end of the pandemic,” Inc. editor-in-chief Scott Omelianuk, said in the release. “To make the Inc. 5000 — with the fast growth that requires — is truly an accomplishment.”


VSBLTY to Acquire Shelf Nine


VSBLTY Groupe Technologies, an AI software provider of security and retail analytics technology, has signed a non-binding letter of intent to acquire digital media and content network Shelf Nine. The companies expect to finalize their definitive agreement within the next 30 days.

The acquisition is primarily a stock deal with the majority of the purchase being incentive stock based on Shelf Nine achieving certain revenue targets focused in the top 20 media markets over the next three years.

Shelf Nine's media network includes 4,500 in-store digital screens across the U.S. (see image). The company provides brands and retailers specifically targeted digital media advertising and other customer communications content delivered at the point of purchase.

VSBLTY's proprietary AI technology aims to enhance brand engagement and measurement through customized ads on in-store digital displays at point of purchase in real time.

"This acquisition is synergistic with VSBLTY's vision of the retail advertising segment," VSBLTY co-founder and CEO Jay Hutton said in a media release. "Shelf Nine's integration with our computer vision analytics technology is a win-win for both companies. Operating as a wholly owned subsidiary of VSBLTY, Shelf Nine and VSBLTY have the opportunity to further leverage each company's core competencies and further penetrate the retail media market estimated to be worth $160 billion by 2027. In addition to both companies benefiting from recurring SaaS fees, they also generate added revenue from content development and media sales."


Meyers Debuts Enhanced RFID Label Technology


Meyers, a printing company that designs and manufactures packaging, labels and retail displays, has created an enhanced RFID label offering that enables CPG brands to embed the technology within primary product labels.

The RFID (which stands for radio frequency identification) label contains a tiny computer chip and a small antenna and uses radio waves to communicate information to other devices.

The labels are often used in retail stores to keep track of inventory and provide information including price, product name and the location of the item. Unlike traditional labels. which can convey only the information printed on them, RFID labels can transmit data wirelessly through radio waves and store and transmit dynamic information that can be updated in real-time, according to an August blog post from Meyers, announcing the new offering.

This new RFID offering aims to eliminate the challenges CPG brands face with RFID labels in relation to branding and shelf appeal, according to the blog.

One important component of this offering is an advanced RFID label press that embeds labels within existing primary pressure sensitive labels. Meyers has been producing labels and cards with RFID technology for nearly 20 years, including embedded RFID options that fully comply with Walmart’s requirements.

“Throughout my time at Meyers, we’ve acquired numerous specialty presses,” Dave McConnon, chief operating officer at Meyers, said in the blog. “However, this one stands out in the industry because the technology is custom fitted to what we want to do for CPG brands as they integrate RFID into their prime labels and other types of packaging. It will allow our team to forge new pathways to achieve these goals much more quickly and reliably than before.”

The company’s new RFID label technology also aims to eliminate brands’ need to purchase separate Ultra High Frequency RFID labels and improve inventory accuracy.

While Walmart requires its vendors to use RFID labeling for home goods, sporting goods, electronics, and toys, Meyers says the health and beauty industry’s use of RFID labeling is poised to grow in the future.

“This technology represents a significant leap forward in terms of quality control and process engineering,” Matt Evers, senior vice president of business development and quality at Meyers, said in the blog. “In terms of price and timeline, it will streamline the process of delivering exactly what our customers desire.”


7-Eleven Brings Back Fall Coffee Flavors Early

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7-Eleven kicked off the month of August by rolling out its fall coffee flavors to stores earlier than ever this year. 

From Aug. 1 through Oct. 31, the convenience store giant will sell to-go pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin coffee and pumpkin-flavored syrup at participating 7-Eleven, Speedway and Stripes stores across the country.

"We know our customers wait all year long for their favorite fall flavors … so we decided to break out the pumpkin a little bit early this year," Dennis Phelps, 7-Eleven's senior vice president, merchandising (vault & proprietary beverages), said in a media release. "It may not quite feel like fall outside yet, but it sure can taste like fall as we enjoy the first pumpkin spice latte of the season."

7-Eleven also teased more “fall surprises” to come as the season approaches, including the rollout of its pumpkin muffin later in August.


IAS, Criteo Team Up to Launch Onsite, Safe Metrics for Retail Media


Integral Ad Science (IAS), a global media measurement platform, has partnered with digital advertising company Criteo to offer a product for measuring onsite quality metrics for retail media.

Criteo's Commerce Media Platform solutions, powered by the company’s predictive AI, enables retailers and brands to reach shoppers throughout their journey. The solutions execute on both unique retail media inventory from retailers and “scaled, open web supply,” while offering real-time, closed-loop sales measurement, per the release.

IAS says its software provides “comprehensive and enriched” data that ensures ads are seen by real people in safe and suitable environments.

Through an integration between the two partners, IAS will be able to enable viewability and invalid traffic (IVT) measurement for Criteo's network of retail media partners, ensuring that marketers are reaching real users and maximizing engagement, according to a media release.

"As more industry players come to realize the tremendous opportunity that is retail media, we remain committed to standardization that reconciles media spend with performance and building an ecosystem that drives marketers' and retailers' business forward,” Brian Gleason, chief revenue officer at Criteo, said in the release.

"Through our upcoming integration with Criteo, we can enable marketers to maximize their return on ad spend through third-party measurement across the powerful retail media networks working with Criteo,” added Yannis Dosios, Chief Commercial Officer, IAS.


Breaktime Media Welcomes Jake Morrisroe

Jake Morrisroe

Boston-based Breaktime Media has hired industry veteran Jake Morrisroe as director of promotions.

Morrisroe previously served as a digital producer at Meta and director of program operations at Gratsy. Before those roles, he was director, operations and account management, for Snipp Interactive. He also was a senior producer, team lead – client solutions at HelloWorld.

Breaktime continues to add experience to its teams following hires last year of shopper marketing vets such as Sean Lange and Alex Harrison.