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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

Kevin McCarthy's rude awakening

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Kevin McCarthy is learning you can get torched when you try to make everyone happy, especially after an insurrection.

Why it matters: The House Republican leader had been hoping to use this year to build toward taking the majority in 2022, but his efforts to bridge intra-party divisiveness over the Capitol siege have him taking heat from every direction, eroding his stature both with the public and within his party.

The next big political war: redistricting

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democrats are preparing a mix of tech and legal strategies to combat expected gerrymandering by Republicans, who are planning to go on legal offense themselves.

Why it matters: Democrats failed to regain a single state legislature on Election Day, while Republicans upped their control to 30 states' Houses and Senates. In the majority of states, legislatures draw new congressional district lines, which can boost a party's candidates for the next decade.

35 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Vaccinations, relief timing dominate Sweet 16 call

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) speaks during a news conference in December with a group of bipartisan lawmakers. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Vaccine distribution, pandemic data and a cross-party comity dominated today's virtual meeting between White House officials and a bipartisan group of 16 senators, Senator Angus King told Axios.

Why it matters: Given Democrats' razor-thin majority in both chambers of Congress, President Biden will have to rely heavily on this group of centrist lawmakers — dubbed the "Sweet 16" — to pass any substantial legislation.