Farming Out The Click; Programmatic Merger

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Farming Out The Click

The Guardian details the dark world of “click farms” in Bangladesh that look to generate clicks -- often with social media objectives. The Guardian’s Charles Arthur says, “For the [click farm] workers, though, it is miserable work, sitting at screens in dingy rooms facing a blank wall, with windows covered by bars, and sometimes working through the night. For that, they could have to generate 1,000 likes or follow 1,000 people on Twitter to earn a single US dollar.” Read more.

Programmatic Merger

Traditional ad agency executives are sweating bullets according to a new article from The Wall Street Journal. Mike Sheehan, chairman of integrated agency Hill Holliday says that he can understand how "creatives" feel left out of the conversation about the importance of data to the Omnicom and Publicis merger. He tells The WSJ, "Algorithms cannot give people goose bumps, and algorithms cannot tell a story, (...) cannot give you that nugget of insight that differentiates brands and products. That is only performed by human beings that can tell stories and can understand consumer behavior instinctively." Read more (subscription).

Blue Icons

Although Twitter received praise for its privacy-friendly approach to advertising, Ad Age notes that the company doesn’t use the AdChoices icon. "AdChoices started as a solution for banner ads when native advertising was still just a glimmer in our eye,” Jordan Bitterman, Mindshare’s chief strategy officer, said in an email. “One might argue that an AdChoices logo tagged in a tweet is not the right solution for that platform. The logo would be everywhere, which would be a poor user experience to say the least." Read more.

Economies Of Scale

The Economist explores the major points of the Publicis Omnicom merger, calling it the end of the “Mad Men” era and the start of the “Math Men” era. Television advertising may still be king, but display is rapidly catching up, with Google and Facebook leading the charge. Large agencies like Publicis and Omnicom are trying to stay alive by getting even bigger, hoping sheer size will be all they need to stay ahead. Read more.

More Mobile For Yahoo

The Yahoo acquisition spree continues, this time with the purchase of a mobile-browser startup called Rockmelt. According to Kara Swisher on AllThingsD, Yahoo paid $60 million-$70 million for the company, which will help Yahoo in its quest for mobile greatness. “The team has built a simple and beautiful technology that combines social, personalization and discovery to help you not only find what you’re looking for, but also stumble across some cool stuff along the way,” Mike Kerns and Adam Cahan wrote in a company blog post. Read both stories here, and the blog post is here.

Social Shopping

Social media has presented a huge advertising opportunity for retail, but it still pales in comparison to search and email, according to Mashable. Facebook and Twitter, despite boasting large audiences, don’t give luxury retail brands the kind of lift that traditional CRM does. However, social sites Instagram and Vine seem to be garnering much more engagement, so it’s not time to give up on social altogether. Read more.

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