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|Shrewsbury, Massachusetts (May, 2003)|
|Westborough, Massachusetts, USA|
|Venkat Kolluri, Co-Founder, CEO
Alden DoRosario, Co-Founder, CTO
|Search Targeted Text Ads, Mobile Ads|
In 2003, co-founders Venkat Kolluri and Alden DoRosario started Chitika after leaving their jobs at search engine-based company Lycos. Since launching its online advertising service in 2004, Chitika has added a Mobile advertising Division as well as a Real-Time Bidding Division. In 2015, Chitika's founders announced Cidewalk, their local mobile ad platform, would spin off into a separate business unit with $4 Million in seed funding and new office space in Southborough, MA.
In 2009 Chitika began a partnership with the b5media Network.
In 2010 Yahoo! closed their AdSense competitor Yahoo Publisher Network Online (YPNO) and recommended publishers migrate to Chitika as a replacement.
In 2013, Chitika announced a multi-year extension of its partnership with Yahoo!. The agreement includes off–network search syndication, monetization of Yahoo! owned and operated properties, and mobile ad serving and monetization.
Awards and recognition
- Inc. top free services for generating revenue on your website: Best For Promoting Ancillary Products
- Red Herring: Top 100 Global 2008 Winner
- DPAC Award Finalist for Best Mobile Advertising Network Innovation
- TiE Boston: Chitika CEO Venkat Kolluri Awarded "Crystal Award." The Crystal Award is given to a TiE Charter Member for building and growing a company from the ground up with no external funding.
- Boston Business Journal: Healthiest Employer 2013 Finalist
- AdExchanger: Cidewalk Hooks Up With Yahoo Small Business To Reach More Mom-And-Pops.
In December 2005, some publishers reported a reduction in revenue after auditing between 25%-90%.
In 2010, Chitika removed their ads from thousands of websites. The company stated that the sites they had been doing business with were all suddenly placed under "Pending Review" or "Pending Further Review" status. This meant the company would no longer show ads on the sites. Many dropped the advertising service.
On March 16, 2011, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) appeared before the United States Senate Commerce Committee and announced its first behavioral advertising case, filed against Chitika for use of a deceptive opt-out mechanism. According to the FTC, Chitika's cookies that opt users out of behavioral tracking were expiring in ten days rather than the stated ten years. A settlement was reached under which Chitika was forbidden from making misleading statements about the extent of data collection about consumers and the extent to which consumers can control the use of their data. Further, the settlement required that Chitika link all its advertising to an effective opt-out mechanism in future. It has been commented that, “this requirement of a hyperlink embedded in online advertisements is a good indicator of the type of Do Not Track mechanism that will be acceptable to the FTC if “Do Not Track” becomes mandatory.” According to a press release by the company, their opt-out cookies have been set to ten days since March 2010 when the FTC began their investigation. Chitika subsequently claimed to have made only a total of fifty-five cents from the ten-day opt-out expiration.