Introducing Digiday magazine: The Truth Issue
This article appears in the latest issue of Digiday magazine, a quarterly publication that is part of Digiday+. Members of Digiday+ get access to exclusive content, original research and member events throughout the year. Learn more here.
“Brand safety is our top priority.” “This isn’t a pivot to video.” “We put the reader experience first.” “Our agencies are valued partners.” If you work in media and marketing, you’ve probably heard these fibs so much, they probably don’t even cause you to blink. In industries based on image, people tolerate manipulation and exaggeration. Look no further than the language people use. Marketers have taken to renaming what we used to know as “ads” as “storytelling.” And with media and marketing being disrupted on all sides and the flow of ad dollars obscured by the advance of ad tech, there’s motivation to hide the truth — and the means to do it.
The reality is often something different. At Digiday, we’ve built a brand that’s based on calling out the challenges and realities of media and marketing, not pumping up the industries or shying from their problems. One of our most popular franchises is our Confessions series, where we grant people anonymity to shine a light on important issues like ad fraud, workplace abuse and shady billing practices. This issue of Digiday magazine, where we focus on the truth and lies in media and marketing, is an attempt to do more of that.
The theme of truth runs throughout the issue, starting with the true costs of building a native ad or subscription business, where so many publishers are pinning their hopes. In the media and marketing sections, we ask whether the ad tax trope is really as bad as people say and if brands really believe in the purposeful slogans they all seem to be adopting these days (spoiler: they’re not).
Ultimately, it takes courageous and innovative people to advance truth and transparency. We spotlighted several people who are trying to bring honesty to media and marketing, like media researcher Jonathan Albright, who has brought new understanding to how fake news spreads on social media. Remember when Jon Mandel, the former Mediacom CEO, created a firestorm three years ago with a bombshell report proclaiming that media agency rebates and kickbacks are real? We caught up with him to see what’s changed since then. Mandel says there’s a lot more work to be done, saying, “It takes a lot to break an addiction.”
On the regulatory front, FTC chair Joseph Simons and U.K. Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham, both of whom seem eager to use their power to reign in the duopoly, will be key people to watch. No one said fixing big industries is far from easy. But being honest about the issues seems like a good place to start.
‘Off the field business’: Sports is still shaky but sports business publications see a lucrative play
The business of sports has been turned upside down and a number of media companies are racing to capitalize on the opportunity.
As the Facebook boycott ends, brand advertisers are split on what happens next with their marketing budgets
Of the top 20 Facebook advertisers, according to Pathmatics’ 2019 data, five of them -- Microsoft, Unilever, Diageo, Coca-Cola and CVS -- are keeping media dollars away from the social network.
‘No brainer’: Marie Claire launches sampling business to boost revenue and data practice
With retail on lockdown "Working in skincare, samples are the number-one way to get people into a product."
SponsoredAs live sports roar back onto screens, brands capture a social-media lift
By TJ Adeshola, head of U.S. Sports Partnerships at Twitter Live sports are back and sports fans couldn’t be more excited. It’s no surprise that communities across the country are welcoming their teams back with open arms. For many, the return of sports brings a sense of normalcy — 67 percent of U.S. fans see […]
‘Make bold moves’: How Allure is using its platform to challenge the outdated standards in beauty
Through the pandemic, seismic shifts have occurred in how brands can interact with customers. So beauty magazines, like Allure, have stepped up to provide a valuable connection between their consumers.
How the world’s biggest advertisers are spending (or not) as the pandemic grinds on
Having pulled back in Q1, some advertisers are gearing up for a big push in the second half of the year. Others are bracing themselves for a rocky road ahead.