GroupM Digital Buying Chief Bluman, 44, Dies

Executive remembered for setting high standards
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Ari Bluman, chief digital investment officer for North America at GroupM, died Wednesday after a long illness.

He was 44 and passed away in his home.

Bluman most recently made news in the advertising world by announcing that GroupM would deal with publishers exclusively through private exchange.

He was remembered as an industry pioneer who pushed for higher standards.

Before joining GroupM, Bluman was with the Real Media Group for 15 years.

GroupM Global CEO Irwin Gotlieb sent a memo to the company informing them of Bluman’s passing. Here’s the memo.

Friends and colleagues,

As some of you may have already heard, it is with the greatest regret that we inform you of the passing of Ari Bluman.

Many of you will be aware that Ari has been terribly ill for many months and know that he has been brave, almost beyond imagining, in the face of circumstances that few could tolerate.

Ari's contribution  to our business survives him. His work on bringing order to chaos in digital marketing led the industry and created unique value for us all. Ari was a pioneer and innovator, brashly demanding higher standards, better performance, and accountability. He did this not to benefit himself, but to improve the industry he loved and helped to create. Ari changed the lives of literally thousands of people in our industry who attribute their success to his principles and his relentless pursuit of truth in digital advertising.

We can only hope to leave a similar legacy as business people and friends. We can only hope to live our own lives with the same determination and effect.

 The passing of a friend is always tragic. It surfaces emotions that are profound and personal. This could not be more true than today.

Today we honor Ari Bluman. We mourn his passing, we cry for his wife, the indefatigable Deb, his family and we celebrate all he did with us, for us and what he leaves us.

There will never be another Ari Bluman. He was “always working,” but more importantly, always leading, and always improving the people around him.