The fallout: digital under review | DMA

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The fallout: digital under review


Just two short weeks since THAT speech by P&G's CMO Marc Pritchard that put digital on review and the fallout has been significant, now taking in links with dodgy sites and terror organisations

Last week the speech by Marc Pritchard, P&G's CMO and the marketer with the world's biggest budget, focused on some of the problems with digital advertising.

Both the reactions and the news agenda have moved quickly to catch-up.

Notably, The Times launched a story showing how online ads may inadvertantly fund terror. This may not seem connected at first glance, but the lack of transparency for brands illustrates Pritchard's point perfectly.

Since the story was first published, brands as diverse as Jaguar Land Rover, Thomson Reuters, Sandals and Marie Curie have pulled their online ads while they review how the ads are placed in the first place, and the issue has been picked up in the US too.

More than one commentator has pointed to Facebook and Google, not for doing anything untoward, but for their lack of transparency.

The World Federation of Advertisers says 90% of brands want more transparency, and Spotify's European VP agrees - meaningless metrics and ad fraud have to stop.

Ad Contrarian Bob Hoffman has doubled-down on his appeal to ditch not digital advertising, but the 'massive failure' of adtech. He says there is a total lack of transparency and publishers and brands need to get together and work out a simple way to trade their inventory and sidestep the Facebook/Google duopoly.

Following on from the terror story, broken by The Times, and owned by News Corp, the publisher launched its own ad exchange meaning brands can plug straight into it and bypass the adtech. The move might on the face of it seem to stem from the comments of Marc Pritchard, but of course such things will have been in progress for a good while. It does show the direction of movement however.

There are pragmatic reasons for this – it should give News Corp more direct ad dollars and build a stronger relationship with the brands and agencies who plan their campaigns. They will know exactly where their money is going. Good for News Corp while revenues continue to slide.

Dominic Mills is rather more cynical about how News Corp has presented its new exchange, but he still thinks its probably a good thing.

Well, talking of frauds, Don't Panic organised a prank for our very own Treeza May, comedian Heydon Prowse calling Number 10, pretending to be calling from a certain President Trump, who wants to leave flowers on Valentine's Day. Aaaaah!

While data protection is important for marketers, the other side of the coin, freedom of speech and particularly freedom of the press, has come under attack from the government, who proposes harsh penalties and prison terms for those doing their job, and this is something both sides of the political divide seem to agree, The Telegraph saying it's, "nothing less than a threat to Britain's free press and thus its democracy".

John Waters, known as the Pope of Trash, was in London for a screening of one of his ulta low-budget films full of gross and transgressive humour, Multiple Maniacs, billed as ‘A Celluloid Atrocity’. We won't embed the trailer because some (many) may find that alone offensive and it is rather NSFW. Watch here if you dare.

Waters is also an incisive commentator on all things cultural and sees some positives from the election of Trump because the cultural backlash will produce great art.

This cultural backlash has yet to appear. This week we learn that the world's biggest YouTuber, PewDiePie has been dropped by Disney for making anti Semitic remarks in a series of videos. Google has also de-listed the Swede (real name Felix Kjellberg) from Google Preferred. He claims it's all a joke, but as The Guardian's brilliant Arwa Mahdawi patiently explains, it's no laughing matter.

More Valentine's day work, this time by We Are Social for HSBC, where an elderly man goes on a date. It's charming, contains no dialogue whatsoever, and feels much softer than many recent financial services ads:

Every year media regulator Ofcom produces a very useful review of international media, the International Communications Market Report. A weighty tome, TheMediaBriefing has summaried it in eight handy graphs.

If you plan a seasonal campaign, before you sign it off, read and reread this article on the terribly misjudged campaign by the London Dungeon for Valentine's Day.

As Snapchat comes to IPO, this is a good summary of where the company has come to, warning that it is broadly following Twitter's route to market.

We all know about the enthusiasm Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has for virtual reality, buying Oculus Rift for $2bn in 2014.

However, consumers are less enthusiastic. The company has closed 200 tie-in demo shops at Best Buy in the US due to consumer indifference. Some shops were unable to persuade anyone to take a demo for days.

HOME picks up a Bafta. Nothing unusual about that except it's a product of BBH's Black Sheep Studios, which co-produced, written and directed by Daniel Mulloy and stars Jack O’Connell and Holliday Grainger. Have a look at the trailer:

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