GroupM Cuts A Deal With BuzzFeed; Political Ad Spend Heats Up

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GroupM’s Abuzz

On Monday, GroupM inked a three-year partnership with BuzzFeed that gives WPP agencies and their clients access to BuzzFeed data. The partnership, which The Guardian values at some tens of millions of dollars, gets GroupM a team of dedicated staffers embedded in BuzzFeed Motion Pictures, preferential rates and exclusive access to Pound, the publisher’s proprietary data and analytics platform. So what’s in it for BuzzFeed? Guaranteed ad spend. WPP chief Martin Sorrell says GroupM will secure for the publisher a portion of the $76 billion it spends annually. “This is a big deal for us in terms of our strategic growth,” said Kate Burns, GM of BuzzFeed’s Euro operations. “We treat all our partners equally, and hopefully there will be more agency deals to come.” More.

Digital Campaign Trails

Political campaign spending is at an all-time high in the long lead up to 2016’s presidential election, which bodes well for digital publishers. According to data from Borrell Associates, political campaign spend is up 20% over 2012’s election cycle, which shakes out to candidates spending north of $50 per eligible voter. NBC News says politicians are turning to programmatic to track online user behavior and target their ads. “There's only a quarter of a million people tops that are going to impact the next election,” The Trade Desk CEO Jeff Green told NBC News. "Digital gives you the ability to speak to the right issues to the right people." Read on.

Post-Game Analysis

Last year, Facebook struck a deal with the NFL and Verizon to test the quality of post-roll video, and it appears the experiment has come to a close. The partnership showcased NFL clips on Facebook’s news feed, with ads from Verizon tacked onto the end of each minute-long clip. “Several media companies privately expressed their doubts about the post-roll treatment when it was launched,” the Journal’s Mike Shields points out. “And Facebook never seemed to get many other takers as top advertisers continued to gravitate to pre-roll ads on other sites or standalone video ads on Facebook.” Cue the NFL launching its first YouTube channel earlier this year. Read it.

The Start Of A Journey

According to research from the CMO Club and IBM, marketers are thinking less and less of budgets as divvied up between distinct marketing channels (TV, radio, print, social, online, etc.) in favor of an approach that emphasizes cohesive customer journeys. Based on a survey of ad buyers spending $1 billion or more, The Drum’s Minda Smiley cites CMO Club CEO Peter Krainik, who sees “feedback metrics that allow for rapid experimentation” as an important driver of that change. More.

Outside The Box

Not all terrible advertising leads to terrible results. Adweek’s David Griner reports that a recent online campaign from Amnesty International got 11% of viewers to sign a petition demanding the release from prison of a Belarusian human rights activist. The catch? Viewers had their cursors “trapped” within the confines of the banner ad. The cursor wasn’t really trapped, just hidden by a top layer so it was invisible beyond the confines of the banner unit. But hey, at least someone (besides ad-block companies) can benefit from crappy UX. Read on.

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