IAC InterActiveCorp advertising & marketing assignments

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Selected IAC Group advertising

Though it is often counted as a digital group in its own right, IAC (or InterActive Corporation) is primarily the umbrella for the diverse portfolio of investments of media mogul Barry Diller, closer in nature to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway than to integrated digital media groups like Google or Facebook. Several of these businesses have outgrown the umbrella structure for one reason or another over time and been floated as separate companies. That process kicked off in 2005 when IAC demerged its collection of travel-related businesses into standalone unit Expedia Inc. One of these businesses, TripAdvisor, was itself spun out a few years later. In 2008, IAC completed a string of further divestitures, separating out the cable TV service Home Shopping Network (HSN), global ticket agency Ticketmaster, and consumer finance site Lending Tree as standalone companies. In 2020, the group spun out one of its biggest remaining divisions, dating services business Match Group, as a separate entity. Video streaming service Vimeo will also be spun off during the course of 2021. Several other sites - including CityGrid, Dictionary, Electus, PriceRunner, ShoeBuy and others - have been sold in recent years. These and other disposals have been replaced by new launches and acquisitions, with the result that IAC still houses more than 50 different online brands and products. The biggest of these divisions is now ANGI Homeservices, which incorporates Angi (formerly Angie's List), HomeAdvisor, Handy and MyBuilder: all sites offering connections between householders and third-party building services contractors. Other units of IAC include information and learning portal DotDash and its own collection of sub-brands, as well as irreverent culture and politics commentator The Daily Beast. It also controls a collection of downloadable website and mobile applications funded by search advertising. These have evolved out of what was at one stage the challenger search engine Ask Jeeves; that brand eventually faded away as a result of the dominance of Google. In 2020, the group acquired Care.com, a service for finding family caregivers, for around $500m. Diller himself remains chairman and controls around 41% of IAC's voting stock. Joey Levin is CEO. Combined revenues in 2020 were a little over $3.0bn. ANGI alone accounted for almost half of total revenues. However a collapse in revenues from search advertising and a large impairment charge resulted in a substantial operating loss. These were offset by a huge gain on the revaluation of a minority shareholding in MGM Resorts acquired during the year. Acquired for $1bn, the stake was worth $1.9bn by the end of 2020. The net result was a corporate profit of $270m.

Capsule checked 23rd January 2020

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Historical profile information for IAC

Recent stories from Adbrands Update:

Adbrands Daily Update 23rd Dec 2020: In its latest divestiture, IAC announced plans to spin off video streaming service Vimeo as a separate company, most probably during 2Q 2021. The YouTube rival has enjoyed stellar growth during 2020, boosted by pandemic usage. Revenues are up around 40% year-on-year, and paid subscriptions by 25%. A recent round of fund-raising valued Vimeo at almost $2.8bn.

Adbrands Daily Update 11th Aug 2020: In an unexpected development, IAC invested $1bn from the proceeds of the Match Group spin-off to acquire a 12% shareholding in MGM Resorts, owner and operator of several major casinos in the US and China. It is the group's biggest single investment for 15 years, and is understood to represent the first stage in an aggressive move into online gambling. "IAC's foundational concept of seeking opportunities to build interactive businesses is our base rationale," said chairman and controlling shareholder Barry Diller. "There is a digital first opportunity within MGM Resorts' already impressive offline businesses, and with our experience we hope we can strongly contribute to the growth of online gaming."

Adbrands Social Media 6th Mar 2019: "Vimeo Can Help". Video hosting site Vimeo - the thinking man's YouTube, you might say - unveiled an excellent collection of promotional films developed by New York agency FIG. There are 14 different vignettes in all, each one depicting a different everyday disaster. Perhaps not so everyday, actually, since one of them involves being swallowed by a whale. In each case, the ad headlines "Vimeo Can Help", with the subsequent disclaimer of "... with your videos". They're all deliciously oddball, stylishly designed and shot. Nice work.

Adbrands Social Media 7th Jan 2019: "Start Something Real". All the dials are turned up to 11 in Marcel's latest campaign for dating site Match (or Meetic as it is known in mainland Europe). The first 20 seconds are positively hyperactive in a rapid-fire debunking of all the different fakeries of modern life; followed by an even more startling change of pace and tone for the main sales message. Yet the pitch here is no less ramped-up. Judging by her enraptured gaze, our blonde protagonist is clearly in dire need of something rather more stimulating than a cup of coffee. Steady on, girls, this is a public place!

Adbrands Weekly Update 3rd May 2018: The biggest news from Facebook's first F8 developer conference was the revelation that the social media giant is to launch a new dating service aimed at the 200m or so users who currently identify themselves as "single" on their profiles. "This is for building real long-term relationships, not just hookups," said CEO Mark Zuckerberg. It's certainly an unexpected development considering Facebook's current issues with privacy. "We're surprised at the timing, given the amount of personal and sensitive data that comes with this territory,"said Mandy Ginsberg, CEO of leading dating site operator Match.com, which also owns Tinder and OKcupid. "We understand this category better than anyone. Facebook's entry will only be invigorating to all of us," said her boss Joey Levin, CEO of parent group IAC. "Their product could be great for US-Russia relationships," he added in a dig at the allegations that Russian agents used Facebook to spread electoral discord during the recent Presidential election. Yet jokes aside, the news sent a chill wind through Match.com and IAC investors. Match.com's shares plunged by 22% in the wake of Facebook's announcement, and IAC was down 17%.


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