The WIR: Publicis Beats Expectations in Q3, DoubleVerify Targets $5 Billion IPO, and ITV to Commission Originals for ITV HUB

In this week’s Week in Review: Publicis reports a better-than-expected Q3, DoubleVerify seeks a $5 billion valuation in an IPO, and ITV plans original content for ITV Hub.  To receive an update on the industry’s top stories every Friday, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.

Top Stories

Publicis Groupe Results Beats Market Expectations in Q3
Publicis Groupe, the first of the big agency holding groups to report its Q3 financial results, beat market expectations on Thursday. Underlying sales in Q3 fell by 5.6 percent, significantly better than analysts’ expectations of an 8.9 percent fall according to Reuters. Publicis says ad revenues were boosted by client wins over the past year or so, including Kraft-Heinz, TikTok and Reckitt Benckiser.

Publicis CEO Arthur Sadoun said the holding group’s shift in strategy towards assisting with business transformation has helped sure up revenues while ad spend has fallen during the pandemic. But he warned investor to expect further disruption as a result of coronavirus. “Things are very very uncertain and with the resurgence of the virus, Q4 might be very difficult,” he said.

DoubleVerify Targets $5 Billion IPO
Media authentication specialist DoubleVerify is reportedly seeking an initial public offering (IPO) which it believes would value the business at $5 billion, raising $500 million in the process. According to Bloomberg DoubleVerify, currently owned by Providence Equity Partners, has already begun selecting banks to handle the IPO.

The move would help the company deal with existing debts, which stand at $225 million according to Bloomberg’s data.

ITV to Commission ITV Hub Original Content
ITV’s chief executive Carolyn McCall said this week that the broadcaster plans to commission original content exclusively for its ITV Hub AVOD service. “You’ll see commissioning geared towards that kind of Hub audience, eventually a lot more people will be watching on Hub – at the moment a lot of people still watch big screen TV, and they might keep doing that,” said McCall.

The Week in Tech

Nielsen Adds YouTube to Connected TV Measurement
Nielsen announced this week that YouTube and YouTube TV ads viewed via their CTV apps will now be measurable via its Digital Ads Ratings and Total Ad Ratings products.

Facebook to Remove Holocaust Denial Posts and Anti Vax Ads
Facebook this week announced it will start removing any content which “denies or distorts the Holocaust”, and that it will also ban ads which discourage vaccination.

US Regulators Consider Forcing Google to Sell Chrome
As the US Department of Justice prepares to take action against the tech giants over antitrust concerns, it is giving considerable thought to forcing a sell off of Google’s Chrome browser according to Politico, as well as significant chunks of its ad tech business.

Vungle Buys Mobile Ad Intelligence Business AlgoLift
Ad tech company Vungle has bought mobile ad intelligence specialist AlgoLift for an undisclosed fee. “Together with AlgoLift, we will take our first market-facing step beyond user acquisition as we expand into true mobile marketing enablement,” said Vungle in a statement. “This acquisition will enhance our focus on being the trusted guide for our partners while broadening our product suite to include recommendation technology.”

WarnerMedia International and Precise TV Partner for Child Safe YouTube Advertising
Social video advertising company Precise TV has partnered with WarnerMedia International to offer advertisers in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland engaging and brand-suitable reach on YouTube for kids through its kidSAFE-certified contextual AI platform. WarnerMedia International will be the exclusive sales and solutions partner of Precise TV’s COPPA compliant tech platform in the Nordics, as a result of the deal.

Google Rolls Out New Analytics Tools
Google announced a number of updates to its analytics tools this week. Google Analytics will now automatically alert customers to significant trends in their data, and can now measure app and web conversions from the same publisher to give a combined overall view.

Washington Seeks $100,000 from Twitter Over Campaign Finance Violations
Washington state is seeking $100,000 from Twitter over an apparent violation of the state’s political campaign finance laws. Twitter failed to maintain the correct records for at least 38 Washington candidates and committees which advertised on its platform.

The Week in TV

Salto to Launch on October 20th
Salto, the upcoming streaming service from French broadcasters TF1, M6 and France Télévisions, is set to go live next week on October 20th.

Disney Prioritises Streaming in Business Reorganisation
Disney announced a major company reorganisation this week which places greater importance on its streaming services. The company is creating new content divisions for movies, entertainment and sport, as well as a new distribution arm to decide the best platform for distributing this content.

Pluto TV Picks Up Netflix’s ‘Narcos’
Ad-supported streaming service Pluto TV has picked up Netflix Original Narcos, a rare example of Netflix licensing out its original content to rival platforms.

Amazon’s AVOD Service IMDb TV Set to Expand to UK
IMDb TV, Amazon’s free ad-supported streaming service, is set to expand to the UK market. Amazon has not yet officially announced the expansion, but job listings show IMDb TV is recruiting for several roles in the UK. This includes a ‘Head of IMDb TV UK’, who will be tasked with launching and building the UK version of the service. Read more on VAN.

Liberty Global Secures Enough Shares for Sunrise Acquisition
European telco Liberty Global has secured over two-third of shares in fellow telco Sunrise, passing the minimum threshold to proceed with its takeover and delisting of the business.

Thinkbox Launches ‘TV Masters’ Training Course
UK TV marketing body Thinkbox this week announced the launch of ‘TV Masters’, a new free online training course to boost skills in TV advertising. “From the latest advanced TV solutions to the practicalities of planning and buying a TV campaign, it covers all the existing and emerging ways brands can work with TV to deliver business success,” says Thinkbox.

The Week in Publishing

TikTok Banned in Pakistan for “Immoral” Content
Video sharing app TikTok has received a nationwide ban in Pakistan, as the country’s telecoms operator said the company has proven unable to remove “immoral” and “indecent” content. The app has already been banned in neighbouring India, spurred on by India’s border dispute with China.

Triller Seeks Funds to Take On TikTok
Video sharing app Triller is exploring ways to raise funds to better compete with TikTok, as it seeks to capitalise on the rival app’s current woes in the US. The business is considering either a new fundraising round, or a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) in order to take it public.

Former Australian PM Rudd Calls for News Corp Inquiry
Former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd has called for an inquiry into News Corp’s tight hold over the Australian media industry. Rudd has filed a petition, which has received over 45,000 signatures, for the government to investigate the “abuse of media monopoly in Australia in particular by the Murdoch media”.

China’s Two Biggest Esports Platforms Announce Merger
Chinese video game streaming platform Huya has agreed a deal to buy rival service DouYu, creating a new business worth around $11 billion.

YouTube Reportedly Working on Shoppable Video
YouTube is developing technology to tag products within its videos, and give audiences the ability to buy those products using Google’s shopping tools, according to Bloomberg. YouTube is also testing an integration with Shopify for selling items through YouTube, according to the report.

Instagram to Crack Down on Hidden Influencer Advertising
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said today that Instagram has agreed to crack down on hidden influencer ads on its platform, which the CMA says “will make it much harder for people to post an advert on Instagram without labelling it as such”.

Amazon Seals Rights for NFL Playoff Game
Amazon has picked up streaming rights for one new wildcard NFL playoff game, which will also be available on ViacomCBS’s streaming service, adding to its growing investment in live sports.

TikTok Signs Brand Safety Partnership with OpenSlate
TikTok has agreed a new partnership with OpenSlate to verify brand safety on the platform, aiming to give advertisers peace of mind about the content they’re advertising next to.

The Week for Agencies

Dentsu in Hot Water Over Olympics Lobbying
Japanese agency group Dentsu has come under scrutiny this week for reportedly donating $6 million to Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics campaign and lobbying on its behalf, while also holding a contract with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to market the games.

Brands Drop The Richards Group After Founder’s Racist Remarks
A number of brands have dropped agency The Richards Group after founder Stan Richard described an ad pitch as “too black”, saying it would alienate the client’s “white supremacist constituents”. Stan Richards has since stepped down from the role.

Mindshare CEO Removed for Breach of Conduct
Mindshare global CEO Nick Emery Nick Emery has been removed from his role after a “clear breach of the company’s code of conduct”. GroupM CEO Christian Juhl has been appointed as interim CEO while the company looks for a successor. Though the breach of conduct hasn’t been specific, Juhl commented that “inappropriate and offensive behaviour is not tolerated in our company, and when we see any employee breach our code of conduct, we take swift action”.

UK Video Ad Revenues Increased in H1 Despite the Pandemic
Total UK video ad revenues grew by 5.7 percent year-on-year for the first half of 2020, despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a digital ad spend update from the IAB and PwC. This makes video the only channel measured by the IAB and PwC to see growth through the depths of the pandemic. Read more on VAN.

Hires of the Week

NBCU’s Linda Yaccarino Gets Expanded Role
NBCUniversal this week names Linda Yaccarino as chair of global advertising and partnerships, adding data strategy, local and regional sports network sales and cross-company strategic initiatives to her remit.

Index Exchange Hires First-Ever Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Customer Officer
Index Exchange this week announced it has hired Lori Goode as chief marketing officer and Jessica Breslav as chief customer officer. Index says the roles, newly created for the company, are reflective of its commitment to strengthening its leadership team as it explores new areas in the omnichannel space.

This Week on VAN

The Buy-Side View: Q&A with Bountiful Cow’s Ian Daly, read more on VAN

Amazon’s AVOD Service IMDb TV Set to Expand to UK, read more on VAN

How LiveScore is Branching Out to Live Streaming, read more on VAN

UK Video Ad Revenues Increased in H1 Despite the Pandemic, read more on VAN

Ad of the Week

Mint Mobile, Understanding 5G

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