In this week’s Week in Review: Google plans to launch an ad blocker in Chrome to filter “bad ads”, the IPA and ISBA urge their members to demand accountable data, and UK political campaigns have pulled YouTube ads over extremist videos. To receive an update on the industry’s top stories every Friday, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.
IPA and ISBA Urge Members to Demand Accountable Data
The IPA and ISBA have called on the media industry to demand and provide objective and independent data to underpin accountability within their respective trading markets. In a joint paper the two industry bodies ask for all parts of the industry to adopt unified standards for audience data metrics and methods, and accountability. To accompany this call, the joint industry organisations have published a guide called A Matter of Fact written by Research the Media and a list of questions to ask data providers.
This comes in the same week that MediaSense and ISBA have reported that almost three-quarters of senior marketers believe media measurement currencies are becoming “increasingly corrupted” and that players such as Google and Facebook have too much control.
UK Political Campaigns Pull YouTube Ads Over Extremist Videos
A wave of prominent advertisers, including the major U.K. political parties, have again suspended their ads on YouTube after they appeared before videos promoting extremist ideology. The Times reports that ads were found in pre-roll before YouTube videos of “hardline preachers” such as Khaled al-Rashed, and election ads also ran on a YouTube channel created by a supporter of the Islamic State.
The Conservative, Labour, and Liberal Democrat parties have all since pulled their ads from YouTube. As have brands including Etihad Airways, Deliveroo, and The Guardian.
Channel 4 Confirms Alex Mahon as Chief Exec
Channel 4 has appointed Alex Mahon as its new chief executive, she joins them from Foundry. She is the first female Channel 4 chief executive in the broadcaster’s 35-year history.
Jay Hunt will step down from the role of Chief Creative Officer at Channel 4 at the end of September after almost seven years leading the broadcaster’s creative strategy and programme commissioning, the broadcaster has announced.
The Week in Tech
AppNexus and Unruly Launch Open-Source Prebid for Outstream Video
AppNexus and Unruly have launched an open-source header bidding solution that they say will help publishers better monetize their video advertising inventory on desktop and mobile. Their open-source header bidding solution for outstream video enables all publishers to auction outstream video inventory on desktop and mobile and optimise revenue in a transparent auction. This enables all publishers, including those that do not produce video content, to command higher CPMs while giving marketers more opportunities to reach their audiences through video creatives.
Facebook Adds Subtitle Support for Live Videos
Facebook is now supporting closed captions in Facebook Live, as part of its efforts to make the social network “accessible to everyone”. With the update, publishers using the Facebook Live API can now add CEA-608 standard subtitles to Facebook Live broadcasts, allowing them to be enjoyed by audiences who are deaf or hard of hearing. Facebook users who have their captioning settings turned on will automatically see closed captions on Live broadcasts on mobile and desktop whenever they’re available.
VAMOS Now Available as SaaS for Qualified Beta Partners
Simulmedia has licensed a standalone version of its patented Video Advertising Marketing Operating System (VAMOS). VAMOS will now be offered as Software as a Service (SaaS) to marketers, agencies, TV media owners and distributors to optimize their TV campaigns on an audience and outcome basis on their own, and with their own media and own data.
Snapchat Glasses on Sale in the UK
Video-recording sunglasses from Snap have gone on sale in the UK. The glasses, priced at £130 can record up to ten seconds of footage that can then be sent to the user’s Snapchat account and shared with friends. The glasses can currently only be purchased by Brits from a vending booth positioned next to the London Eye, or ordered online.
Tealium adds Integrations to Stream Data to Cloud Platforms
Tealium has announced new data integration capabilities which enable customers to more easily stream big data into cloud computing platforms, including Amazon Web Services (AWS). The data integrations will enable organisations to collect front-line customer interaction data and stream in real time to cloud-based infrastructure for analysis and action.
PlayStation VR Headset Sales Reach 1 million
Sony has now sold more than one million PlayStation VR headsets, having launched the virtual reality devices in October. The news comes after president and group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, Andrew House, told the New York Times earlier this year that Sony was on track to hit the million unit milestone by mid-April, despite supply issues.
Audience Science is Shutting Down
Audience Science is shutting its doors. The company, which specialised in tools to help major marketers buy digital ads programmatically, was dealt a major blow recently when it lost long time client Procter & Gamble.
The Week in TV
Amazon Prime Video to Launch on Apple TV
Amazon Prime Video is due to launch on Apple TV “later this year,” Apple CEO Tim Cook announced at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). Cook said that Amazon will join the content line-up of Apple’s TV app. The app is touted as offering a ‘unified experience’ for discovering and accessing TV shows and movies from multiple apps on Apple TV, iPhone and iPad, but was launched with the notable absence of Netflix or Amazon.
Australia Proposes Broadcast and Content Reform Package
The Australian Government has announced further reforms to broadcasting under its Broadcast and Content Reform Package. It says the reforms will improve the sustainability of Australia’s free-to-air broadcasting sector, protect children from exposure to gambling advertising and support the creation of high quality Australian content. Other elements of the package include adjustments to the ‘anti-siphoning’ regime, the abolition of outdated media ownership rules and funding to under-represented sports on pay-TV.
Inmarsat Shares Rise on Intelsat-OneWeb Merger Collapse
OneWeb has confirmed the collapse of its planned Softbank-backed merger Intelsat, after failing to agree a debt exchange agreement. The share price of rival satellite operator Inmarsat has rocketed following the collapse, going from £8.08 to £8.60 on the London stock exchange. The rise reflects rumours that Inmarsat is another target for Japan’s SoftBank.
Al Jazeera Jeopardised by Qatar Isolation
Global news channel Al Jazeera is under-threat as a result of sanctions put upon Qatar by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. The four nations have cut diplomatic and other links with Qatar after accusing the country of “financing terror and undermining security”.
Thai Court Freezes Thai TV Bank Guarantee
Thailand’s Supreme Administrative Court has issued a binding injunction in favour of Thai TV, to freeze a bank guarantee. The effectively protects the guarantee worth $57 million from demands made by the country’s National Broadcasting & Telecommunications Commission (NBTC). The NBTC is demanding the figure to settle outstanding instalments due on digital licence fees, plus interest.
Streaming Service Use Now More Common than Cable Subscriptions
More people in the US are now using streaming video services than have a cable subscription, according to Fluent LLC. Their survey found that 67 per cent of US internet have access to a streaming service, while 61 per cent have cable in their homes. Low cost was the top factor driving respondents to pay for streaming content. With 34 per cent of respondents giving that reason.
Film and TV Piracy Cost Italy €686 Million in 2016
Film and TV piracy in Italy cost the entertainment industry €686 million in 2016, according to the Federation for the Protection of Audiovisual and Multimedia Content (FAPAV). The phenomenon involves an estimated 20 million Italians, or 39 per cent of adults and 51 per cent of adolescents.
The Week in Publishing
YouTube Adopts Tougher Stance on Hateful and Inappropriate Content
YouTube has introduced new guidelines to take a tougher stance on hateful, demeaning and inappropriate comment, after engaging with creators and advertisers. The video site is cracking down on: hateful content that promotes discrimination, disparages or humiliates an individual or group of people; inappropriate use of family entertainment characters engaging in violent, sexual, vile, or otherwise inappropriate behaviour; and gratuitously incendiary, demeaning or inflammatory content.
Vodafone Bars Ads from Sites that Promote Hate Speech or Publish Fake News
Vodafone has put in place global rules intended to prevent its advertising from appearing on any type of media outlet that creates or shares what it describes as hate speech or fake news. The rules include the definitions of hate speech and fake news that it will apply to determine if a particular outlet should carry Vodafone advertising.
Vodafone will adopt a ‘whitelist’ approach using content controls implemented by its global agency network (led by WPP), Google and Facebook. To ensure that Vodafone ads are only served within selected outlets identified as highly unlikely to be focused on harmful content.
Vivendi and Bollore Enter Purchase Agreement for Havas Deal
Vivendi has entered into a purchase agreement with the Bolloré Group regarding the approximately 60 per cent majority stake Bolloré Group holds in Havas at a price of €9.25 per share. Completion of thie transaction is subject to the approval of the competent competition authorities.
Amazon Shares Close Over $1,000 As Ad Business Makes Gains
Amazon shares have closed above $1,000 for the first time, having risen by 34 per cent since the start of 2017. Whilst the Times attributes the price growth to investors betting on demand for online shopping and cloud computing, others are noting how Amazon is quickly and quietly becoming a key player in advertising.
Pinterest Raises Valuation to $12.3 Billion With New Funding
Pinterest has raised $150 million in a funding that raises its valuation to $12.3 billion. The company said in a statement that it will use the new money to improve its visual-search-and-recommendations technology to make ads that people see more relevant to their interests, and to expand globally.
Fake News Concerns Affecting Advertisers’ Online Spending
96 per cent of advertisers are concerned about fake news in programmatic advertising, according to BrightRoll. 31 per cent will reduce spend with programmatic partners whose inventory includes brands associated with fake news, and 43 per cent won’t change their spend, but will ask for fake news publishers to be blacklisted.
How advertisers are planning to address programmatic buying and fake news concerns:
Internet Video Revenues to Overtake Physical Formats This Year
Internet video revenues are forecast to overtake physical home video for the first time this year, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. PwC also claim that global internet ad revenues exceeded TV ad revenues for the first time last year, with “major digital tipping-points” occurring or due to occur across all segments.
Vertical Video “On The Up”
The is a growing consumer awareness and preference for vertical video as both a content and advertising format, YuMe report. According to their study, vertical video holds significant appeal, with 78 per cent of first-time viewers like the content format overall. Vertical video also offers a halo effect for brands that use it for advertising purposes, as 65 per cent of viewers say brands that use vertical video are more innovative.
The Week for Agencies
WPP’s GroupM to Merge MEC and Maxus Whilst Expanding Essence
GroupM, the umbrella firm that houses WPP’s ad-buying shops, is consolidating MEC and Maxus, as it seeks to reduce costs and enable investment in other areas. The merger will result in cost savings from cutting back on real estate, IT systems, back-office services and employees.
Cost savings derived from the agency consolidation will help fund GroupM’s plan to expand Essence, the digital ad-buying agency it bought in 2015. GroupM plans to open Essence offices in about six new markets, and to expand Essence’s expertise beyond digital ad buying to include buying traditional media such as TV and outdoor in a more digital and data-driven way.
Controversy Over Sorrell Pay Package Defused at WPP AGM
A total of 21.3 per cent of shareholders voted against Sir Martin Sorrell’s £48 million pay package at the at the WPP annual general meeting, The Guardian reports. This however represents the the lowest level of unrest over Sorrell’s pay since 2010, suggesting that investors are more satisfied by moves to tighten the Chief Executive’s pay. WPP has scrapped the controversial Leap scheme which was behind previous huge payouts and implemented a more stringent policy, which it tightened further last month.
New York Times Opens Branded Content Agency in Asia
The New York Times has announced it will expand T Brand Studio into Hong Kong to serve clients in the Asia Pacific region. T Brand Studio Hong Kong will be overseen by London-based T Brand Studio International director Raquel Bubar, and will initially have content content strategist Reno Ong, producer Clara Lim and editor Jason Li as staff, with a designer to be hired.
Viant Awarded ABC Verification for Brand Safety
Viant UK Ltd has announced that it has been verified to the JICWEBS Digital Trading standards Group (DTSG) Good Practice Principles by independent industry auditor ABC. The verification comes as a result of its brand safety principles and measures, which includes the manual vetting of websites by Viant’s media buying team before being added as a publisher.
Brands “Taking Back Control” from Agencies
More than half of brands plan to manage more of their data in-house amid a growing reluctance to share it with agencies and digital media owners, according to a report from MediaSense and ISBA. Taking greater control over their data is more of a priority for marketers than bringing media and creative in-house, which has not risen markedly.
Partnerships of the Week
Kantar Partner Samba TV for Ad Measurement
Kantar Millward Brown has partnered with Samba TV in the US to launch a single-source measurement solution for television advertising. The partnership combines Samba’s TV dataset with Kantar Millward Brown’s Ignite Network, a brand marketing analytics platform.
comScore Expands Partnership with Charter
comScore has announced an agreement with Charter Communications to expand its integration of Charter’s television data from all US markets into comScore’s TV measurement service. With the addition comScore’s passive television measurement services will cover over 35 million homes and 75 million televisions.
Thaicom, Huawei, and Starcor Developing OTT Platform
Thaicom has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Huawei Technologies and Starcor Media Technologies for the development of an OTT platform in Thailand. Under the MOU the companies agreed to develop content-rich OTT ecosystem services, including TV streaming and VoD.
Hires of the Week
NBC Hires Steven Hein as Senior VP of Digital Content
Steven Hein, most recently Legendary Digital Networks’ head of programming and production, has joined NBC as senior VP of digital content.
Bloomberg Media Names Andrew Benett as Global CCO
Bloomberg Media has appointed Andrew Benett to the newly created role of Global Chief Commercial Officer. Benett was most recently Global Chief Executive of Havas Creative Group.
Castree to Lead Merged MEC and Maxus
Tim Castree, MEC’s global chief executive, will lead Group M’s newly merged MEC and Maxus teams. The new agency is as yet unnamed.
Luc Wise Joins Publicis as CTSO
Publicis Conseil has appointed Luc Wise as Chief Transformation and Strategy Officer. Wise co-founded independent agency Herezie in 2010, from which he departed 2016.
Ex-AwesomenessTV Chief joins Paramount
AwesomenessTV founder Brian Robbins has joined Paramount Pictures to lead a new youth-focussed division. Robbins will run Paramount Players, which will be devoted to producing films derived from the Nickelodeon, MTV,
This Week on VAN
Now’s Not the Time to Brush Ad Fraud Under the Carpet, read more on VAN
Ad of the Week: Gorillaz x E.ON, E.ON, Engine
A whole festival of toys wig-out at a Gorillaz concert, in the desert. All to tell you about E.ON’s solar power.