The WiR: Prominent Advertisers Pull ‘O’Reilly Factor’ Ads Following Sexual Harassment Revelations, Verizon Merges AOL and Yahoo to Make Oath, YouTube Promises Third-Party Brand Safety Tools

In this week’s Week in Review: prominent advertisers pull ‘O’Reilly Factor’ ads following sexual harassment revelations, Verizon merges AOL and Yahoo to create Oath, YouTube promises third-party brand safety tools. To receive a weekly summary of industry news and other VAN interviews and videos, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up

Top Stories

Prominent Advertisers Pull ‘O’Reilly Factor’ Ads Following Sexual Harassment Revelations
A large number of prominent advertisers have announced they are taking steps to ensure their commercials would not run on Fox News Channel’s “O’Reilly Factor” for the foreseeable future in the wake of the revelation of numerous claims of sexual harassment being made against the host. Over 20 advertisers, including Mercedes-Benz, BMW of North America, Mitsubishi Motors, Lexus, Constant Contact, Bayer, T. Rowe Price, GlaxoSmithKline, and Credit Karma, are pulling ads after it was reported that settlements worth around $13 million had been made with five women who alleged sexual harassment or verbal abuse by O’Reilly.

Verizon Merges AOL and Yahoo to Make Oath
Verizon Communications will introduce a new division called Oath this summer, comprised of AOL, Yahoo and other Verizon brands. Oath will will oversee more than 25 media and technology brands, and will operate similar to a holding company and become a B2B brand that supports consumer-facing brands such as AOL, Yahoo, TechCrunch, Gadget, and Huffington Post.

YouTube Promises Third-Party Brand Safety Tools
YouTube parent Google has announced that it will be working with third-party brand-safety vendors including DoubleVerify and Integral Ad Science to provide marketers with an assurance that their spend won’t end up paying for ads on violent, offensive or otherwise unsavory content. Google says it will work with three Media Ratings Council accredited companies to integrate new verification tools. The partners are reported to be Integral Ad Science, Double Verify and comScore.

The Week in Publishing

Google’s Robots Learning to Identify Offensive Content
Google is trying to train computers to grasp the contextual nuance of what makes certain videos objectionable. Google has admitted to having blind spots around extremist content as it revealed that it was training computers to recognise hate videos on YouTube. Teaching computers how to understand context may be the key to calming fears among advertisers that their ads have been appearing alongside videos from extremist groups and other offensive messages.

Amazon Rolls Out Dedicated Business Website in the UK
Amazon is targeting sales to UK businesses with the launch of B2B venture, Amazon Business. The service, which has been available in the US since 2015, aims to supply products catered for businesses across a range of industries and sizes. Amazon is launching a new division that it hopes will help to revolutionise procurement for businesses in the same way that it has disrupted the world of consumer retail.

Daily Mail to Expand Reach in US with Syndicated TV Show
This Autumn, the Daily Mail will bring its populist brand to US television this year with DailyMailTV, a syndicated show covering celebrities, gossip, human interest stories and other daytime TV staples. The show has been picked up by Sinclair Broadcast Group, Tribune Broadcasting and other local station owners. It will consist of two 30-minute segments each weekday to be broadcast in 105 markets reaching 66 per cent of the US.

Regional Publishers Call on Brands to Reject ‘Blind Programmatic’ Ad-Buying
1XL, the publisher partnership representing local UK newsbrands to national advertisers have published an open letter calling on advertisers to reject a “blind programmatic ad-buying” trap that has led to brands being associated with extremist content online. The letter represents an effort by 1XL members to claw back ad revenue. Recently 1XL members Johnston Press reported a £300 million pre-tax loss, and Newsquest reported a £47 million operating loss for 2015.

Facebook Gives Agencies More Transparency Following Metrics Blunders
Facebook has introduced a slew of new features aimed at increasing transparency for advertisers and removing the guesswork on its platform, AdAge reports. Marketers have been clamoring for increased transparency after the social network revealed that it had been inaccurately calculating a number of metrics. The new moves include a redesigned Delivery Insights dashboard as well as new metrics that were previously unavailable.

Twitter Targets Pay-TV Tie-Ups in Live Video Push
Twitter is seeking deals with pay-TV companies to let subscribers watch live TV over the social network, The Telegraph reports. Under the mooted deals customers who already have TV subscriptions would be able to link their subscriptions with their Twitter account, giving them access to paid-for channels within the app.

Virtual Reality to the Rescue for High Street Travel Agent
High street travel agents are trialling virtual reality goggles to give holidaymakers a chance to experience where they are planning to go on holidaying, The Telegraph reports. The use of VR technology reflects travel agents need to distinguish themselves from online holiday booking services, and is part of wider trend towards making their high street booking more interactive, and an experience in itself.

Social Marketplace TRIBE Expands Into the UK
TRIBE is launching in the UK following an AUD 5.35 million Series A injection to fund international growth. The social marketplace specialises in connecting advertisers to micro-influencers; those with 3,000 to 100,000 followers on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Moët Hennessy, Selfridges and Burt’s Bees are the first UK brands to use the online platform with launch campaigns already buying over 100 unique pieces of branded content from UK-based content creators.

In Order to Engage Users VR HMI Must be Consistent, Natural and Provide Feedback
Allowing audio, visual and touch senses through a VR headset and its accessories are crucial to driving emotional engagement with VR content, Strategy Analytics reports. The study found that the ability of a user to interact with items in a VR world using their own hands heightens the sense of immersion that user feels; and this drives emotional engagement with VR content by stimulating the tactile sense.

Oculus Co-Founder Leaves Facebook
Paul Luckey, co-founder of Facebook’s Oculus VR firm, has left Facebook. Luckey became a controversial figure last year after a report that he had funded a non-profit organisation that supported President Donald Trump’s controversial election campaign by spreading unflattering images and information about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

YouTube Go Launches in India
YouTube has launched a beta version of its offline service YouTube Go, in India. YouTube said that the service is available for Android devices and is designed to be offline-first to improve the experience of watching videos in areas with poor Internet connectivity. It also allows users to share videos with friends nearby.

Global VR Market Could Hit $60 Billion by 2021
The global VR market is projected to be worth over $60 billion by 2021, driven equally by consumer and enterprise industries, according to ABI Research. ABI finds that more than 460 companies currently operate in VR, of which more than 60 per cent are focused on content distribution, creating VR applications, or VR systems themselves. Only around 35 per cent are involved in media and entertainment content.

The Week in TV

Apple Plans HBO, Starz and Showtime Premium Bundle
Apple is holding discussions with Time Warner’s HBO, CBS-owned Showtime, and Lionsgate’s Starz to sell access to their services in a single bundle, Recode reports. Apple already sells individual subscriptions to each of the channels, but wants to bundle them as part of a broader effort to become a pay-TV competitor. Recode suggests that Apple could deliver a bundle as platform exclusive, available via iOS and the Apple TV.

Sky Acquires Digital Content Producer Diagonal View
Sky has acquired social content producer Diagonal View, whose online channels include Alltime10s and The Football Daily. The move reflects the broadcaster’s desire to broaden its engagement with younger, so-called digital first audiences, and give Sky Media an outlet for offering brand-safe digital opportunities to advertisers.

Sky Italia Launches Kids Mobile TV on Demand
Sky Italia has launched Sky Kids, a mobile TV on demand dedicated for children aged from two to 13 years. The app allows children to watch their favourite TV programmes from the Sky Italia platform on their mobile devices without an Internet connection. According to the pay-TV operator, Sky Kids carries no advertising and offers exclusive content.

Brazilian TV Hit by Retransmission Dispute
With the schedule set on the Brazilian government’s transition from analogue digital broadcasting a number of free-to-air TV stations have complained that the country’s main distributors, SKY Brasil, Net & Claro and Oi Telecomunication, are unfairly refusing to pay those broadcasters to carry their channels.

Nordija Launches Customisable Android TV Platform
Danish software company Nordija has announced it is developing an operator-focused, customisable platform for Android TV boxes. It combines a customisable interface for branding by the operator, with full access to third party apps, games and services such as Netflix, HBO and YouTube via the Google Play Store. The aim is to expand the options of pay-TV operators, when building and delivering set-top-boxes, using Nordija’s fokusOn software.

Ownzones Launches on Amazon Fire TV
Ownzones Media Network has made an agreement with Amazon to make their OTT Ownzones offering available on the Amazon Fire TV Stick. 

Spain Pay-TV Subscribers Tops Six Million
Pay-TV in Spain has surpassed the Six million subscribers mark, the Spanish competition watchdog Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (CNMC) report. In Q3 of 2016, pay-TV topped six million subs, an increase of almost 600,000 on the previous quarter. 

The Week in Ad Tech

Snapchat Launches Two New Tools for App Ads
Snapchat is launching two new tools for advertisers to provide goal based bidding for app install ads, meaning an advertiser can target Snapchat users who are likely to install its app. The market for app install ads is growing quickly, with revenues in the US expected to reach over seven billion dollars by year-end 2020, according to BI Intelligence. App install ads are also a core revenue driver for one of Snapchat’s main competitors, Facebook, accounting for 17 per cent of the social network’s total ad revenue in 2015.

Mozoo Launches 100 Per Cent Viewable Mobile Video Ad
Mobile monetisation firm Mozoo has launched OUT-ROLL, a mobile video ad-unit which it says offers 100 per cent viewability, an 85 per cent increase on average video completion rates compared to alternatives, and a non-intrusive user experience. The format combines in-content video, smartfooter video and immersive interstitial into one single ad-unit.

Sticky Launches New Optimisation Platform ‘AdVantage’
Sticky has launched their latest content optimisation solution, “Sticky AdVantage”. The product introduces ad valuation and performance measurement based on eye-tracking technology, using the metrics “Time Engaged”, and “Percent Seen”.

The Week for Agencies

OMD and AOL Team Up to Create AR Experience for Smurf Movie

≈AOL and OMD to give moviegoers a glimpse of the future of branded entertainment and go into the Smurfs’ world with a new HoloLens experience to promote Smurfs: The Lost Village for Sony Pictures. The promotion is one of the of the first branded marketing-led experiences on HoloLens – Microsoft’s interactive ‘Mixed Reality’ headset – the Smurfs: The Lost Village experience brings the Smurfs into mixed reality:

Kitcatt Nohr Founders Win £2.6 Million Case Against Publicis
The founders of Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw, have won their case against Publicis for misleading them about a failing relationship with P&G at the time of their acquisition deal. The acquisition included an earn-out tied to the future performance of Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw, and the agency alleged that Publicis had assured them that its relationship with P&G, upon which its future performance was heavily dependent, was strong. High Court judge Mr Justice Males has ruled in favor of KNAS, awarding the claimants £2.6 million.

Goodstuff Buys Out OMG to be Fully Independent
Goodstuff Communications has become 100 per cent independent after the two founders bought Omnicom Media Group’s 20 per cent stake. Financial terms were not disclosed but Goodstuff is estimated to be worth about eight million GBP. 

Partnerships of the Week

Hawk by TabMo and Teads Announce New Integration
TabMo’s mobile creative DSP for video, display and native advertising, known as Hawk, is now integrated with Teads the video advertising marketplace. This move gives trading desks, agencies and advertisers access to all Teads publishers and inventory on mobile devices.

Playwire Media Partners with Overwolf to Tap into eSports Industry
Playwire Media and Overwolf have announced a new partnership by which Playwire Media will handle all in-app advertising for Overwolf. As part of the new agreement, Playwire Media will handle Overwolf’s advertising inventory within their software application.

Zoomin Studios Brings All for Adrenaline to MTG
Zoomin Studios has signed a deal with MTG which will see its new series All For Adrenaline launch on the Group’s Scandinavian, Baltics and Bulgaria networks.

Madrivo Digital Engages Protected Media’s Anti-Fraud Protection
Protected Media has announced that Madrivo Digital will implement its ad protection technology to improve the quality of their clients’ online advertising campaigns.

Hires of the Week

Pluto TV Appoints Magdlen Chief Programming Officer
US OTT TV service Pluto TV has appointed former NBCUniversal executive, Robert Magdlen, as chief programming officer.

TiVo Appoints Ericsson Exec Roz Ho as Metadata SVP
TiVo has appointed Ericsson TV executive Roz Ho as senior vice president and general manager, consumer and metadata. Ho joins from Ericsson.

TH_NK Hire Amaze Duo for Management Team
Natalie Gross, the former chief executive of St Ives-owned digital marketing agency Amaze, is joining TH_NK as part of a new-look managing team quartet. Rick Curtis, Amaze’s chief strategy officer, is also joining TH_NK in the role of partner.

Four New ASA Council Members Appointed
The Advertising Standards Authority has appointed four new council members: Neil Stevenson, Tracey Follows, Tess Alps and Nita Patel.

Amaze Appoints Kirstie Buchanan as Chief Commercial Officer
Amaze has appointed Kirstie Buchanan as chief commercial officer. She joins Amaze from IDOX, where she was Sales and Marketing Director for their digital businesses Rippleffect and Reading Room.

This Week on VAN

Pepsi Learns a Harsh Lesson on the Dangers of Valuing Brand Marketing Bullsh*t Over Common Sense, read more on VAN

TV Rise Returns to San Sebastian, June 6th to 8th, read more on VAN

Roku Bridges the Gap Between TV and OTT with Audience Guarantees, read more on VAN

Ad of the Week: Epic Skeletor, Money Super Market, Mother

80s villian Skeletor boogies through the city to the tune of ‘Fame’ to celebrate saving on his car insurance.

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