Sep 24, 2019

Alliances are Advertising Week's big trend

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Heading into Advertising Week, The ad market is healthy and is forecasted to grow slightly higher than expected during the second half of the year due to positive economic growth.

The big picture: It's still mostly controlled by Google and Facebook, and after years of trying to figure out how to take on the "duopoly," publishers have mostly resorted to the same thing they've been trying to do for years: team up.

  • Yes, but: Experts worry that a recession or economic downturn could impact spending by some of the biggest categories in the years ahead: Tech, Finance, Retail and Travel. So while the second half of the year should look as rosy as the first, 2020 and 2021 may start to look different.

What's new (in digital):

  • The Washington Post said last week that it's creating an ad network for premium publishers to take on Google.
  • BuzzFeed, Group Nine. and Insider (Business Insider) are creating an ad sales alliance to sell video ads, The Wall Street Journal reports.

What's new (in TV):

  • NCC Media, a joint ad venture between some of the biggest cable companies, said it's rebranding and added new data targeting options for TV.
  • AT&T's Xandr ad company said it added Bloomberg and Vudu to its joint ad marketplace for video advertising sellers.
  • Open AP, an advanced TV ad alliance between big networks like Viacom, NBC and Fox, announced a new buying strategy and leadership changes.

Yes, but: On the buy side, advertisers aren't all aligned on whether or not they support these join efforts from the publishers.

  • During a panel I moderated last week at AT&T's advertising conference, some of the country's biggest buyers noted that sellers do these things to make it easier for them to sell ads, but these fragmented alliances don't always make ads easier to buy.

Go deeper: The rise of addressable ad alliances

Go deeper

Political ads become 2020 flashpoint

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Tech giants, TV networks, and even transit companies are all struggling to figure out how to manage political ads ahead of the 2020 election. While some firms choose to run lots of political and issue ads with little oversight, others opt to ban them altogether.

Why it matters: Absent strict government regulation of political ads across all media, the decision over how to manage those ads is left to companies. And while most firms have faced this dilemma for years, the hyper-political environment leading up to 2020 is shining a stronger spotlight to their decisions.

Go deeperArrowOct 4, 2019

CNN refused to air Trump campaign's Biden-Ukraine ad

Photo: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

CNN refused to air a Trump campaign ad that pushes misleading claims about Joe Biden's role in the ouster of a Ukrainian prosecutor and suggests the network's anchors are the Democrats' "media lapdogs," The Daily Beast reports. The Trump campaign said the ad is "factually accurate."

Why it matters: This isn't the first time CNN has determined that the Trump campaign crossed its red line on advertising political content. When CNN stopped running an ad that vilified immigrants in 2018, NBC and Fox later followed suit.

Go deeperArrowOct 3, 2019

More than $8 million spent on Trump impeachment ads in 2 weeks

Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

$8.3 million has been spent nationwide on ads talking about President Trump's impeachment, according to Advertising Analytics, a firm that specializes in media ad spending.

Why it matters: About 75% of that spend ($6.23 million) has come from Trump's 2020 campaign and the Republican National Committee. The Republican establishment wants to turn the impeachment crisis into a political tool, doubling down on the issue in an effort to curry favor 2020 voters — rather than hiding from it.

Go deeperArrowOct 11, 2019