St.Petersburg’s Triad — at one time the largest advertising and marketing firm in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area — is shutting down.
The closure is due to the combined impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and ongoing changes in the retail industry, according to a statement from media investment company GroupM.
Here’s the company’s complete statement:
“The dramatic changes in the retail industry, coupled with the economic conditions triggered by the global pandemic, have brought us to the difficult decision to close Triad, a retail media business based in St. Petersburg, FL. We are proud of Triad’s role as an early retail media pioneer, as evident in the successful sale of its proprietary technology and engineering team to Sam’s Club in Fall of 2019. Our heartfelt gratitude to Triad for its leadership, customer innovations and retail media inventions.”
Triad employees were informed of the decision late last week and the business will wind down over the next couple of months, a news report by MediaPost said.
Some employees were laid off immediately while others will stay on for a 90-day transition, AdAge reported.
Triad sells, manages and executes digital retail media programs for retail media platforms such as websites, mobile and in-store TVs. Triad enables large retailers to run third-party advertisements on those media platforms, so they can engage consumers as they shop online and create an additional revenue stream for the retailer.
GroupM is part of WPP, a British multinational company that bought Triad in 2016 for $300 million, according to a lawsuit WPP Group USA filed last year in New York. WPP said it lost more than $120 million on the purchase because Triad’s previous owners failed to provide updated financial information before the deal closed, artificially inflating the value of the company.
In 2017, when WPP named Sherry Smith as CEO of what was then known as Triad Retail Media, the company said it had more than 500 employees in 12 offices worldwide. Triad had $509.3 million in gross revenue in 2016, when it was acquired by WPP, and that fell to $399.2 million in gross revenue the following year, WPP’s lawsuit said.