Publicis Groupe Reports 2015 Financial Performance; TV Networks Build Walled Gardens

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French Retreat

Publicis Groupe described the company’s exposure to last year’s Mediapalooza wave of media agency reviews in its most recent earnings call. The most painful losses were those of US media accounts for Coca-Cola (which went to McCann) and Procter & Gamble, the world’s largest advertiser, which went to Omnicom. It also referenced a plan to move from a traditional siloed collection of internal agencies to “the most integrated organization in the structure,” which includes “a unique alchemy of creativity and technology.” Agencies keep morphing.

Closing in

Legacy TV nets may be in the early stages of building walled gardens for television of the sort that have plagued Internet advertisers much to agency chagrin. “If all of the TV networks look at the power of Google and Facebook, they’d all love to replicate that. And we’re not so into that,” MediaVest SVP Jonathan Bokor tells The Wall Street Journal’s Mike Shields. Omnicom North America investment CEO John Smith advocates a centralized product that allows buyers to “look across the whole ecosystem and understand where a custom audience is that meets clients’ objectives.” But if you’re a big broadcaster learning from digital, it’s tough not to conclude that a walled garden is the way to go. Read on.

Watchington Post

The Washington Post has an eye on your engagement level. Re-engage is a new feature developed by WaPo RED, its ad research and development team, which seeks to capture readers who are drifting away. When users are either scrolling too quickly or not at all, for instance, the product will serve a banner featuring alternate articles. Re-engage uses in-house targeting tool Clavis alongside in-house optimization tool Bandito to deliver a customized reader experience. This ain’t your granddaddy’s WaPo, folks.     

The Atlantic Roiling Boil

“Uncertainty will cloud internet-based companies doing business abroad for months, if not years, to come,” writes legal analyst Larry Downes in a column on the US-EU Privacy Shield agreement. The European regulatory environment is riddled with hypocrisy and counterproductive measures. For example, it’s the commercial sector, mostly small or independent business, that bears the burden, even though the issue at hand is government surveillance (looking at you, NSA). Downes also points out that EU member states are regularly more invasive than the US government. There isn’t sincere concern over citizen data, it’s just political bickering and bitterness over European tech’s struggle against Silicon Valley. And it hurts commercial marketers. More in the Harvard Business Review.

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