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The Week in Brief

by Bench July 10, 2020

On our radar this week:

Friday 10 July

Spotlight: programmatic transparency

The author of a recent ISBA study that highlighted the need for a reform of programmatic supply chains has reflected on the lessons learnt since its publication.

Following on from an update to its Australian Digital Advertising Practices, IAB Australia has called for the industry to adopt transparency standards across the programmatic supply chain.

Channels: BVOD and social media

Now is the perfect time to invest in connected TV as audiences expand rapidly. 

Don’t miss our insights on the value of BVOD and our full-length interview with BVOD industry leaders.  

Trump considers banning TikTok in the US over tensions with China. This comes after a ban in India and amid similar discussions over security concerns in Australia.

Just for fun

Even during a pandemic, the advertising industry has remained as creative as ever. Check out some of the best ad campaigns of 2020 so far.

Stay tuned for next week. Bench’s Week in Brief rounds up our selection of important industry news, insights and long-form reads. Our aim is to help you navigate a week in the media industry during this time. If you’d like to stay in the loop and receive the weekly updates, sign up below. 

Looking back…

Friday 3 July

Security and privacy issues

Apple has announced a huge change to mobile-ad technology. With its new iOS update in September, users will now have to opt-in for IDFA tracking.

As the Australian government commits to a massive investment in cybersecurity, it’s important to consider how to protect digital channels and consumer identity.

Social media platforms

Many brands are now boycotting advertising on social media platforms such as Facebook in an effort to stop the spread of hate speech. Brands taking a stand include Starbucks, Unilever and Microsoft.

In other Facebook news, the platform will now prioritise original news content and stories with transparent authorship.

Channels: audio and OOH

Spotify is currently testing new interactive in-app offers for podcasts to create a more direct funnel for advertisers.

The City of Sydney has awarded QMS with one of the largest advertising contracts in Australian history, which will lead to a complete reinvigoration of the city’s outdoor advertising assets.

Meanwhile, JCDecaux has launched a national OOH campaign to say “hello” to Australians returning to public spaces after lockdown.

In other news: industry spotlight

The Rubicon Project and Telaria brands have merged to form Magnite.

According to Gartner’s 2020 CMO Spend Survey, marketing budgets are suffering cuts but many CMOs believe the negative impacts of the pandemic won’t be long-lasting.

Friday 26 June

Economic forecasts

Two leading authorities on the effectiveness of advertising, Rob Brittain and Peter Field, have published a new report titled “Winning or Losing in a Recession” to examine the impending recession and the impacts of the pandemic on the advertising industry.

As restrictions start to ease, consumer spending behaviour begins to return to the next normal.

Google’s ad revenue forecast in the US is expected to fall for the first time. Revenues for Facebook and Amazon, which are less reliant on travel advertising, will continue to grow. 

Even with this year’s economic decline, GroupM has reported that it expects “global advertising to grow by 8.2% next year”.

Digital futures and programmatic transparency

Accelerating your digital transformation is the key to future-proofing your business. This continues to be important.

There’s a need for more transparency in adtech as the programmatic-advertising space grows. Calls for a reform and a study by the ISBA earlier this year are efforts in the right direction to ensure open supply chains and fair rates.

Data rights

A new global survey by iProspect reveals that 87% of consumers believe data privacy is a right, and that 91% are concerned about the amount of data companies can collect.

Data Dividend Project claims “data rights are human rights”, and is calling for people to be paid for the data they create on platforms such as Facebook and Google.

In other news…

Menulog’s new advertising campaign features a catchy jingle by Snoop Dogg.

Did TikTok users and K-pop fans really sabotage Trump’s recent rally in Tulsa?

Friday 19 June

A snapshot of the industry: social platforms and media buying

Google is updating its Misrepresentation Policy with a Clickbait Ads Policy in order to avoid misrepresentation and enhance consumer trust. This new policy will cover the use of clickbait tactics, sensationalist text and strong negative emotions in advertising to drive traffic.

LinkedIn now allows retargeting capabilities and the ability to build target audiences from page visits, video views and lead-form opens. And in a move that follows Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook, users can now post Stories on the professional-networking platform.

In a submission to the ACCC, Facebook has claimed that removing news from its platform wouldn’t have a significant impact on its business. And in other news, the ACCC has flagged Google’s recent acquisition of wearable-tech company Fitbit

Leading industry bodies have agreed on a set of working practices to help build trust and transparency in programmatic and the digital advertising supply chain.

The way that media-buying strategies are implemented has changed. Knowing how to adapt is essential for success and survival.

CTV, audio and DOOH are on the rise

As the value of CTV rises, 59% of buyers in the US are increasing their CTV budgets (according to an IAB study).

New data from Roy Morgan has found that 61% of Australians use audio streaming services, and Spotify is by far the most popular.

Nine Radio has announced a new commercial offering and exclusive sponsorships for its news, sport, weather and traffic coverage. 

Following on from our recent Q and A with leading DOOH experts, Broadsign’s Ben Allman outlines why now is the time to get serious about programmatic DOOH.

In other news…

The Media Federation of Australia (MFA) has launched MFA support in response to Australia’s unemployment rate of 7.1%, which is the highest percentage in 19 years. The program will support media professionals who have recently lost their job by providing access to continued education and re-employment opportunities.

If you missed IAB Australia’s webinar on behavioural changes in media consumption, catch up here.

Friday 12 June 

Moving forward

The need for flexibility and agility has always been important for marketers, and it’s only increased in response to the pandemic. A survey by Dentsu Aegis Network revealed that 95% of marketers have changed their 2020 strategies since March.

Research by Emma (Enhanced Media Metrics Australia) reveals that digital news media now reaches more than nine out of 10 Australians – a 10% increase from the previous period.

Programmatic spending is picking up across the globe with markets in the US and Asia on the rise. 

When companies invest in inclusion and diversity, it results in more adaptive teams as we move forward. McKinsey’s 2019 analysis found companies that had higher ethnic diversity outperformed those with lower diversity by 36% in terms of profitability.

Moving away from the pandemic, the conversation around data and privacy continues. A discussion among industry leaders considers how agencies can improve their first-party data capabilities to understand consumer needs.

In an episode of Fear and Greed, Gai Le Roy, CEO of IAB Australia, discusses the huge growth of online advertising in recent years – and how it isn’t slowing down any time soon.

Channel updates

We look to what channels add value to marketers, and how increased movement impacts media trends and consumption. Check out our June insights for the latest updates and research.  

We sat down with industry leaders to hear about the evolving programmatic DOOH space, and in case you missed it, check out IAB’s webinar on DOOH. Brands are increasingly using digital avenues to be smart, creative and engaging. For example, sport retailer Rebel has launched a DOOH campaign to promote the post-lockdown return of AFL.  

Radio is continuing to hit new records. SCA has reported a 42% increase in May live-radio streaming compared to the same month last year.

Social video platform TikTok is having a monster year, and has launched its programmatic buying capabilities in Australia. It’s also looking to launch a new augmented-reality advertising format, which will allow advertisers to add interactive visual effects to their videos. Watch this space. 

Advertisers can create product ads in real-time on Snapchat as the company has now launched Dynamic Product Ads in Australia.  

In other news…

Many brands have responded to the Black Lives Matter movement on social media – see why some responses work, and others miss the mark

One powerful example includes a post by Aesop which highlighted that, “We cannot look away, and words are not enough.” The skincare brand has committed US$100,000 to support organisations that fight racial injustice and promote opportunities for Black people. 

There are many ways to support the movement here in Australia. A few important organisations that support Indigenous communities include Common GroundJawunThe Aboriginal Health Justice Project and Reconciliation Australia.

And in Sydney’s Surry Hills, a huge mural of AFL legend and Indigenous leader Adam Goodes has appeared. The mural was painted by advertising agency Apparition Media.

Friday 29 May

The future is digital

As we mentioned last week, it’s clear the road to recovery is digital. McKinsey looks at how the Australian lockdown experience has created a new set of digital users, and how businesses can emerge stronger

There’s been a huge increase in all things digital and there are clear shifts in the age segments that have been hardest to convert, which means a broader reach of people moving forward. Australians are consuming more digital media from engaging with social platforms to reading news, and participating in online activities such as exercise, shopping and video catch-ups at an increased rate.

These insights are important for marketers to consider when keeping pace with digital strategy as restrictions across the country continue to ease. Check out the change in movement in Google’s latest mobility report for Australia.

Channel insights

Audio usage is on the rise. Southern Cross Austereo has reported that its live-radio streaming and audio-on-demand platforms continue to break records, with weekday listening hours up by 19%. As more cars are on the road with easing restrictions, this increase will only become more significant.

Spotify has removed its library song limits in a move that signals the immense popularity of the platform. 

In TV news, Seven has announced that from June it will be reducing the length of its advertising breaks. This comes after research into the effectiveness of advertising and viewing habits – reduced ad loads will increase the opportunity for brand recall by 25%.

As the free-to-air partner of the AFL, Seven can also expect increased viewership with the start of the sport’s season next month.  

BVOD channel 10 Play has unveiled new experiences for Telstra TV users and advertisers. There will be a simpler design, as well as a compulsory log-in feature, which will allow for additional data and targeting capabilities.  

DOOH is set to add a lot of value for advertisers as people are on the move. With the gradual return to school, work and social normalcy, we’ll see the increase of opportunities for programmatic and digital out-of-home. A reliance on digital is a safe bet to improve campaign ROI

Get ahead of the curve with oOh!media’s latest pulse report, and sign up to IAB’s upcoming webinar “DOOH: from Go to Whoa” to learn more.

In other news
Actor John Krasinski has sold his popular YouTube show Some Good News to CBS. Let’s hope the good news and positivity keeps on coming after the move.

Friday 22 May

The road to recovery

Digital is the way forward in the COVID-19 recovery period. McKinsey Digital looks at how to keep pace and accelerate the use of technology effectively. It’s important for marketers to refocus digital efforts towards changing consumer expectations and enhancing the customer experience journey. Being agile and quick to adapt is a must, too.

As always, the marketing cycle is constantly in motion – and now more so than ever. It’s time to get back on track by revisiting marketing strategies, understanding the consumer and thinking long-term. We look to Kantar’s recent Marketing in Motion insights and trends forecast on getting media right.

And how can we emerge from this crisis stronger? Many advertisers have paused in this time, but that’s not necessarily the solution here. It’s all about connecting with people and investing in long-term branding.

Industry updates

As we mentioned last week, ISBA’s study on programmatic supply chains highlighted the need for a change. IAB Australia’s technology lead Jonas Jaanimagi contemplates how the industry should respond.

As the ACCC investigation into Google and Facebook continues, frameworks for how news media can be compensated for content have been put forward.


Where should marketers be focusing their efforts at this time?

DOOH will have significant value for marketers as restrictions ease across the country. Digital outdoor company QMS has won the outdoor advertising contract for City of Sydney from JCDecaux. It also recently won the digital portfolio for 7-Eleven’s advertising screens.

Mobile is at the forefront of digital advertising’s recovery. There’s been a shift away from desktop as mobile phone usage and content consumption have intensified. Video ads have taken a hit due to budget constraints, but the value of mobile video is here to stay.

YouTube has announced a relaunch of its premium ad offering as YouTube Select, which offers more flexibility to reach and target audiences.

Facebook and Instagram have introduced a new Shops feature. Now, sellers can connect with customers directly via in-app purchases on the social platforms. Watch this space!

Friday 15 May

Industry updates

As restrictions start to ease, spending has continued to increase in areas including online retail and subscriptions, supermarkets and food delivery. Gyms, public transport, travel and hospitality continue to be impacted with heavy falls in spend. 

The publication of a groundbreaking study by the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) has called for a reform of programmatic supply chains revealing there’s “a lack of understanding and consistency among the ad tech suppliers as to how they could legally share data and what permissions were needed”. This study has augmented the efforts by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to investigate Australia’s media supply chains. 

Data challenges

The conversation around data and value exchange has continued. Since Google announced it was making moves to build a more private web, there has been a lot of discussion around what this will mean for digital marketers.

Brands are starting to turn to first-party data and the growing demand for personalised experiences as a solution. Value exchange is key here, as is brand trust.

IAB Australia is running a webinar series on the responsible use of data and best practices. If you missed part one yesterday, make sure to tune in for the next two. 

Channels and publishing

Buzzfeed announced the closure of its Australian operations as the current climate continues to have a huge impact on the publishing industry.

Although times have been tough in publishing, native continues to be an important channel of value for advertisers. IAB recently hosted a webinar with local creative examples, and make sure you check out our guide on how native can help your brand throughout COVID-19.

In other news…

It’s important to stay connected, and especially now. There are many ways technology can help keep us sane and adapt to our new reality.

According to Google Trends, “coronavirus” is still highly searched but is no longer topping Google’s daily search trends. As restrictions start to ease, perhaps this is a sign of good things to come on the road to recovery.

And finally, Ryan Reynolds has produced a spot-on ad/presentation for Mint Mobile. It’s perhaps meant as a parody but also reveals how advertisers can pivot their campaigns in the current climate. It’s definitely worth a watch.