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July 11, 2006

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...       07/11/2006

Facebook Structures Barter Deal With Interpublic Group To Drive Ad Revenue In Win-Win Arrangement

How much is friendship worth? That’s an open-ended question, certainly. However, to the likes of social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook, the figures these days are truly staggering.

And for Facebook, according to some analysts, the company is approaching a possible $2 billion valuation, after capitalizing the numbers on their recent transaction with the Interpublic Group an ad agency, marketing and public relations firm.

Facebook, which focuses on the college crowd (with 8 million registered members listing their favorite bands, books and hobbies, on the site), has just traded one-half of 1% of its equity stake to the Interpublic Group for a commitment by IPG to place $10 million in advertising on its web site.

The Facebook barter agreement, in essence, says, “Generate $10 million in ad revenue for us and we’ll provide you with equity in our company.” Plus the link up with IPG should further Facebook’s development of an ad model.

The partnership is also a brilliant move for IPG, for not only do they obtain an equity position in a hot social networking site (the second most popular and one of the top ten most trafficked sites on the Net), but they will receive preferential access to prime ad space on Facebook. And, IPG also acquired the exclusive access to Facebook’s user data for research purposes.

Mark Zuckerberg, the former Harvard college student who started Facebook in February 2004, is grinning from ear to ear. According to Business Week, he reportedly turned down an offer of $750 million for Facebook prior to this arrangement.

Agassi & Graf Trading On Brilliant Careers & Fame

Tennis stars Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf have both been world-renowned professional tennis players. Graf retired in 1999 after winning 22 major singles titles. And Agassi, who is one of only five men to have won all four Grand Slam events, is retiring after the U.S. Open later this summer.

The married couple have launched Agassi Graf Development LLC, a real-estate development company focused on luxury home and resort projects. Their first venture is Tamarack Resort, a mountain vacation area about 90 miles north of Boise, Idaho; Bayview Financial, a Miami-based real-estate investment, development and mortgage-finance company is the equal equity partner.

Agassi pointed out that in addition to attaching their names to the venture they will also be pouring themselves into the effort...working on the 225-room condo-hotel at Tamarack’s village with a spa and golf course and at least 35 houses with ski in/ski out access.

Costs for the project are forecast at $400 million. As equal equity partners, and after making a small financial investment, the value of trading on their fame, reputations, contacts, and involvement is considerable.

Shades Of Joseph Jamail....

The law firm of Sterns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson of Miami are receiving $247 million for the effort they put forth in a class-action suit in which gas-station owners accused Exxon of over-charging them for gasoline. The full fee award was one of the highest legal ever in a class-action suit. The firm had been working on the case for 15 years, taking it all the way to the Supreme Court! (Total settlement was $1.08 billion.)

The Miami law firm essentially employed the same strategy which Joseph Jamail’s Texas law firm used back in the late 1980s when he traded on his firm’s time and expertise to represent Pennzoil in its court battle with Texaco.

Given Pennzoil’s financial condition at the time, Jamail got the case because he chose to barter his abilities for a percentage of the award if he prevailed, versus collecting an hourly fee for his firm’s services. His confidence and the size of the eventual victory, $3 billion, saw Jamail earning an estimated $420 million for his firm’s trading efforts.

Bingo! Big Red Paperclip Reaches Goal...Barters For House

On April 25 we reported about Montrealer Kyle MacDonald’s efforts to trade a big red paperclip into a house. We editorialized that the reason barter’s so exciting is because value is subjective not objective. Proof of such a belief is the successful conclusion of MacDonald’s incredible venture.

Last Wednesday the Canadian got a call from Bert Roach in Kipling, Saskatchewan, a small town located 90 minutes outside of Regina. MacDonald was offered a two-story, 1920s farmhouse that he and his girlfriend have accepted. The town council is planning a major party to welcome its newest citizen.

MacDonald was nearly speechless when offered the property. “I just couldn’t believe it,” he said. “People keep asking me how much is the house worth?” MacDonald says that’s so not the point. “I’ll never sell the house, this is all about relative value,” he stressed. “What’s more important to a man dying of thirst in the desert, $1 million or a glass of water?”

MacDonald, whose long journey which began July 12, 2005, now has one last goal, to convince Rocker Alice Cooper (who was one of the legs in the barter progression) to play a free concert at his planned massive house-warming party this coming Labor Day.

Multi Media Distributor Straddles TV, Internet

Bulk TV & Internet, www.bulktv.com, offers a la carte programming as well as comprehensive packages for apartments, condominiums, mobile home communities, hotels, assisted living facilities, correctional facilities, hospitals and student housing.

They are a nationally licensed wholesale distributor for both DirecTV and Dish Network satellite, and a nationally licensed distributor for Guest-Tek, one of the largest providers of high speed Internet covering more than 450,000 units in the U.S. and Canada.

All back issues of "From the Desk...” can be accessed by clicking here.

(Please feel free to forward our newsletter to your friends and colleagues. We have a “box” at the end of the newsletter for your convenience. See you next week. . .)


Get New Money-Making Ideas And Valuable Contacts!

You can obtain useful, informative ideas and contacts in every available back-issue of BarterNews.


IMS Barter Creates Broker Division For Entrepreneurs

At the company’s recent annual meeting, it was announced that IMS Barter desired to expand and grow the company organically. Most industry insiders believed such an announcement meant the company would be looking for additional sales personnel to hit the streets for new member solicitations and sign-ups.

But IMS CEO Don Mardak had a surprise for the industry when he announced on July 5, “In addition to hiring sales people who will help us expand our existing markets, we have created an Independent Broker Licensing Division.”

IMS Barter, now located in 37 U.S. markets, is actively looking for entrepreneurial-minded individuals who are interested in building an IMS Barter office in their local markets. With the announcement Mardak also revealed that the first licensee will soon begin operations in Naples and Ft. Myers, Florida.

For additional information on IMS go to www.internationalmonetary.com.


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Central Marketplace Established For Online Display Advertising

10 Billion Daily Auctions Envisioned By Year End

A new VC funded company, AdECN, aims to merge New York Stock Exchange style trading liquidity with “Las Vegas” style action on its web site. AdECN Exchange (AE) will make the buying and selling of online display advertising more efficient, more targeted, and more profitable.

Each AE member (advertising network or broker) known as “seat-holders” on the exchange, will act on behalf of the advertiser or publisher in executing transactions. Publishers will place the ad spot inventory in AE, and advertisers will specify in advance the targeting they want and how much they are willing to pay.

When a viewer lands on a web site page owned by a publisher, represented by a seat-holder, that triggers a single-pass auction among all of the interested advertisers. The real-time auction is completed in under 100 milliseconds and the advertiser who placed the winning bid, represented by a seat-holder, purchases the ad spot offered by the publisher.

AdECN is currently operating in a testing “stealth mode” and holding about 800 auctions every second. By the end of the year the company anticipates ramping up to 10 billion auctions daily...representing 10 billion display ad impressions. Toward that end, AdECN recently closed on a Series A round financing, following its initial $2.5 million angel round last fall.

 

Hotel General Managers

Here’s The Easiest $100,000 You’ll Ever
Bring To The Bottomline!

Collect cash, as usual, from the guest accounts staying at your facility that require the use of professional AV services. And rather than shouldering your ongoing employee costs, or your current vendor’s cash agreement for AV services, here’s a much better alternative:

Work with a proven national vendor (a sterling 25-year track record) who will provide all of the AV services for your hotel on a 100% TRADE BASIS! (Payment to be in the form of hotel rooms and/or trade dollars.)

Your hotel’s annual AV billings must be a minimum of $200,000, and this offer is available only in the continental United States.

For a confidential introduction contact Bob Meyer via e-mail: bmeyer@barternews.com. (Please type in AV Services On Trade in the subject line of your e-mail.)

Attention Trade Exchange Owners:

If your member hotel(s) have a minimum of 10,000 sq. feet of meeting space and annual billings of at least $200,000 for AV services this is a great opportunity to earn substantial cash service fees on the hundreds of thousands of trade dollars your hotel member will be paying the vendor. Contact Bob Meyer at the above e-mail.

Enversa, Aware Of Growing Auction Model, Introduces New Media Negotiating Tool

Enversa, located in New York City, has introduced a web-based media tool that shortens the negotiation process from weeks to minutes. The company has two patents and 163 patent claims pending.

Enversa works with agencies and advertisers to optimize their media buys and contribute incremental value to their brands by exceeding expected media inventory goals. Enversa’s methodology leverages a fixed budget and provides similar benefits and results for all forms of media, including online, print, national and local television and radio.

The company has announced a partnership with Tierney Communications, the largest full-service communications agency in the Mid-Atlantic area. Tierney Communications is a member of the Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE:IPG).

To view a demonstration of Enversa’s media-buying process visit www.Enversa.com.

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Top Real Estate Expert Looks To Future

Kenneth Heebner, who since 1994 has managed the $1.2 billion CGM Realty Fund, has the best 10-year record of all real-estate-focused mutual funds, according to fund tracker Lipper, Inc. Heebner’s fund is up an average of nearly 22% a year during the past decade...greater than double the broader market.

Heebner, 65, recently looked at the real estate market in the U.S. and offered this thinking...

  1. A significant decline in housing prices is coming, as a buildup of inventories is taking place. Major retrenchment will occur in the hot markets of California, Arizona, Florida, and up the East Coast. These markets could well fall 50% from their peaks.
     

  2. As housing prices fall more people will be under water (those who got 100% financing), and they will be forced to walk away from their homes. The inventories of unsold homes grow dramatically with these foreclosures, and large price declines will follow. Such events will create a very difficult environment for home builders, too.
     

  3. The large declines in the hot markets will reduce the growth rate of the economy, but they won’t precipitate a downturn. The Fed will probably pause on interest rate-hikes once the extent of the housing slowdown becomes apparent, rather than threaten an economic downturn.
     

  4. As the global economy strengthens, leisure travel will continue to be strong. And the U.S. will see more tourism, because with the dollar weakening it will be less expensive for foreigners to visit America. Consequently, during the next several years there will be an inadequate supply of hotel rooms available for all of the travelers’ demands.


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