Zee group company ZEEL has written off Rs 33.1 crore of its investment in UK based MirriAD. Zee had first invested in MirriAD in 2014, with the objective of developing technology for product placement and embedding advertising into video streams. Zee had initially picked up 17% in the company in 2014. Previous annual reports indicate that Zee had invested Rs 27.4 crore in MirriAd in the financial year ending March 2014 and Rs 31.3 crore during the year ended March 2015. The company made no investment in MirriAd in 2015-16.
A note in Zee’s latest Annual report, under Non-current Investments, points towards and exception item, which is the “write off of investment in MirriAD Limited, UK of Rs/Millions 331 (Nil) by ATL Media Ltd (Formerly Asia Today Limited), a wholly owned overseas subsidiary of the Company on account of contingent losses and capital reduction / restructuring in MiriaAD Limited, UK.”
That said, it’s not that MirriAD is done. The company, earlier this year, announced $15 million in funding, led by IP Group PLC, Parkwalk Funds, and with a minority investment from Unilever Ventures, the venture capital and private equity arm of Unilever. In that announcement, MirriAd points towards adblocking and ad skipping as a reason for ineffective advertising which is declining, and pitches the need for in-program advertising, which is refers to as native, saying “Mirriad digitally integrates brands directly into premium video content by embedding products, signage and even video.”
The last time we heard of MirriAd, they were pitching product placements in music videos, in a partnership with Universal Music. More recently, they’ve tied up with LG to insert ads into RTL and A+E channels in Germany.