The WIR: British Publishers Form New Alliance, FCC Prepares to End Net Neutrality, and Google Fights Mobile Click Injection

In this week’s Week in Review: Three UK publishers unite for a joint video marketplace, the FCC in the US prepares to end Obama era net neutrality laws, and Google releases a new tool to fight mobile click injection. To receive an update on the industry’s top stories every Friday, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.

Top Stories

News UK, The Telegraph and The Guardian Unite for Outstream Video Marketplace
Three British publishers, News UK, The Guardian and The Telegraph, have united for a shared video ad marketplace, the latest of several publisher alliances to emerge as national publications try to compete with the likes of Facebook and Google. The platform, called The Verified Marketplace, will sell outstream video on both the desktop and mobile websites for the Guardian, The Telegraph, The Times, The Sunday Times and The Sun, which the publishers say will give advertisers access to an audience of over 39.4 million users.

The Verified Marketplace will offer outstream inventory via the UnrulyX supply-side platform, which says it allows publishers to unify and report on all outstream video demand in one place. Unruly itself it owned by News UK after a £58 buyout in 2015, and is already in use on The Sun’s website. A dedicated Unruly team will be set up to handle sales, with independent verification to be handled by Integral Ad Science and MOAT.

FCC Set to Repeal Net Neutrality
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) this week set a date for a vote to repeal Obama era net neutrality laws, a move which analysts says could have huge implications of digital advertising. These laws prohibit telecoms companies from blocking access to legal content or providing different speeds to users, their own domains, or domains of others in return for compensation. Critics fear that a lack of competition in the US could lead the likes of Comcast and AT&T to start giving faster access to certain domains, or splitting the internet into packages where users pay for faster access to certain sites. If this happens, publishers could find themselves forced to pay for high speed access to their properties, and marketers may be affected as ads become more of a nuisance on slow loading websites and it becomes more cumbersome for users to load a video ad or be carried from an ad to a sales page. The FCC will vote on the order on December 14th.

Google and Released Mobile Click Injection Tool
Google has revealed a new tool to fight mobile click injection on Monday, the Google Play Referrer API, which they claim could fundamentally address a problem that costs marketers $500-$700m per year. Click injection is a type of fraud where malicious software on a mobile phone steals attribution credit for an app install by injecting fake ad clicks between the time someone downloads and first opens an app. The new API, in combination with measurement partners like TUNE, will allow marketers to discern which app installs are fraudulent and which are genuine.

The Week in Tech

AdForm Claims to Unearth Huge Botnet
Adtech company AdForm claims it has discovered on of the biggest ever botnets, which it says generated around 1.5 billion requests per day and created fake traffic on over 34,000 different domains. The botnet, which AdForm calls HyphBot, was even bigger than the Methbot network that was discovered last year, and by AdForm’s calculations could have made its operators as much as $1.2 million per day. and Amazon Trialling T-commerce
German IPTV platform and Amazon are partnering for a new t-commerce service which will allow viewers to directly purchase items from commercials via Amazon. The service will be available over Amazon Fire, where enabled commercials will show a shopping icon which audiences can select through the Amazon Fire remote in order to be taken to the relevant product on Amazon. The first partners signed up are RTL’s advertising sales branch IP Deutschland and L’Oréal.

VidMob Raises $7.5 Million
VidMob, a video creation platform which connects marketers with editors, animators and motion graphics designers, has raised $7.5 million in Series A funding. The money will be used to grow its staff across its four US offices and to invest in technology and partnerships, according to the company.

The Week in TV

AT&T’s Time Warner Acquisition Blocked by DoJ
The US Department of Justice has put the breaks on AT&T’s proposed takeover of Time Warner due to concerns over how the deal would affect competition. The DoJ has filed a civil antitrust lawsuit to block the $85 billion deal as ”it would mean higher monthly television bills and fewer of the new, emerging innovative options that consumers are beginning to enjoy,” according to Makan Delrahim, assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice’s antitrust division. AT&T disputes this claim, saying that “vertical mergers like this one are routinely approved because they benefit consumers without removing any competitor from the market.”

Amazon Secures AMC Content Rights
Amazon Prime Video has agreed a content deal with AMC for first international content rights to series from its production arm, AMC Studios. The deal will see a new Ridley Scott produced show called ‘The Terror’ broadcast on Amazon Prime’s video service. “This is another step in our efforts to extend the selection of premium TV shows available to Prime Video members worldwide. We are thrilled to bring new shows from AMC, starting with The Terror, to our Prime members around the world,” said Brad Beale, VP, worldwide television acquisition for Amazon Prime Video.

Broadcaster Must Unite Against US OTT Services says France Télévisions’ CEO
France Télévisions’ CEO Delphine Ernotte has called for European broadcasters to unite against the challenge posed by US based OTT services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Ms. Ernotte has said discussions have begun between a number of broadcasters, including the BBC and Spain’s TVE, to jointly invest in production new TV shows. The BBC’s Craig Holleworth, head of business, drama, films and acquisitions, stated a few weeks ago that the BBC would struggle to compete with the likes of Netflix due to the amounts they invest in content.

UK TV Ad Revenue to Fall for First Time in Five Years says GroupM
Expenditure on TV advertising in the UK will fall to £4.3 billion this year, a decrease of 2.9 percent and the first time TV spending has shrunk in five years, despite overall investment in advertising swelling by 4.8 percent to £18.9 billion. This data, from GroupM’s ‘This Year Next Year’ UK marketing forecast, predicts that TV won’t recover immediately either, with 0 percent growth forecast for 2018. Meanwhile digital continues to grow at the expense of legacy media, with digital video still performing well despite this year’s YouTube brand safety concerns; GroupM believes that three quarters of brands who paused advertising on YouTube have resumed since. Read more on VAN

TV is UK’s Safest and Most Profitable Form of Advertising says Thinkbox
Thinkbox’s newly released study, Profit Ability: the business case for advertising, claims that TV advertising is the safest and most profitable form of advertising in the UK, returning an average of £4.20 for every £1 spent, compared to an average return of £3.24 across all media. The report also highlighted how advertising does pay back in the short term (within 3-6 months) of a campaign finishing), but has much higher returns in the long run, backing up claims made by the likes of WPP’s Martin Sorrell that brands should see advertising as more of an investment than an expenditure.

Samsung and Channel 4 Team Up for Longest Single Shot Ad
Samsung and Channel 4 have collaborated for what they are calling the longest single shot ad ever shown on UK TV, which will feature one continuous shot of a washing machine cycle. The ad, which lasts three minutes and 20 seconds, will take up an entire ad break during a showing of Channel 4’s Gogglebox, and will be promoting Samsung’s QuickDrive washing machine.

Sports Fans Frustrated with Live Streaming, Study Finds
A study conducted by YouGov, sponsored by streaming company Phenix, has found that sports fans are reluctant to sign up to OTT sports streaming due to fears over unreliability and lag. The study found that 64 percent of fans expect buffering during a live stream, 32 percent expect poor picture quality, and 30 percent expect a complete loss of service. Lag and buffering cause particular problems with live sports, where audiences fear spoilers if their stream falls behind, or risk missing a key play if an issue occurs at the wrong moment. Overall, 63 percent said they are reluctant to sign-up or subscribe to a sports live streaming platform next year.

The Week in Publishing

Brands Suspend YouTube Spend Over Child Exploitation Video Concerns
YouTube this week faced a fresh brand safety crisis as a number of brands suspended advertising on the platform after it emerged their ads were run against content showing exploitation of young children. Brands including O2, Which? and Dropbox have suspended advertising on YouTube after The Times and The Sun flagged a series of ad enabled videos showing children in pain and distress. YouTube responded by removing one of the offending channels, and removing or demonetising the videos highlighted by the two newspapers. Read more on VAN

Tencent Posts 61 Percent Growth, with Strong Ad Business Expansion
Chinese tech giant Tencent’s Q3 results have shown revenue growth of 61 percent across the business, up to $9.8 billion, with profits of $3.4 billion. While these results were largely driven by Tencent’s entertainment and gaming ventures, it also saw 48 percent growth in its online advertising business. Following the results, Tencent’s value rose to over $500bn as share prices rose, making it the first Asian company to reach this milestone.

AdEx Benchmark Shows 11.5 Percent Growth for Digital Advertising in Europe
The value of digital advertising in Europe has grown to €22.5bn according to the AdEx Benchmark for H1 2017, produced by IAB in partnership with IHS Markit. This marks an 11.5 percent growth compared to 2016, growth that was driven largely by digital advertising which shot up from €4.8bn ih H1 2016 to €6.8bn in these latest results. In fact, desktop display advertising actually shrunk by 1.4 percent, with desktop search growing by 4.1 percent.  The results also reveal strong growth in video advertising, which grew by 30.5 percent overall.


Facebook Takes Further Steps for Russian Election Meddling Transparency
Facebook announced via a blog post this week that it will be releasing a tool to further clarify how Russian actors used its platform to manipulate elections. Before the end of the year users will be able to see which, if any, of the Facebook pages or Instagram profiles they follow were run by the Internet Research Agency, a Russian company which conducts online influence operations on behalf of the Russian government.

The Week for Agencies

GroupM’s Rob Norman to Retire in January
Rob Norman, global chief digital officer at GroupM, announced that he is stepping down from his role in January next year, though he plans to remain involved in GroupM in an advisory capacity. Norman has spent over three decades within WPP, in both GroupM and CIA. GroupM says it will not be replacing Norman, and CEO Kelly Clark said of his exit that although he isn’t leaving completely, “we still take this opportunity to thank Rob for his loyal service and for continuing to share his passion and vision for this business as GroupM and the industry continue to evolve.”

WPP’s Agrees to Sell Asatsu-DK Shares
Following a dispute that lasted for over a month over Bain Capital’s attempt to take Japanese agency Asatsu-DK private, WPP and Bain have reach an understanding which will see Bain buy WPP’s shares in Asatsu for $32.51 per share. WPP and Asatsu have very publicly fallen out, with Asatsu dissatisfied with their relationship and seeking to be bought by Bain, but WPP adamant that Bain’s offer was too low. WPP had launched litigation against Asatsu, but has now withdrawn its case, assenting to a deal which will be worth $1.35 billion if it clears.

Ad Ops Specialists are Frustrated with Delays and Poor Communication
A new study from Advertiser Perceptions in partnership with Extreme Reach has shed light on the frustrations shared by ad ops specialists in the current structure of video ad campaign execution. Fifty five percent of digital video campaigns are hit by delays according to the research, while 70 percent of those working in ad ops would reinvent the process from scratch if they got the chance. Read more on VAN

Partnerships of the Week

Location Sciences and On Device Research Partner for Offline Attribution
Mobile intelligence company Location Sciences has partnered with On Device Research to provide data for On Device Research Mobile Store Effect, an offline attribution tool. On Device Research’s product will be powered by Location Science’s proprietary first party consumer location data, which is says currently covers over four million people on the UK. The tool can reportedly attribute customers to a location at an accuracy of one metre.

Mindshare Partners with Blockchain Company Zilliqa
WPP-owned Mindshare has agreed an exclusive partnership with blockchain platform Zilliqa, where the two will use Zilliqa’s blockchain tech to try and solve industry problems including fake news and data privacy. Zilliqa says its tech supports thousands of transactions per second, as opposed to the three to seven transactions per second offered by Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Hires of the Week

ProSiebenSat.1 Group Hires Nicolas Eglau as Executive Vice President International
ProSiebenSat.1 Group has appointed Nicolas Eglau for the newly created position of executive vice president international. Eglau, who has previously worked for RTL Group and A&E Networks, will be responsible for expanding the company’s international activities, and for heading up the European Media Alliance.

“Nicolas Eglau has extensive experience in both TV and Digital and a broad, international network,” said ProSiebenSat.1’s COO Christof Wahl. “With him, we will expand our international cooperation ventures and generate growth and additional revenues beyond Germany’s borders.”

Chris Foster Joins Y&R as Asia President
Chris Foster, who has previously held executive positions at Publicis Groupe and Saatchi & Saatchi, has been taken on as president of Y&R for Asia. Foster will report to Y&R’s global president David Patton from his office in Singapore.

This Week on VAN

Brands Suspend YouTube Spend Over Child Exploitation Video Concerns, read more on VAN

Ad Ops Specialists are Frustrated with Delays and Poor Communication, read more on VAN

UK TV Ad Revenue to Fall for First Time in Five Years says GroupM, read more on VAN

How VidMob Wants to Make Human Creativity Scalable, read more on VAN

Ad of the Week

Coca-Cola, Gogglebox Meets Coca-Cola’s “Holidays Are Coming”
Coca-Cola’s “Holidays Are Coming” ad has built up an iconic status, and for many signals the start of the Christmas season. This makes Channel 4’s Googlebox, which shows ordinary families reacting to TV, a perfect fit for a branding partnership as it shows people reacting with excitement to the Coca-Cola ad . It seems to have worked well too; data from Realeyes suggests it’s the most engaging UK Christmas ad released so far.

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