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PayPal to launch ad platform, makes key hires from Uber and Plaid

PayPal starting in the US

Payments giant PayPal is poised to launch itself as a retail media network (RMN), leveraging its vast trove of consumer transactional data. As it gears up for launch it has made two key appointments to bolster what will be called PayPal advertising.

Mark Grether will join on May 28 as SVP, General Manager, PayPal Ads, and John Anderson has joined as SVP, General Manager, Consumer Group. Grether and Anderson will report to Diego Scotti, EVP, General Manager, Consumer Group and Global Marketing & Communications. 

PayPal already runs  PayPal advanced offers platform, but is to create an advertising arm that will add to this brand and merchant advertising that can be more personally targeted based on the company’s vast lake of consumer data.

“Commerce and advertising are deeply connected, and we believe that the advertising platform we are building at PayPal will become a must-use marketing channel for merchants big and small,” says Scotti.  

The new appointments are key. Grether has been a leader in the advertising industry for more than 20 years. He joins PayPal from Uber, where he was the Vice President, General Manager of Uber Advertising. Under his leadership, Uber Advertising grew to a $1 billion business with more than 500,000 advertisers globally. He successfully led the acceleration of the company’s global advertising business, helping merchants, brands, and other advertisers reach Uber’s highly engaged user base across its Mobility and Delivery divisions. 

Prior to Uber, Grether led the product strategy for Amazon’s advertising business, and he served as CEO of Sizmek, one of the largest independent advertising platforms globally, which was sold to Amazon in 2019. Prior to Sizmek, Mark was the co-founder and global COO of WPP’s Xaxis, which became a leading programmatic media company.  

Anderson, meanwhile, has spent more than 20 years at the intersection of technology platforms and payments. He will be accountable for PayPal’s consumer business, including product strategy for PayPal and Venmo globally. 

Anderson joins PayPal from Plaid, where he was Head of Product and Payments and oversaw significant growth of Plaid’s payment product suite. Prior to Plaid, John spent a decade at Meta in numerous product and leadership roles, including Head of Product for Oculus, Head of Facebook Japan, and Head of product and operations teams for Payments, Commerce, and Risk. Prior to joining Meta, John founded GroupCard, a social greeting and payments platform that was acquired by InComm. 

The launch comes weeks after payment and shopping app Klarna launched its own RMN, again seeking to leverage consumer shopping data to create a new revenue stream. Similarly, JP Morgan Chase launched Chase Media Solutions, initially as an offers programme which it then opened up to Chase’s 80 million US customers with offers  targeted using customers’ purchase history and published on Chase’s owned digital channels. 

At the same time, UK-based Resolut revealed that it too was getting into the ad business, launching Resolut Media Solutions and hiring TikTok’s head of ecommerce partnerships Inam Mahmood to head it up.

Learn more about RMNs at a brand new event held on 11 June 2024 in London. Retail MediaX explores the experiences of well-established retailers in this space to new entrants and the agencies who are helping make things tick. It aims to uncover any entry barriers and discusses what advertisers, particularly in the FMCG sector, should consider when making investments.

For more information, the full agenda, and to register, click here.

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