ScanScout CEO Doug McFarland Resigns


ScanScout CEO Doug McFarland has stepped down from the company, effective Dec. 31, 2007. He remains on its board of directors. Founder Waikit Lau has stepped in as interim CEO while ScanScout looks for a replacement. McFarland, who had joined the company Jan. 1, 2007 (making his taxes rather simple, I suppose), did not give much detail on the switch in a statement emailed by company PR, except to say that ScanScout had “made great progress” since he came on board. We at NewTeeVee are a bit fuzzy as to why he left after just 12 months on the job. If you have any theories or information, please leave a comment or send us your tip.

ScanScout, which has offices in New York and Boston, operates in the crowded but nascent contextual video ad targeting space, alongside competitors such as Digitalsmiths and More general online video ad networks include VideoEgg, YuMe, Tremor Media and Broadband Enterprises.

ScanScout had raised $2.3 million in angel funding from Ron Conway and First Round Capital, a $7 million Series A round led by General Catalyst Partners, and added a strategic investment of an unnamed amount from Time Warner.


Sarah Collins

I agree with everything everyone has to say about Doug, he is a sleazy, disgruntled, lying man who cannot be trusted. He once lied to a woman, telling her that his daughter passed away to earn sympathy in hopes of courting her.

Mark Forrester II

Totally agree with Mark Forrester. This guy is a sheer sleazy scum, the lowest sort I had ever dealt with.

Mark Forrester

Knowing Doug, I wouldn’t be surprised if the first post here was probably posted by Doug himself or a PR firm under his direction.

Also, having followed ScanScout ever since they picked him up, I wouldn’t at all be surprised if he was A.) forced out, B.) left on his own free will when his outrageous demands weren’t being met.

I would never again work for him, with him, or in any relation to him if I could help it, nor would I wish any such arrangement on my worse enemy.

Note to his next employee, hire-er beware.

Zach Wiesner

I think they have always been a network. We have used them since mid-2007 and have seen good results, seeing brand ads like McDonald, Coke, Toyota, Juno, Superbad, etc. and relevant text links. I think they separated b/c they wanted someone more operationally-focused and closer to Boston.

Mark Foster

Mr. McFarland’s quick departure is probably reflective of ScanScout’s inability to gain traction in the true contextualization space. There has been excitement over how video could be contextualized specifically for user-generated content. Early on, they touted their ability to apply new computer vision technologies to UGC. The reality is they are having difficulty in actually applying their technologies.

As difficulties progressed through the year, it was clear that ScanScout would have to reposition themselves more as an ad network. Doug was smart enough to recognize the difficulties in becoming an ad network. The market is crowded with many well-funded companies leaving ScanScout in a difficult position.

On a final note, anyone that has met Doug knows that teaming him with a group of PhD’s is like oil and water. It seemed to make more sense for him to depart on good terms rather than be a part of a sinking ship.

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