ICYMI: The end of the world, brought to you by the ANA
It’s the weekend, again, people. Enjoy it while you can. But before you head out for an afternoon of revelry, sit back and enjoy some of the best stories from Digiday you might have missed from this week.
The biggest story of the week? You guessed it: the ANA’s report that rebates and kickbacks are widespread in ad land. Without naming names, the report said senior executives are aware of and, in some cases, mandated business practices that were not disclosed to clients. This included cash rebates based on media dollars spent and rebates as inventory credits.
Naturally, the agencies lashed back. In a memo, Publicis chief Maurice Levy said the report was an “unfair and unwarranted attack on the entire industry.” Omnicom called it “disappointing” in a statement and made a show about how its legal counsel tried to get more specifics about any information disclosed about its agencies. Ad tech companies were not left out, with the report shining a light on “service agreements” and “black-box deals.”
And yet, none of this likely to have any legal repercussions, experts say.
Speaking of ad land, GroupM isn’t down with ad reinsertion. The ad-buying giant, which controls roughly a third of global ad spend, will soon contractually require publishers to not reinsert any of its clients’ ads that are being blocked by users.
“It’s addressing the symptom, not the cause,” John Montgomery, chairman of GroupM Connect, told Digiday. “Let’s fix the user experience first, and then we can engage with consumers and tell them that we’ve fixed the UX, we made the experience as light as possible, and ask them to consider whitelisting [the site] or switching off the ad blocker.”
Of course, that’s easier said than done. Publishers, hurting from lost ad revenue, are exploring all available means to combat — or circumvent — ad blocking. Secret Media, a company that provides ad reinsertion technology, now has more than 500 customers, up from 15 in January. And not all of them are happy about GroupM’s stance.
— Ned Newhouse (@Ned_Newhouse) June 10, 2016
Just like everybody else in media, the BBC is all-in on Facebook Live. Having experimented with the format for the past six months, the publisher has discovered a few key things, including:
- Let the audience lead. It’s not TV, so don’t try to be. This means taking more of a freestyle approach and resisting a specific editorial plan. “You can’t go into Facebook Live with a detailed plan of how you want the editorial to go. If you do, you’ll lose the audience,” said veteran BBC presenter Ros Atkins.
- Don’t be seduced by the high view counts, no matter what BuzzFeed is exploding today. It’s better to focus on how users are engaging with the content. That said, that’s easier said than done as Facebook still needs to find more detailed metrics around live videos.
Snapchat has more than 150 million daily users. And yet, publishers and advertisers still have difficulty getting ads to those users.
This is because Snapchat’s branded content rules are vague, at best, and the platform enforces them arbitrarily. “There doesn’t seem to be consistent guidelines about what can and can’t go into Discover. And what Snapchat considers branded or editorial content, it comes off as very subjective,” said one Snapchat advertiser.
This advertiser also claimed that some brands — depending on how cool they are according to Snapchat’s definition of cool — get a pass while others don’t. “Star Wars,” for instance, was ubiquitous around the time “The Force Awakens” premiered.
‘We’re netting out with higher revenue’: Publishers reaping the benefits of Snapchat’s strong second half
With CPMs up as much as 20% year over year in the fourth quarter, many Discover publishers are bullish on the upstart platform for next year.
How Cosmo is building brand affinity with younger audiences through its focus on commerce
Cosmopolitan's focus on e-commerce through a line of branded wines and its own shopping holiday has led to a 254% increase in product sales.
‘Go to market faster’: The Washington Post’s Arc goes outside the tent for payment and data integrations
Subscriber revenue has become more of a priority to the Washington Post's Arc clients since it launched its subscription tools last year.
SponsoredPublishers will lead the charge as cookie-less advertising becomes the norm
Steve Wing, managing director, EMEA, Magnite As the advertising industry moves closer to a cookieless world — one in which browserless environments including connected TV (CTV) and mobile in-app are an increasingly large part of ad budgets — publishers will have an increasingly important role in developing the future of identity. Segment creation and identity […]
‘Profitability in the back half of next year’: BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti (and Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan) on their big merger
A special Digiday podcast episode features Interviews with BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti and Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan.
‘A digital Madison Square Garden’: How Complex reimagined the sponsorship opportunities for ComplexLand
The online event, which will combine music, conversation, gaming and shopping in an online world, will have 60 sponsors.