WPP's GroupM Wins Big; Brian O'Kelley Says "Programmatic Is Dead"

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Media Biz Booming For WPP

WPP’s GroupM media arm won $854 million in net new business in Q1 (earnings release), nearly double its new billings during the same quarter last year. Some of the costs are attributable to the Q4 acquisition of Essence, a programmatic-first digital media agency. And of course the figures include lots of publisher payouts and other costs. But even if the margins are tiny, the volumes are huge (an estimated $7.7 billion in total quarterly media billings).

AppNexus CEO: Programmatic RIP?

In a Forbes op-ed, Brian O’Kelley declares, “Programmatic is dead.” In its place will be a “programmable” future where the media is “omnichannel” and the supply chain ever so transparent. “The programmable Internet ... has compressed the supply chain for goods and services and replaced often opaque transactions with transparent ones.” Read it. Interesting alignment here between the programmable age and the company’s own “programmable bidder.” More in AdExchanger.

We Will, We Will Roku

Viacom signed a new targeted ad deal with Roku, which will give Viacom access to the streaming company’s audience data. This is the first time Roku has given a programmer access to its data, but a statement from its VP of advertising, Scott Rosenberg, suggests it’s ready to help its legacy broadcast brethren adapt. "We're committed to helping our publishers more effectively monetize in OTT.” More at Adweek.

Scarlet Letter

The Google Play store will now label which of its apps allow advertising in their storefront, making it glaringly obvious to users who want to avoid ads, TechCrunch reports. This could have significant implications for developers who generate revenue with in-app advertising. Google’s goal is to offer more transparency and better-quality experiences for users, but the move could encourage users to avoid downloading labeled apps altogether. More.

British Revolution

The transparency issue has jumped the pond. A trade organization called the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) sent its 450 members a contract that will protect their interests in media deals with their agencies and give them a clearer picture of agency spend. “I don’t believe that [the media agencies] have got the best interests of their clients at heart any more,” said Debbie Morrison, director at the ISBA. The ANA started similar investigations into the transparency/rebate issue in the United States six months ago. The contract is optional for advertisers, but the ISBA expects to meet resistance from media agencies. More in the Financial Times (subscription required).

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