Advertising Week Briefing: Media’s got a trust problem
You can exhale now. Another Advertising Week has come and gone. Read on for what you might have missed, plus our awards for the best and worst of what we saw and heard this week.
When it comes to integrity and transparency, there is still widespread distrust across the entire ad supply chain. While solutions were few and far between, there was plenty of finger-pointing to fill the void. Martin Cass, CEO of MDC Media Partners and Assembly, speculated that brand clients clamping down on arbitrage might be part of the reason why some agency holding companies have struggled financially. The IAB Tech Lab protocol ads.txt was supposed to be a simple solution to fight fraud, but few publishers have adopted it so far; one view was that publishers haven’t adopted ads.txt because they don’t want to expose their own bad business practices.
“I think that publishers don’t want to necessarily expose who they are working with,” said Jess Barrett, global head of programmatic at the Financial Times. Everyone (even ad tech) seems to agree there’s too much ad tech. Some demand-side platforms are working with as many 75 supply-side platforms, said Jason Fairchild, CRO of OpenX, which recently ran a study that found that many SSPs are obfuscating the mechanics of their auctions to covertly squeeze extra money out of ad buyers. Cass said that each week, several vendors visit his agency’s offices, offering “solutions for a problem we don’t know we have.” — Ross Benes
Snap’s dancing hot dogs
Remember Snap’s giant yellow Ferris wheel outside Le Palais or its secretive party at Cannes Lions this year? Snap’s presence was low-key at Advertising Week, with three panels on the last day, when it announced 3-D augmented reality ads. A dancing hot dog was among the first 3-D AR characters that Snap tested.
Nathan Eide, director of media technology and innovation for agency Frwd and an Advertising Week attendee, said he liked that Snap used its Advertising Week presence to announce a new product for advertisers, unlike the majority of companies that were pitching the same things they’ve been pushing all year. “Advertising Week should be a place where we learn about new product offerings, new use cases for current products and open our eyes to emerging technology,” he said. “Aside from AR and VR, [I] didn’t see anything really game-changing.” — Yuyu Chen
The Advertising Week Awards
Worst panel title: “Scaling Branded Visual Content Creation for Digital & Social Channels”
Most common complaint: The nonworking Wi-Fi
Best platform pivot: “Spotify is actually a massive mental health monitoring project”
Best activation: Adobe’s confessional booth
Worst pickup line: “So, taking a break from the panels?”
Best snack: Pizza truck from PubMatic
Biggest fraud: Chocolates from cannabis confectioner Défoncé Chocolatier that turned out to be just plain chocolate
Worst made-up term: Artful intelligence
Most tweeted-about stat: People scroll through 300 feet of news feed content every day
Biggest surprise “guest”: Donald Trump’s motorcade, whose arrival at a fundraiser at Le Cirque on Sept. 26 created an epic traffic snarl
Best comedian-host: Trevor Noah at the 4A’s centennial gala
Member Exclusive‘Truly integrated’: As an unusual school year commences, agencies are aiming to help working parents more than ever before
Agencies, which have long had reputations as difficult work environments for working parents, are adapting to be more flexible for parents this year.
‘How much do we want to get screwed?’: Confessions of an agency exec on lack of payment due to coronavirus
In the latest edition of our Confessions series, we hear from one agency exec who says that the “times are tough” excuse for late client payments isn’t cutting it anymore.
‘Doubling down’: Inside the 49ers social and digital rush to replace lost in-stadium marketing dollars
Without the ability to deliver ads to the 70,000 fans who attend games in-person, the 49ers have had to pivot to focus on digital and social channels.
SponsoredB2B events were broken before the pandemic, their online reinvention is creating positive change
Kim Darling, executive producer, Inbound Farewell lanyards, business cards and branded pens — it’ll be some time before people get their hands on these souvenirs of in-person events again. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to transform the way people work, buy, sell, socialize and entertain themselves, the global events industry is facing its biggest-ever challenge. […]
Member Exclusive‘Can’t really be ignored’: Marketers and media buyers are finally taking the on-going TikTok saga seriously
Marketers and media buyers have said that as long as people are still on TikTok they’ll want to be there, especially as they try to diversify from Facebook and Google.
‘Clever about how we rest’: As uncertainties drag into fall, agencies are facing a burnt out and fearful workforce
Agency employees and executives say that a feeling of fatigue due to the on-going uncertainty and the need to be always on has set in.