Marketers Struggle With Viewability IRL, Too

Procter & Gamble lit a brushfire in digital advertising this year when it said it was done paying for ads it couldn't prove were served on-screen. "The days of giving digital a pass are over," P&G Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard said. But another medium with a huge share of marketers' money has a "viewability" problem of its own: Corrugated paper displays in stores. Promotional displays make it out of back rooms and onto display floors -- let's call it "in view" -- less than half the time that they're supposed to, recent studies have found. Continue reading at

Digital Is Disrupting Everything, Including This Print Article

Disruption was on the minds of several Advertising Hall of Fame inductees I interviewed over the last couple of months. Their attitude was "transform or die," in the words of Kay Koplovitz, who founded the first cable TV network. But as Irwin Gotlieb of GroupM pointed out, transformation is easier said than done. In our economic structure, the financial markets value a disruptor "in a very different way" than they value an operating business. Traditional media operate on a price-earnings ratio of 15 to "maybe" 20, he said. With disruptors, it's 220-plus, so companies like Netflix can afford to spend up to $10 million per hour for content. Continue reading at

Zuckerberg Warns Harvard Grads About the Technology Taking Jobs

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told Harvard graduates that they need to help others find purpose in a world where machines are taking away some of the steady jobs and communities aren't as stable, leading to isolation and nationalism instead of people coming together globally to solve problems. "When our parents graduated, purpose reliably came from your job, your church, your community," Zuckerberg, 33, said in a commencement speech. "But today, technology and automation are eliminating many jobs. Membership in a lot of communities has been declining. Many people feel disconnected and depressed, and are trying to fill a void in their lives." The social network Zuckerberg started in his Harvard dorm room now has 1.94 billion users around the world, large enough for the CEO to feel pressure about its impact on society. Zuckerberg has spent this year traveling around the U.S. to understand what people feel Continue reading "Zuckerberg Warns Harvard Grads About the Technology Taking Jobs"

Facebook Just Lost a Big Battle to Google for Publishers

Facebook hasn't lost the war against Google for publishers' content, but it looks like it's losing one fight. The company said Thursday that it's created a software extension that lets publishers easily transfer content formatted for its Instant Articles to the No. 1 competition for mobile readers in a hurry, Google AMP. AMP pages load near instantaneously, get prime real estate in Google search results, and have seen widespread adoption from both publishers and ecommerce players such as eBay and 1800Flowers. (Pages that load faster often lead to an uptick in sales.) Continue reading at

The Washington Post Gets Its Own Reddit Page

The newsroom finally has a place on Reddit. Reporters and publications have long lurked around the internet's so-called front page, looking for underreported stories and a place to put links to their own. Because one of Reddit's top rules is no self-promotion, they've mostly been considered spammers. But now a select few media partners have been given a pass. The Washington Post is one of the first publishers to get a new profile page on Reddit, where it can freely post its own stories, ask me anything Q&As and all the dank memes it wants. Advance Local's Alabama site has a Reddit profile too, with a page for sibling in the works. Continue reading at

What China’s Live Streaming Crackdown Mean for Marketers

Chinese authorities are cracking down on live streaming platforms and video producers this week in a hunt for content deemed too sexy, violent harmful to youth or even superstutious. The Culture Ministry there has said that it shut down 10 hosting platforms entirely. Authorities banned 547 live streamers and ordered 30,235 livestreaming accounts to shut down. There's big money involved in live streaming in China, with Credit Suisse putting the market at over $3.6 billion last year. Brands have been tapping into it too. Business intelligence firm L2 said that about 80% of beauty brands it tracked had used it last year. Continue reading at

ZTE Taps Energy BBDO for Creative Following $900 Million U.S. Sanctions Fine

Two months after ZTE agreed to plead guilty and pay nearly $900 million for violating U.S. sanctions, the Chinese telecom equipment manufacturer has hired Energy BBDO as its creative agency in the U.S., according to people with knowledge of the matter. The shop won the business after a competitive review, which was led by SRI, Ad Age learned. Representatives from Energy BBDO and SRI declined to comment. ZTE, the fourth-largest mobile device supplier in the U.S., declined to comment on the new relationship with Energy BBDO or its U.S. marketing push, but a representative said via email that the company has "some great work and activities coming down the line." Continue reading at