Del Monte Is Consolidating Its Agency Business With Epsilon; Taboola Is Acquiring ConvertMedia

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Creative Choice

After a 5-month review, Del Monte is consolidating its agency business with performance marketing shop Epsilon. Managing multiple agencies is a burden, and the CPG giant hopes that Epsilon’s data and direct marketing expertise will help its brands stand out against private food labels. "It definitely played into our decision, knowing that Epsilon has that background," Jen Reiner, Del Monte’s senior director of marketing activation and shopper marketing, told Ad Age. Direct and email marketing are also areas “we haven't fully developed," Reiner said. Del Monte’s choice is another example of marketers weighting data and automation over traditional creative talent in their reviews. More.

Taboola Enters The Outstream

Taboola has acquired outstream video company ConvertMedia. Adam Singolda, CEO and founder of Taboola, told AdExchanger that ConvertMedia’s business grew from some “millions” in revenue 2 years ago to a current run rate of $50 million. The deal price wasn’t disclosed, but is “in the tens of millions of dollars,” according to Lara O’Reilly of Business Insider. Singolda’s goal is to capture video ad dollars by plugging ConvertMedia’s outstream tech into Taboola’s supply. “We serve 14 billion impressions a day,” Singolda said. “If we get one of those thumbnails to become video, that’s 1 billion [impressions] a day. That makes me one of the top video companies alongside Facebook, YouTube and Snapchat.” Rarefied air. Read on.

Block, Parry, Riposte

The IAB and C3Research released a report on ad blocking, the highlight of which claims that “two-thirds of US consumers using ad blockers could be convinced to uninstall their ad-blocking software.” Twenty percent of the survey respondents without an ad blocker said they previously had one but uninstalled it after a publisher blocked content. The site messages prompting ad blocker uninstalls can also be contextualized – mobile ad-block users want faster browsing, whereas PC users prefer cleaner site navigation. There’s little evidence of a trend, but the strategy really ticks off ad blockers, which could be enough for the IAB to call it a win.   

Surge Pricing

The Guardian is introducing a tool called Pulse that serves ads to live, trending articles. “Surging news is something we haven’t been able to harness before programmatically,” GroupM digital trading director Robin O’Neill told Jessica Davies of Digiday. Pulse is an experiment, though, and there are no advertisers or beta cases to show for it. Since the goal is to offer premium prices, advertisers will also want dynamic creative to match the coverage. But how do you do that when you don’t know what news will break? And will they be able to programmatically decide between marketable news (like Brexit) and news to avoid (like terrorist attacks)? More.

Heat Map

Google updated its Maps app in three ways, two of which are purely aesthetic (think color schemes and typography). The third, however, points out “areas of interest” with shaded orange hot spots. Users can zoom in on these areas to see details about each venue highlighted within it. “Whether you’re looking for a hotel in a hot spot or just trying to determine which way to go after exiting the subway in a new place, ‘areas of interest’ will help you find what you’re looking for with just a couple swipes and a zoom,” Google wrote in a blog post. How much businesses will shell out to be included in these orange zones remains to be seen, but Google continues to ramp up the marketing opportunities across its Maps product.

A Little Birdie’s Earnings

Twitter reported its second quarter earnings on Tuesday, and the Street was a tad disappointed. Although Twitter saw $602 million in Q2 revenue, a 20% YoY increase, analysts had expected around $678 million. Average monthly active users were 313 million for the quarter, up just 3 million from last quarter. But Twitter is pinning its hopes on the long view. In a letter to investors, CEO Jack Dorsey reiterated Twitter’s five-point strategic plan: refining the company’s core service, live-streaming video, creators and influencers, safety and developers. “We remain focused on improving our service to make it fast, simple and easy to use, like the ability to watch live streaming video events unfold and the commentary around them,” Dorsey wrote. On Monday, Twitter announced that it snagged the rights to live stream MLB and NHL games. That’s in addition to the deal it’s already got lined up with the NFL. We’ll see if that flies. Read Dorsey’s letter.

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