Digital Changing Agencies; AOL Buys Velos

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WPP Chairman: Digital Drives Agency Reviews

Speaking at WPP’s annual shareholder meeting, the ad giant’s chairman said the shift to digital is driving the agency review trend. Philip Lader’s exact words were that the reviews are due to clients’ desires to “optimize their media spending in an increasingly digital media environment.” Said another way, some of the largest advertisers, among them P&G, Mondelez, Unilever and General Mills, are looking to use digital channels and strategies to do more with smaller marketing budgets. “Media agencies are also facing heightened scrutiny over the transparency of their practices and compensation,” as WSJ reporter Nathalie Tadena points out. It’s a tough time for agencies. Read it.

AOL Buys Velos

AOL snapped up predictive analytics firm Velos, only to immediately shutter the startup’s services. Velos, formerly Sociocast Networks, helps companies manage data and run predictive modeling. Though Velos founder Albert Azout updated his LinkedIn page in March, the AOL deal wasn’t formally announced until Tuesday. More data for Verizon. VentureBeat has more.

The Programmatic Circuit

The programmatic TV industry is fundamentally difficult to expand, seeing as upwards of 80% of TV advertising is sold by the networks at the yearly upfronts. But 20% of TV advertising is more than just scraps. The Drum talks to TubeMogul CMO Keith Eadie about what his company and WideOrbit are doing to educate the industry. One issue is that traditionally, “Digital and TV buyers have operated in silos and spoken different languages.” Read it.

The Price Of Ad Blocking

Ad blocking poses a threat to digital advertising, but how much do big advertisers and platforms stand to lose? PageFair draws on a number of data sources to estimate how much revenue Google, Bing and other publishers are losing thanks to ad blocking tech. The firm estimates that ad blocking tech in the US cost Google $1.9 billion in 2014, which reflects the 10% of users accessing Google’s digital properties who had an ad blocker installed on their browser. Sean Blanchfield, PageFair CEO, tells MediaPost that with white labeling available to large players, “It’s a bit of a murky world with pirates battling pirates.” More.

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