GroupM Scraps mPlatform; Mysteries Of Google's Search Algo

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MPlatform No More

GroupM is disbanding mPlatform, the unit it launched in 2016 to centralize client access to data and technology across its agencies. Newly minted CEO Christian Juhl wants to create more consistency across the group’s four media agencies, and the mPlatform brand added confusion to the sprawling organization. GroupM will launch a new unit, GroupM Services, to house its search, social, programmatic and ad ops talent and standardize tools and processes across its agencies. "We've got to get everyone working from the same playbook," Juhl told Campaign. About 4,000 former mPlatform employees will join GroupM Services, while 1,000 will join 2Sixty, a new innovation unit at Essence led by co-founder Andrew Shebbeare. Juhl also hinted at a new business unit that can help clients bring digital buying in house, and brought on APAC CEO Mark Patterson as GroupM chief operating officer while he focuses on clients. More.

Going, Going, Google

When it comes to Google’s search algo changes, there’s more going on behind the curtain than there used to be. For instance, Google has given algorithmic boosts to big companies and major advertisers, such as eBay, Amazon and Facebook, The Wall Street Journal reports. Ostensibly human-free Google results now feature news snippets, “knowledge panels” and auto-complete suggestions open to Google engineers and data scientists. Despite public denials, Google also blocks certain sites from showing up regardless of their organic results (otherwise some frightful conservative media outlets would top real news). “Far from being autonomous computer programs oblivious to outside pressure, Google’s algorithms are subject to regular tinkering from executives and engineers who are trying to deliver relevant search results, while also pleasing a wide variety of powerful interests and driving its parent company’s more than $30 billion in annual profit.” More.

Proud Peacock

NBC is asking for $25 million and $15 million sponsorship packages for the launch of Peacock, its streaming service expected to launch in April 2020, Ad Age reports. Peacock will be closely watched by marketers and ad tech, because the other major streaming players and upcoming launches are ad-free. NBC is considering making Peacock free to everyone, not just NBC cable or Comcast subscribers, with an ad-free subscription option. But selling the big sponsorship deals could be tough. NBC reportedly won’t guarantee subscriber or impression numbers, only a share of voice on the service. Which means if Peacock’s numbers are slow out of the gates, its sponsors would get a raw deal. Though there are potential benefits beyond ROI, like the chance to shape terms and standards for the new ad ecosystem. More.

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