The WIR: French Court Orders Google to Negotiate with Publishers, WFA Finds Advertisers’ Confidence Returning, and the CMA Asks to Investigate O2/Virgin Merger

In this week’s Week in Review: A French court orders Google to negotiate with publishers, the WFA charts advertisers’ rising confidence, and the CMA asks to investigate O2 and Virgin’s £31 billion merger. To receive an update on the industry’s top stories every Friday, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.

Top Stories

French Court Orders Google to Negotiate Payments with Publishers
A French appeals court this week ruled that Google must open talks with publishers about paying to use their content. The ruling is based on EU copyright laws, which allow publishers to demand payments for snippets of their news shared within aggregator services like Google News.

Over the past few months pressure has been ramping up for Google to negotiate with publishers. The Australian government is working on new legislation which would similarly force Google to open talks with publishers.

Google has begun making some concessions, last week pledging $1 billion to publishers globally through a new news product, Google News Showcase. But this falls short the French court’s interpretation of EU law, that Google must offer to pay for all the content it republishes.

WFA Finds Advertiser Confidence Returning
Industry trade group the WFA’s latest ‘Crisis Response Tracker’ report found that advertisers’ confidence is returning. Less than half (46 percent) of the advertising executives interviewed by the WFA are now deferring campaigns as a result of the pandemic – compared to 92 percent in June. Twenty-one percent now feel positive and 36 percent feel neutral compared, to only eight percent feeling positive and 41 percent feeling neutral back in June.

The survey also found that advertisers have actually spent more than originally budgeted for online video (up nine percent) and online display (up six percent) over the first three quarters of the year. Other channels however remain firmly below planned investment – with TV down 25 percent over the first three quarters.

UK’s Competition Authority Asks to Investigate Virgin/O2 Merger
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has requested a review of the planned merger of Virgin Media and Virgin Mobile with O2. The proposed merger falls under the remit of the European Commission, but the CMA has requested the power to review the merger itself, since it will only affect the UK market.

The CMA has not laid out specific qualms with the £31 billion merger, but says it “believes that the case should be transferred given its potential impact on competition in several retail and wholesale telecommunication markets in the UK”.

The Week in Tech

US House Panel Calls for Breakup of Big Tech
The Democrat-led House Antitrust Subcommittee in the US this week called for the breakup of the tech giants, saying that they’ve leveraged their dominance to crush competition and stifle innovation. The call came as a result of a 16 month investigation into the market power of Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Apple.

Facebook to Suspend Political Ads on Election Day
Facebook said this week it plans to suspend political advertising in the US after polls close on the day of the presidential election this year, in a effort to fight misinformation on the platform.

White Ops Plans a Rebrand
Fraud detection specialist White Ops announced this week it is planning a rebrand, in recognition of the “toxic association of good and bad with colour and race”.

Vizio Sues MediaMath Over Alleged Unpaid Bills
TV manufacturer Vizio is suing demand-side platform MediaMath over $900,000 worth of allegedly unpaid bills, Digiday reported this week. MediaMath has at times used data from Vizio’s Inscape data division to bolster sales through MediaMath’s DSP.

Programmatic is Key Driver of UK Digital Media Quality Improvements says IAS
The UK has made significant progress in reducing brand risk, according to IAS’s Media Quality Report for H1 2020. Video inventory in particular achieved lower rates of brand risk when purchased programmatically, with mobile web video programmatic risk falling 1.8 percentage points to 5.6 percent when compared with the six months prior. For desktop video, the risk of being placed next to contextually unsuitable or unsafe content decreased by 0.6 percentage points to 5.3 percent in H1 2020.

The Week in TV

ITV’s Planet V Goes Live in the UK
Planet V, UK broadcaster ITV’s addressable advertising platform, officially went live on Monday. The solution, developed by Singtel-owned ad tech company Amobee, will allow advertisers and agencies to plan, buy and measure campaigns across ITV’s on-demand service ITV Hub. Read more on VAN.

AT&T Moves Ahead with DirecTV Auction
AT&T has moved on to the second round of an auction to sell off its satellite TV branch DirecTV, according to the New York Post. Most bids are reportedly from private equity companies, and are valued at just under $16 billion, far below the $49 billion AT&T paid for the business back in 2015.

FuboTV Valued at $620 Million After IPO
Free ad-supported TV service FuboTV sold shares at its target price of $10 per share on Wednesday during its initial public offering (IPO), raising $183 million for the business and valuing the company at $620 million.

UK Media Minister Says Channel 4 Could be Sold Off
The UK’s minister for media and data John Whittingdale this week said that the government could look to sell off Channel 4 as its financial model has come under considerable strain. Speaking at the Conservative party conference this week, Whittingdale questioned the need for the UK to have a second publicly-funded broadcaster alongside the BBC. Read more on VAN.

Bouygues Telecom Signs Up Canal+ for New Addressable TV Offering
French telco Bouygues Telecom announced on Thursday it has signed up Canal+ Brand Solutions for its new addressable TV advertising product. The deal will see targeted advertising made available on Canal+ inventory, through Bouygues’ new addressable TV offering. Read the full story on VAN.

ProSieben Says Ad Revenues Are Still Struggling
ProSiebenSat.1’s chairman Rainer Beaujean told German newspaper Handelsblatt that the company’s ad revenues are still struggling to recover. Ad revenues were down by around 20 percent in July, but are believed to have turned positive in August. But the broadcaster predicts ad revenues will be down again by 10-12 percent in Q3.

PlutoTV Launches in Spain
Free ad-supported TV platform PlutoTV continued its European expansion this week, announcing it will launch in Spain at the end of the month.

The Week in Publishing

Bonnier Corp Sells Off Seven of it US Titles
Media giant Bonnier Corp has agreed to sell off seven of its most popular magazine titles in the US, including Saveur, Popular Science and Field & Stream, the Wall Street Journal reported this week. The titles have been bought by a venture equity group for an undisclosed fee.

NYT Debuts New Ad Insights Tool ‘Pivotal’
The New York Times has debuted a new advertising insights tool called ‘Pivotal’, which will give advertisers resources to help navigate controversial topics like race and climate. The platform will be free, and is designed to help advertisers understand how and why they should engage with more sensitive subjects.

Snapchat Moves ‘First Commercial’ Out of Beta
Snapchat has moved its ‘First Commercial’ offering, which gives advertisers guaranteed access to the first commercial slot in a Snapchat Original show, out of beta in the US.

Bloomberg Launches OTT Version of QuickTake
Bloomberg is taking QuickTake, its short form news show originally launched on Twitter, over to OTT platforms. QuickTake will “cover global stories through the lens of business, using unconventional formats aimed at a new generation of business-minded leaders, entrepreneurs and professionals,” according to Bloomberg.

Instagram Expands Shoppable Offering
Instagram announced this week it is expanding its in-app shopping functionality with IGTV, its long form hub, with plans to bring shoppable features over to Reels. Viewers can move directly from videos to an in-app shop where they can buy features or related items, checking out within Instagram itself.

Twitter Works on Birdwatch Tool to Fight Misinformation
Twitter is developing a new tool called ‘Birdwatch’, which will let users flag information they believe to be harmful or misleading. The tool, not yet officially announced, was unearthed by reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong.

The Week for Agencies

Havas Media Signs Up to Conscious Advertising Network
Havas Media has joined the Conscious Advertising Network, a group which educates advertisers of the ethical implications of how and where their ad money is spent. “It’s true that committing to the manifestos of CAN is a big job – we all have a lot of responsibility,” said Greg James, Havas Media’s global chief strategy officer. “We were already on this journey since the whole mission statement of the agency is focused on making a meaningful difference to brands, businesses and people – all stakeholders.”

Jellyfish Fuels Global Expansion With Two Latin America Acquisitions
Jellyfish this week announced it has acquired Latin American digital media companies, Reamp and San Pancho, further expanding its presence in the region. “As we continue to expand into the Latin America market, Reamp and San Pancho are crucial assets for the team in our quest to deliver digital transformation on a global scale. Both companies share the same core values as Jellyfish, have strong partnerships with Google and offer unparalleled expertise, which made joining forces an unequivocal fit,” said Rob Pierre, CEO at Jellyfish.

Mondelez Shifts Ad Spent to Digital
Food manufacturer Mondelez International is ramping up its ad spend again, according to the WSJ, but is putting more of this spend into digital channels. As a result, Mondelez will for the first time be spending the majority of its marketing funds on digital advertising, rather than on television.

Dentsu Plans to Merge iProspect and Vizeum in UK
Detnsu is planning to merge its two media agencies iProspect and Vizeum in the UK and Ireland, according to Campaign. The idea is to create a second major Dentsu-owned media agency behind Carat.

Uber Consolidates Global Media Account with MediaCom
Ride-hailing app Uber is consolidating its global media account, worth around $190 million with GroupM’s MediaCom, according to Adweek. MediaCom was already responsible for Uber’s media activities in the US and Australia.

Wavemaker Wins Pernod Ricard’s US Media Account
Wavemaker has won media duties in the US for spirits maker Pernod Ricard, worth around $22 million.

Hires of the Week

WarnerMedia Hires Jean-Paul Colaco to Lead Ad Sales
WarnerMedia has hired Jean-Paul Colaco to lead ad sales for the business, a role that will see him assist with the launch of HBO Max’s ad-supported tier next year.

InfoSum Picks Lauren Wetzel as President of North America, Global Strategy and Operations
InfoSum this week announced it has picked Lauren Wetzel as President of North America, Global Strategy and Operations. In her new role Wetzel will drive expansion in the North American market and lead InfoSum’s global strategy and operations, with an eye on evolving the company’s infrastructure and developing its product for other sectors.

Captify Appoints Fiona Salmon as VP Partnerships for EMEA
Captify has named Fiona Salmon as its new VP of partnerships in EMEA. In the roles Salmon will lead Captify’s data partner acquisition business across Europe, Middle East and Australasia.

This Week on VAN

ITV’s Planet V Goes Live in the UK, read more on VAN

US Elections Provide an Interesting Test Case for Hashed Email Identifiers, read more on VAN

UK Media Minister Says Channel 4 Could be Sold Off, read more on VAN

Bouygues Telecom Signs Up Canal+ for New Addressable TV Offering, read more on VAN

Ad of the Week

Fabletics, Kevin Hart Can Dunk?

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