Nike To Invest More In Direct-To-Consumer Business; Facebook Is Testing OTT Ad Targeting

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Get In The Game

Nike has historically distributed through retail channels, but by 2020 it hopes to double its $8 billion direct-to-consumer business, relying heavily on digital channels. “As shopping shifts online, Nike is moving to lessen its reliance on retailers,” writes The Wall Street Journal. For instance, the kinds of exclusive sneaker releases it’s done with stores are shifting to its relaunched app. It isn’t a coincidence that last week Nike also announced a lifetime billion-dollar deal with Portuguese futbol star Cristiano Ronaldo.

Streaming Power

Facebook has been quietly testing OTT ad targeting, Bloomberg reports. “For the past few weeks ... it’s been targeting ads to people streaming certain shows on their Roku or Apple TV set-top boxes. It customizes commercials based on the Facebook profiles tied to the IP addresses doing the streaming, according to a company spokesman.” So far, A+E Networks and Tubi TV are involved. Questions still remain around who should be responsible for ad sales and how revenue should be split, as well as how to measure ad effectiveness (and those are pretty important questions). More.

Growing Pains

WPP talked “horizontality” at an investor event last week. After noting growth would be relatively flat, the holding company expanded on its plans to integrate a diverse array of assets. “The more services an agency group and the more integrated a specific team (e.g., Team Ford) is with their client (and involved in more higher-level strategic work), then we think there is less risk of an agency group losing that particular piece of business,” a WPP spokesperson told investors. WPP’s most recent evolution toward this goal is through [m]Platform, which centralizes tech and data expertise. More at MediaPost.

Privacy At All Costs

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, launching in May 2018, will prevent businesses from using individual data without explicit consent. Ad tracking and targeting companies will have to receive consent at every point in the tracking chain, a requirement that could “rip the digital ecosystem apart,” as PageFair exec Johnny Ryan hyperbolically puts it. "Companies who create value only by using data and tracking people across the internet will have to find a way to build a relationship with the customer,” he said. “They will have their businesses seriously disrupted. Publishers may finally have the upper hand.” More.

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