Hearts & Science Helps Omnicom Win AT&T; Programmatic Isn't To Blame For Ad Blocking

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New Kid On The Block

Omnicom’s Hearts & Science, which sprung out of the holding company’s P&G account win last December, gave Omnicom the edge needed to win AT&T’s business, Ad Age’s Maureen Morrison reports. Launched on the premise of using data and analytics to drive emotional storytelling for advertisers [AdExchanger coverage], Hearts & Science is Omnicom’s nod toward a data-driven creative/media approach. Now it has the two biggest American advertisers under its belt, and working with AT&T in particular gives the agency dibs on some of the shiniest marketing toys around – like the AT&T AdWorks Lab, DirecTV and DISH addressable TV, not to mention more than 130 million mobile subscribers. More.

Shooting The Messenger

Programmatic and ad blocking arose in the media world at around the same time, but that doesn’t mean programmatic is responsible for ad blocking, writes Barbara Agus, director of global programmatic and yield at The Weather Co. Ad blocking isn’t new, she argues, as users have been skipping print ads and muting TV commercials for ages. And “programmatic itself cannot be said to have changed the internet advertising landscape overnight,” she said, because “the errors lie with the craftsman, not in his tools. It is not the spanner's fault if it is used as a hammer.” Programmatic and ad blocking do, however, play into the same fears: that digital advertising is creating an unpleasant user experience and can’t compensate for the loss of print revenues. More at Mediatel.

Good Sports

The Rio Olympics delivered 27.9 million average nightly viewers in their first nine days, trailing the 33 million per night who watched the London 2012 games and the 34.2 million for the Beijing games in 2008. “Of particular concern is a roughly 30% drop among viewers age 18-34, a demographic advertisers pay a premium to reach,” reports The Wall Street Journal. That number alone is misleading, though. The Olympics are spread across a larger network of Comcast’s NBCU channels than they used to be, not to mention mobile, desktop and smart-TV app viewership. Oh, and about those 18-34-year-olds: The Financial Times reports that NBC’s partnership with Snapchat on Live Stories for the Olympics (produced by BuzzFeed, with NBC and Snapchat splitting ad revenue) is apparently going swimmingly.

Native’s Crowded Buffet

A couple of recent ad sales surveys found weak renewal rates among publishers and native ad companies. It’s a counterintuitively tough time to for native advertising. The category overall is expanding hugely on the backs of giants like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. But many, many publishers are entering the space with agency-like branded content services, not to mention a growing ecosystem of specialist vendors, all of which are competing for a piece of the pie that isn’t growing as fast as Facebook. The result is a new competitive friction between native vendors and publishers, writes Max Willens at Digiday, and with marketing agencies on the other end of the business as well. More.  

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