Publicis Reorg; FCC Hints At Stricter Privacy Regulation

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Agency Quake

Publicis reorged its media agencies, shrinking the number of companies from six to four. The surviving quartet is: Starcom, Zenith, Mediavest/Spark and Optimedia/Blue 449. Additionally, VivaKi – where the former programmatic trading desk AOD was housed – will be officially shuttered, and its CEO Stephan Beringer will run a centralized function called Data, Technology & Innovation. Read the press release. Publicis is trying to recover from a downward spiral that began two years ago with the collapse of its merger deal with Omnicom, and which has continued more recently with the losses of major accounts in the US, including P&G, Walmart and Coca-Cola. WSJ has more. Related in AdExchanger: Publicis suffered major talent attrition after decentralizing its trading desk last year.

FCC Seizes On Privacy

In an interview with The Verge, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler hints at a greater role for his agency in regulating data collection. "There are three key concepts: One, that [broadband companies] are collecting data on me and it isn’t being held securely. Two, they’re collecting data on me and they ought to be telling me what they’re collecting and what it's being used for. And three, I ought to have the choice to say whether I want them to do that or not." Read it.

In-House Programmatic

No matter what the lords of brand advertising say, StubHub is still happy with its decision to take programmatic advertising in-house. “If we ask an agency to handle programmatic for us, when we call it and wait on adjustments, we’ve already missed a business opportunity,” said head of paid media Lee Engel to Digiday’s Yuyu Chen. Engel says he doesn’t think StubHub will work with agencies on programmatic in the near future, but added, “It’s a balance. Agencies have enormous expertise we want to tap into.” More.

Fighting The Revolution

Europe has seen a litany of court cases and inflammatory publisher statements about ad blockers, but comments yesterday from John Whittingdale, a senior conservative representative in the UK Parliament, were maybe the strongest sentiments expressed yet by someone in a prominent government role. He said ad-block users “need to understand that [content] is the consequence of huge creativity and those people need to be rewarded for it.” So, what next? “Initial plans involve gathering all stakeholders in the debate into one room, to discuss acceptable practice.” Self-regulation remains the goal. More at The Drum.

Racing Through Puberty

It’s been a crazy 18 months for Instagram’s advertising operation. In September 2014, co-founder Kevin Systrom said he still personally approved every Instagram ad to make sure it felt authentic. A year later, Instagram embraced an open ads API [AdExchanger coverage]. Two weeks ago the company triumphantly announced it had onboarded 200,000 advertisers. Just like Facebook, Instagram is pivoting on a dime from a pure consumer play to a steely eyed ad platform. Now Re/code’s Kurt Wagner writes that Instagram will be rolling out a whole new set of ad tools for business. Read more.

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