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Adknowledge, Inc.
Type Private
Founded Kansas City, Missouri
Headquarters 4600 Madison Avenue, 10th Fl.
Kansas City, Missouri 64112
Key people Scott Lynn, Founder & Chairman
Ben Legg, CEO
Marco Ilardi, President
John Herbst, Chief Legal Officer
Employees 330+ (2014)

Founded in 2004, Adknowledge is a digital advertising company headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, USA, with offices around the world. Adknowledge has designed and managed campaigns through social media platforms, video advertising on YouTube, Facebook and native, mobile, apps, email, content recommendation and display ads,[1] for agencies and leading brands such as Range Rover, LG and L’Oréal.[2] The company also works with publishers to help them monetize their sites and lists.[3] In April 2013, leading industry publication Adotas ranked Adknowledge's email channel as the best in the industry for performance.[4] CNBC once featured Adknowledge in an article entitled "Who's the Next Google?"[5] The Wall Street Journal said, "Adknowledge provides performance, or cost-per-action, advertising for companies looking beyond traditional search engines such as Google and Yahoo."[6]


Adknowledge was founded by Scott Lynn, who led the company as President and CEO until 2012 when then-COO Ben Legg (former COO for European Directories and Google Europe) became CEO.[7] In a 2013 interview, Legg described digital marketing as the new customer research. “Online marketing is all about using consumer data to get an idea of what the consumer wants," Legg said. "You don’t even need to know exactly what they want; you just have to have an idea and then move at the speed of light to test that idea live."[8] Adknowledge made news at 2013's ad:tech San Francisco conference with an invitation-only party on Alcatraz.[9] The company produced a video that documented the evening.[10]

CEO Ben Legg at Cannes 2014

In June 2013, Adknowledge made it first trip to the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity where it showcased its AdParlor social media advertising product. Company representatives visited Cannes the following year to again highlight their social channel and recently acquired Giant Media, a video advertising and seeding platform. In addition, CEO Legg also presented at the event, discussing cross-channel marketing and customer lifetime value.

On June 19, 2013, CEO Ben Legg was a guest on Bloomberg TV's Bloomberg West daily news show.[11] He talked about advertising strategy on Facebook and the ways brands can carefully target ads to users. In August 2013, InsideCounsel magazine named Adknowledge's legal department as one of its 10 Most Innovative[12] in an annual issue, joining 3M and The Hartford, among others on the list. In March 2014, CEO Legg was featured in a profile.[13] In it, the writer detailed Legg's background in the British Army's Royal Engineers and his time spent in various war zones.

Acquisitions and Growth[edit]

Adknowledge has grown organically and through acquisitions.[14] This includes purchases of Super Rewards[15] (sold in 2012),[16] Miva,[17] Cubics, Lookery,[18] Media Run, Adonomics,[19] Hydra Group,[20] AdParlor,[21] SocialWeekend,[22] Giant Media and TriVu Media.[23]


AdParlor company logo.png

In November 2011, Adknowledge acquired Toronto-based AdParlor, a provider of social media advertising and management, which boasts more than a billion daily impressions on Facebook.[24] In April 2012, Facebook merged the preferred developer consultant and marketing application programming interface developer programs into one program, named the Preferred Marketing Developer program, of which AdParlor was an initial member. At the time of creation, the program included 232 member companies in 35 countries.[25] On September 20, 2012,[26] Facebook designated AdParlor a Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer (sPMD) for Ads and Insights.[27] Only 14 companies in the world have the sPMD status.[28] In November 2013, Twitter named AdParlor as one of its Ads API partners, making it one of a small handful of specialists with preferred status with both Facebook and Twitter.[29] On November 5, 2013, Adknowledge CEO Ben Legg appeared live on Bloomberg TV's Bloomberg West program two days prior to Twitter's IPO. He spoke about Twitter's ad strategy and brands' ability to attract customers through Twitter.[30]

SocialWeekend Labs[edit]

In April 2013, Adknowledge announced the acquisition of Social Weekend Labs (officially registered as Montipay, Inc.), a San Francisco-based startup.[31]

Giant Media[edit]

Giant Media logo.png

In March 2014, Adknowledge announced that it had acquired Giant Media, a digital video advertising and distribution platform.[32] In an interview with Media Post, CEO Ben Legg explained part of Giant Media's appeal: “Virality is more than great content, and Giant is very good at knowing when and where to execute [placements] to maximize earned media and social sharing,” Legg said.

TriVu Media[edit]


In July 2014, Adknowledge made its second digital video-related acquisition in four months with the purchase of TriVu Media, which specializes in targeted placement of ads on YouTube videos.[33] In a release, CEO Legg said, “Most marketers are trying to shift more of their TV ad dollars to digital video advertising but struggle to achieve scale. TriVu brings an entirely new set of capabilities to our business, and it fits perfectly into our existing video product portfolio.” [34]

Global Presence[edit]

Adknowledge has more than 300 employees located on four continents.[35] In addition to the corporate headquarters in Kansas City, Adknowledge has North American offices in:

Adknowledge also has overseas locations in:


In 2006, Adknowledge raised $48 million from Technology Crossover Ventures,[36] which retains an undisclosed ownership stake. In 2011, Adknowledge raised $200 million in D&E financing to fund growth and company acquisitions.[37]

One of the Best Places to Work[edit]

Best Places to Work graphic

Careers website named Adknowledge as one of the best U.S. companies to work for in its 2014 Employees' Choice Awards survey.[38] Adknowledge ranked #24 on the midsize list, which covered a total of 50 companies with between 250-999 employees, and based in the United States. On the heels of that honor, Glassdoor named CEO Ben Legg to its list of 2014's best chief executives for small to midsized companies.[39]


  1. ^ Case Study |
  2. ^ AdParlor website |
  3. ^ Adknowledge website |
  4. ^ Adotas article |
  5. ^ CNBC article |
  6. ^ Wall Street Journal Article |
  7. ^ ad:tech London website |
  8. ^ Profile Magazine |
  9. ^ AllVoices article |
  10. ^ Vimeo video |
  11. ^ Bloomberg TV segment |
  12. ^
  13. ^ PerformanceIN website |
  14. ^ CrunchBase page |
  15. ^ Financial Times |
  16. ^ TechCrunch article |
  17. ^ Venture Beat article |
  18. ^ Inside Facebook |
  19. ^ Reuters |
  20. ^ Business Journal article |
  21. ^ Business Insider article |
  22. ^
  23. ^ AdExchanger article |
  24. ^ TechCrunch article |
  25. ^ Facebook Officially Merges Partner Programs |
  26. ^ Facebook Establishes Elite Partner List, Social network announces Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer program |
  27. ^ Facebook website |
  28. ^ Facebook sPMD site |
  29. ^ Mediabistro article |
  30. ^ |
  31. ^ TechCrunch article |
  32. ^ Media Post article |
  33. ^ MediaPost article |
  34. ^ Yahoo article |
  35. ^ TechCrunch article
  36. ^ VentureBeat article |
  37. ^ Techcrunch article |
  38. ^ Glassdoor List |,39.htm
  39. ^ list |,29.htm