Two years ago, when Marriott International plunked down $13 billion to buy Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, it came into possession of the posh St. Regis and trendy W brands—and also an awkward stepchild named Sheraton.As of last year, Sheraton generated $9.2 billion annually in global revenue.Many properties, especially those in the U.S., were dated and the guest experience frequently inconsistent.In April of 2015, Starwood’s own CEO Adam Aron surprised analysts by calling Sheraton a tired brand.Last year, Marriott chief Arne Sorenson admitted to the hospitality website Skift that Marriott had initially passed on the Starwood deal because fixing Sheraton looked like “a ton of work.”But fixing up Sheraton is work Marriott had nonetheless committed itself to.
Ads.txt is finally ready to hit mobile apps.This new initiative, meant to combat ad-savvy fraudsters working in the mobile space, allows ad buyers to ensure they’re buying legitimate product, but first brands and app stores must play ball and embrace the tool.Here’s how it works: A premium app publisher—say, The New York Times—can list off the select ad-tech vendors authorized to sell or resell its personal ad stock.Then, someone buying ad space on a Times-branded-app can look over these lists over to ensure the inventory they’re buying through programmatic channels actually comes from the Times itself, rather than a scammer masquerading as that particular brand.This “domain spoofing” hack is just one of the dozens of ad scams that bleed mountains of cash from mobile advertisers every year.Mobile ad spend hit an all-time high of $76.17 billion last year, according to eMarketer’s estimates, easily outspending ad spend in television, radio or print.
Facebook is using a new detection technology powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence to more quickly sniff out revenge porn—intimate images that are shared without the consent of the subjects—and the social network also created a new support hub for victims of this type of activity.In the past, the social network has relied on people reporting images of this type, as well as photo-matching technology to prevent reported images from being reshared.Global head of safety Antigone Davis said in a Newsroom post that with its new technology, Facebook can more proactively detect near-nude images or videos shared on its platform or Instagram, often before those images are reported.She stressed that the rapid discovery of this content is important, saying, “Often, victims are afraid of retribution, so they are reluctant to report the content themselves, or they are unaware that the content has been shared.”Once content has been identified, specially trained members of the social network’s community operations team will review it and determine whether Facebook’s community standards have been violated.Davis said that in most cases, accounts that share intimate content without permission will be disabled, nothing that an appeals process is available if someone believes their account was disabled in error.
For the first quarter of 2019, happenings at YouTube and Fox News have had us focused on brand safety.Instances of negative attention to each channel caused brands to question their spend and presence in these spaces.Several nations grounded all jets of its class after connecting this crash to another just five months earlier.Their official statement said, “Boeing has determined—out of an abundance of caution and in order to reassure the flying public of the aircraft’s safety—to recommend to the FAA the temporary suspension of operations of the entire global fleet of 371 737 MAX aircraft.” They worked with the U.S. government to ground the entire fleet of jets in question.Everything relating to politics has become increasingly polarizing, challenging even neutral observers to take a side.Compare this to how brands have been handling or avoiding less harmful brand safety issues.
One day after confirming a $100 million investment from Mark Penn’s Stagwell Group, agency holding company MDC Partners reported net new business gains in today’s earnings call despite a challenging year and fourth quarter.Penn, who will assume the CEO role, also expressed confidence in the company’s “flagship” properties like 72andSunny, CPB and Forsman & Bodenfors, calling them “second to none.”MDC’s stock price shot up in early trading before leveling off."As an expert in this marketplace, I can say that no one has properties today like MDC's flagships."CFO David Doft attributed much of that 2.5% 12-month dip to ASC 606, an accounting-rule change that the company has repeatedly cited in explaining its financial results over the past year.EBITDA, generally considered a more reliable number, was $162.6 million in 2018 versus $203.5 the previous year, while net loss for MDC shareholders totaled $132.1 million.
During this year’s Black History Month, we had an overwhelming reminder that talent of color should be celebrated more often throughout the year and that initiatives should extend beyond just one month.While it’s great to go above and beyond for a month, the only way we’ll see change is by ensuring we actually listen to people’s perspectives and institute change from the top down instead of the bottom up.Baiju Shah, chief strategy officer, Accenture InteractiveWe are a global organization where diversity is highly local, with the needs of our people and our clients varying wildly between countries and even cities.To foster this environment, Fjord [Accenture’s design and innovation consultancy] has created a network of Studio Inclusion Leads that are responsible for understanding the cultural context and demographics of their city and interests of fellow employees in order to design events and learning opportunities that resonate locally.All of the leads ladder-up into our head of inclusion and diversity who connects them back into resources from Accenture’s Inclusion and Diversity Center of Expertise to ensure we are also lockstep with the ambitious goals of Accenture globally.
Casual dining chain TGI Fridays selected IPG Mediabrands’ Universal McCann (UM) as its U.S. media agency.“We’re thrilled that TGI Fridays, one of America’s brands, has chosen UM to lead its media efforts in the United States,” UM U.S. CEO Lynn Lewis said in a statement.“We look forward to this exciting partnership and the opportunity to leverage our Better Science, Better Art, Better Outcomes proposition to enhance their communication efforts across the U.S.”UM will provide customized media planning services for TGI Fridays restaurants in the U.S., incorporating the agency’s strategy, research and analytics capabilities.The account will be led out of UM’s Detroit office.TGI Fridays spent a little over $45 million on measured marketing domestically for its restaurant brand in 2017 and over $22 million in the first nine months of 2018, a decrease from the nearly $34 million it spent over that period in 2017, according to Kantar Media.
By default, TikTok allows users to see the videos that other users have liked.However, did you know that you can stop other users from seeing the videos you’ve liked?Our guide will show you how this is done.Note: These screenshots were captured in the TikTok application on iOS.Step 1: Tap the profile button in the bottom-right corner of the screen.Step 2: Tap the three dots in the top-right corner of the screen.
Before there were emojis, infographics, flowcharts and photo collages, people shared ideas through the oral tradition of storytelling.Over a millennium ago, storytelling was the primary means of making ideas memorable, impactful and actionable.Because of its primal roots, storytelling is a powerful, timeless means to convey important information, and its use in marketing and advertising is on the rise.The use of brand storytelling to create empathy and connection is possible because of the existence of mirror neurons.Mirror neurons help us feel what others feel, and therefore make stories relatable and motivate action.When you use storytelling in your marketing, you can help your audience identify with your characters by leveraging powerful narration and universal messages.
By Lauren Dichter, Marketing Consultant for Heinz MarketingIn 2018, less than 25% of total survey respondents were confident their ABM programs were effective, while over half of the group of survey respondents with advanced ABM programs were genuinely confident in their programs’ ability to drive revenue!Which begs the question, where do ABM practitioners find the most success, and, perhaps more importantly, what steps are they taking to get there?To find out, Terminus and Heinz Marketing teamed up in late 2018 to conduct a survey of 211 B2B sales and marketing professionals who are currently running ABM programs in their organizations.Through this effort, we uncovered the specific aspects of ABM that gained momentum, remained the same, or lost momentum in 2018 as compared to previous years.Various elements of ABM in 2018 are organized below into these 3 categories:
Marketers less concerned about data tech, IAB annual report findsDigital marketers and publishers increased data-related spending in 2018, and 78 percent plan to spend more next year, one of several findings in the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s newly-released annual report.Podcast Growth Is Popping in the U.S., Survey ShowsThe number of U.S. podcast listeners grew at the fastest rate since Edison Research began tracking statistics in 2006, and with young listeners also on the rise, podcasts may have reached a tipping point, which the New York Times explores.Twitter debuts new analytics tools for publishers focused on improving video engagementTwitter has released a slew of updated and new analytics tools, with Media Studio additions aimed at helping digital marketers achieve better video engagement rates by examining more data, the firm announced.
Lack of time ranked highest followed by lack of skills and budget.Most response options didn’t even merit half the votes, which amounts to a big fat “meh.” We can safely say becoming more data-driven simply isn’t a priority for many.Not only are companies failing to extract full value from their data investments, in some cases they’re being led astray by misinterpreting findings.I group marketing data literacy in three categories:Knowing how to interrogate findingsIf you don’t feel confident about your math skills, I bet your challenge is statistics.
From the very beginning, agency leadership knew that Theranos was no normal client and Elizabeth Holmes wasn’t an ordinary executive.This mysterious entrant to the startup scene had already begun to cause a stir years before fame and controversy turned her into both a pariah and an object of obsession.“When she told us about the product, it sounded phenomenal,” said Stan Fiorito, former managing director at TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles.“We didn’t see it, but we were really excited about it.” Fiorito served as account lead on the Theranos business and, later, a key source for Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou’s work that led to the company’s dissolution.Agency and client first connected by way of a venture capital firm called Sandbox Industries, which brokered a 2012 meeting between Holmes, her brother Christian and Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani as well as Fiorito, TBWA L.A. president Carisa Bianchi and creative leader Lee Clow, who served as the key connection due to his legendary work for another tech startup based in Cupertino, Calif.“We’re the Apple agency, and she wanted to emulate Steve Jobs,” said Fiorito.
Broadcast TV’s streak of white male late-night hosts has finally been broken.NBC has tapped Lilly Singh as its new 1:35 a.m. host, making her the only woman, or person of color, to host a broadcast network’s late-night show.The YouTube star will replace Carson Daly, who last month said he would step down from Last Call With Carson Daly, which he has hosted since 2002.On the new show, A Little Late With Lilly Singh, she’ll conduct in-studio interviews as well as create and star in pre-taped comedy sketches and other segments.Singh will also executive produce the show.“An Indian-Canadian woman with her own late-night show?
A day after Lori Loughlin was arrested and charged in connection with an extensive nationwide college admissions cheating scandal, Hallmark Channel has fired the actress.Crown Media Family Networks, whose Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries networks have enjoyed a longtime partnership with Loughlin, said today it cut ties with the actress.Loughlin starred in the Hallmark drama When Calls the Heart, which is currently airing Season 6, the Garage Sale Mysteries movies on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries and several Hallmark Christmas movies, including 2018’s Homegrown Christmas.“We are saddened by the recent news surrounding the college admissions allegations,” the company said in a statement.“We are no longer working with Lori Loughlin and have stopped development of all productions that air on the Crown Media Family Networks channels involving Lori Loughlin including Garage Sale Mysteries, an independent third party production.”The move comes exactly one week before Crown Media Family Networks holds its annual upfront celebration at New York’s Rainbow Room.
Stagwell Group, the self-described holding company alternative founded by former Microsoft executive Mark Penn in 2015, has reportedly agreed to make a $100 million investment in MDC Partners.Penn will take over as CEO of the struggling holding company following the deal and assume a role on its board of directors.MDC Partners reportedly briefed its executive team on the transaction at 5 p.m. today.Media outlets started reporting the news this evening, citing an internal memo outlining the deal and an interview with Penn.“The biggest challenge for MDC is getting all the agencies firing on strong cylinders,” Penn told The Wall Street Journal.Some have run into real headwinds.”
Twitter issued its 2018 Inclusion and Diversity Report Thursday, saying that its goal for year-end 2019 is to have women represent 53 percent of its overall workforce, while in the U.S., it is aiming for 5 percent black and 5 percent Latinx.The social network said that from December 2017 through December 2018, women at the company worldwide rose from 38.4 percent to 40.2 percent, while blacks went from 3.4 percent of the U.S. workforce to 4.5 percent and Latinx from 3.4 percent to 3.9 percent.Chief marketing officer Leslie Berland also revealed in a tweet that Dalana Brand was promoted to vice president of people experience and head of diversity and inclusion.Brand has only been with the company since last August, when she joined as vp of total rewards after holding the same post at game developer Electronic Arts.Twitter broke down its workforce representation (global for women, U.S. only for blacks and Latinx) by leadership and technical.Women made up 35.8 percent of the company’s leadership at the end of last year, up from 32.5 percent in December 2017, while blacks in leadership rose to 4.7 percent from 3.5 percent and Latinx edged up slightly, from 2.6 percent to 2.7 percent.
A massive outage affecting Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp on Wednesday and Thursday meant users of the platforms found themselves suddenly untethered from the endless and addictive social media scroll, unable to check their news feeds, send messages or upload new content for up to 24 hours.David Herrmann, the co-founder and director of advertising at the agency Social Outlier, said his company “experienced probably our worst day that we had all year” because of the outage.The day began when Herrmann discovered he couldn’t publish campaigns slated to begin Wednesday.He called it “an absolute mess.”“It just got worse and worse” said Herrmann, whose Los Angeles agency works primarily with medium-sized direct-to-consumer businesses.“For a small business, that’s a pretty big hit … and it’s not an easy day for us either because most of our accounts are performance-based, and we don’t make money unless our clients make money,” Herrmann said.
Google Ads’ quality score is a bid multiplier that can make purchasing ads on the popular pay-per-click advertising platform less expensive.A high quality score is also a strong indicator of PPC success, so boosting an ad’s quality score could lead to more interactions and sales.Those results might be a top organic link, a carousel, a local pack, or even an ad.A happy user is also likely to keep coming back to Google for text or voice searches.Similarly, advertisers are happy when their ads are presented to interested customers who click and buy.So Google wins when it can display the best possible ads for a given query.
Facebook revealed that more than 700 million people play games, watch video-game-related videos, or engage with video-game-related groups on the social network each month.As part of Facebook’s ongoing focus on video-game-related content, it has begun rolling out a Facebook Gaming tab in its flagship mobile application’s main navigation bar for select users.The Facebook Gaming tab is part of the social network’s personalized shortcuts feature, which causes the app’s navigation bar to update with different tabs based on the major features people interact with most.In a blog post, vice president of gaming Vijaye Raji said the Facebook Gaming tab will first roll out to a “small subset” of users, and that it will be released to more people in the future.Users will be eligible to receive the tab based on how often they interact with gaming-related content on Facebook on a monthly basis.When users tap the Gaming tab icon, they’ll see a feed of video-game-related content, including Facebook Instant Games; videos posted by streamers, esports organizations and game publishers; and updates from gaming-related Facebook groups.