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PROGRAMMATIC I/O New York, October 15-16 - Day 1, 11:55am, Programmatic Essentials Buy-Side: "Best Practices For Programmatic Brand Building" - Sarah Warner from GroupM offers guidance on automated, data-driven channels to drive upper-funnel awareness and branding goals. See more.


Today's Must Read

AT&T-Time Warner Merger Will Jumpstart Positive Deal Momentum
“While it does not open the door for other types of consolidation plays, deals in the media industry have occurred in waves, and we should expect more,” said Phillip Fresen, managing director of investment bank Garros Group. More.

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AT&T Can Acquire Time Warner, District Court Rules
With Time Warner content in its arsenal, AT&T’s nascent ad platform would help supplant lost cord-cutter business and thus keep down subscription prices, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said during the trial. More.

Advertisers Can Now Buy Video Ads On Reddit
Although programmatic is on Reddit’s road map, “we’re still in the exploratory stages for how to RTB-enable our native ads,” said Zubair Jandali, VP of brand partnerships at Reddit. More.

CEO Kelly Clark: GroupM Has 'Moved On' From Sorrell Exit
"Many of our people knew Martin, but he’s no longer in the company. We’ve moved on. The business is running, we’re partnering with clients, we’re pitching. We’re moving ahead," said GroupM CEO Kelly Clark. More.

Golfweek’s Traffic Hits A Birdie After Digital Makeover
Although golf’s popularity is declining in the US, Golfweek is bucking that trend by growing its audience and revenue post-USA Today acquisition. More.

Data-Driven Thinking...Marketing PSA: Do You Know What And Where Your Data Is?
There are still many unknowns surrounding GDPR, and marketers will do themselves some good by remaining proactive. More.

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News Round Up

Dominoes

AT&T’s Tuesday triumph over the Department of Justice will set off a wave of M&A. Leading the way is Comcast, which on Wednesday is expected to announce an all-cash bid to wrest Fox’s assets away from Disney’s $52.4 billion all-stock deal. According to CNBC, Comcast’s lawyers want to pick through District Court Judge Richard Leon’s AT&T decision first. Comcast’s pitch, as per Variety, is that it’s a regional service, so buying Fox really isn’t a monopolistic threat. One wonders, though, how NBCU fits into that “regional service” argument. Also, 70% of revenue from the Fox assets are international – which is one of the biggest reasons Comcast wants Fox: “Fox’s strong presence in international TV — notably through India’s Star TV and the U.K./Euro provider Sky — are a huge part of the appeal of the deal for Comcast.” More.

Here To Stay

Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson said the hotel chain is “in an absolute war for who owns the customer” with Google, Amazon and Facebook, Skift reports. The company is actually less worried about Airbnb, he said, which is a more direct competitor in most ways but doesn’t have the larger platforms’ full consumer and identity profiles. Hotel chains are obsessed with loyal customers and loyalty programs, so the potential for closer-to-consumer tech companies to win over those connections is a more dangerous threat than Airbnb’s head-on charge. “It’s a long-term war, and ‘long term’ in digital space might be a few years,” Sorenson said. More.

Spoofed

Pixalate uncovered a mobile fraud scandal linking $75 million of brand spend per year to the Chromecast player app MegaCast, which has 1 million downloads. The app used a type of mobile app laundering called Bundle ID spoofing, in which a single app poses as numerous legitimate sellers. MegaCast receives encrypted information from third-party vendor MobiAsset. MobiAsset links to another third-party vendor, Mobilytics, which changes the name of the inventory from the MegaCast app so it looks like it’s coming from one of more than 50 legitimate apps. These ads then may render on a dark screen or in a place that’s not viewable by the user, like a closed app. Mobilytics positions itself as a mobile analytics platform but is linked to the same physical address as MegaCast in Malta. Read more about the investigation.

Don’t Mess With Dmexco

Last November, Dmexco conference organizer Koelnmesse severed ties with the tech show’s co-founders, Christian Muche and Frank Schneider, and their consulting group KDME, citing contract violations. At issue were conflicts with the co-founders’ Dpulse conference in Switzerland. Of course, lawsuits followed. Now, the Cologne Court of Appeals has found that there was no contractual violation. As such, Koelnmesse’s termination of Muche and Schneider is unlawful, according to their statement. KDME has filed a claim for damages against Koelnmesse. The court also indicated that KDME can create events competitive with Dmexco outside the EU, or events within the EU that aren’t directly competitive with Dmexco. Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Mehr dazu hier.

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