Pessimism In The Ad Market; Digital Platforms Bringing On Editors

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Sorrell Has Spoken

Late last week, WPP chief Martin Sorrell shared a dim view on the global ad market as a result of weak markets abroad. “Business is tough; it’s not easy,” Sorrell said during an interview at Cannes. “GDP forecasts have been taken down and so have advertising forecasts.” And according to Sorrell, the US market is “OK, but not vibrant.” But the worldwide ad market could grow by 1% next year, he added, thanks to the Olympic games and the US presidential election. And with $20 billion worth of ad spend up for review from large advertisers like L’Oréal, P&G and Coca-Cola, Sorrell sees opportunity in new accounts. More via Bloomberg.

Man Vs. Machine

A collection of the world’s biggest digital platforms, from Apple and LinkedIn to Snapchat and Instagram, have made recent decisions to bring on editors (and DJs). Whether it’s related to the upcoming elections or real-time trends, these social media companies see adding a human editorial touch as an important step in sourcing the best content on their platform. For Facebook and Google it’s a different story, as they can’t scale human teams to match the amount of content they have on hand. Check it out at Fortune.

That’s A Wrap

The WSJ puts a ribbon on Cannes, and the takeaway is that the industry’s flush with digital advertising platforms and formats. At the annual festival, firms showcased new formats, like Facebook’s smartphone-specific ad formats; publishers struck landmark partnerships, like Vice and Pinterest’s alliance; and next-gen agencies emerged (WPP, Snapchat and the Daily Mail launched a content agency called Truffle Pig). Virtual reality is also knocking on digital advertising’s door. “Digital has changed our industry completely,” said Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Levy. “If you don’t change you are out of the picture.” Read more.

Accidents Happen

Google issued updates to its “confirmed clicks” mechanism late last week, in an attempt to boost display ad performance by weeding out accidental clicks. The three updates include blocking clicks that occur too close to the edge of an image, blocking clicks on app icons and an added click delay that only lets users click on ads several seconds after the page has loaded. This could help advertisers improve performance “by re-investing spend saved from accidental clicks back into their display campaigns,” the company said. Read the blog post.

Adieu To Banner Ads?

Adieu, a new browser extension, aims to upend the banner ad market by allowing viewers to choose images they like instead of branded content. Unlike other species of ad blockers, Adieu does cost the user money (it’s roughly $5 for 500 blocks). Part of Adieu’s “sell” to users is faster browsing speed and the ability to wall off marketers from your browsing data. Adieu said its product rewards the Internet’s good content (though with standard ad blockers, you can also white-list favored sites). Adweek has more.

Taking The Lead

For marketers, getting people to sign up for things (newsletters, direct mail, deals, memberships, etc.) is a necessary way to collect basic consumer data on a target audience. And the friction in a sign-up process, where users have to input standard info, sometimes over multiple forms, is a major hurdle. Facebook is looking to solve that for marketers within its garden, launching new “lead ads” that can auto-fill for that kind of registration data from Facebook’s own profile info. Read at Ad Age.

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