Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Spot Runner: Now it's likely the investors who are running

UPDATE: I just hung up the phone with Rosabel Tao, who contacted me after she read this post. She's the VP of Corporate Communications with Spot Runner and wanted to let me know that the ValleyWag posting is largely inaccurate.

According to Rosabel, the company actually laid off 50 people, not 100. They are still committed 100% to the local market that they were built to serve, but as they are getting into other platforms, they found they needed people with different types of skills.

I have no way of knowing the whole story clearly, but I was impressed that Rosabel found this post and reached out, so I wanted to get her side of the story included. I'm sure there's more to come...


I have to admit. I thought SpotRunner was on to something. Offer small biz easy access to decent looking TV spots. Most local TV advertising is fairly affordable (you can buy a 30 second spot on Judge Judy in Raleigh for around $100), but getting decent creative is expensive. (The average 30-second spot in the U.S. cost $303,000 to make...)

Here's their CEO explaining how it should work.

SpotRunner has raised $111 MILLION to get rolling.

But now ValleyWag is reporting that SpotRunner is laying off 100 employees. Not just because business is slow (not sure if it is), but apparently because they are going to try to compete in a new space, involving search engine marketing.

I thought this was going to be transformative. Apparently, it's really hard to do what they were trying to do...