Kantar Media Newsroom: Where’s the Beef? Or Rather, What’s the Beef?

Welcome to this week’s Kantar Media Newsroom, your weekly summary of the news that matters in the media and marketing industries. To learn more about how we can help you monitor both paid and earned media and make informed decisions, please contact us at info-us@kantarmedia.com.

Corporate and Private Intersect

12 days post Florida school shooting, and we’re still talking

It’s a good thing to come from a horrible tragedy. The nation is still discussing the issues that played a role in the latest school shooting, and now companies are doing something about it as well. Until the US government figures out how they will handle the situation, corporate partners of the National Rifle Association (NRA) are sending a message with their pocketbooks. #BoycottNRA has gained steam, thanks to the marches, rallies and outspoken student survivors of the mass casualty incident at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Now, over a dozen brands have cut ties with the NRA, nixing discounts and perks for its bevvy of members, including United Airlines, Enterprise, Best Western and MetLife. The one industry that hasn’t responded to the boycott is big tech – with Apple, Google, or Amazon acknowledging the plea to back down from the NRA – but, “If they do, and the world’s largest tech corporations effectively declare the NRA a pariah, boycotters have proposed plans to advance on the gun rights group’s power centers: its political capital and massive funding, which for decades have made the NRA one of the most feared lobbies in the United States.” This is the most aggressive stance against the NRA – even more so than the response following the Sandy Hook school shooting six years prior. Maybe companies taking a stand will be the ultimate push to get the gun reform discussion its proper due.

Winter Olympics fans become the advertisement

All around Olympic Park in Pyeongchang, South Korea, banners and digital ads were to be found, but more, the type of interaction between brands and the visitors themselves has grown to a whole new level. Want a picture next to a bobsled? Here, post your pic with this specific hashtag – no, wait, you spelled it wrong, try again – yes, here’s a logoed plush bear for participating. Global brands spend millions upon millions to be sponsors – official timekeeper, official soft drink, official toilet paper (I’m sure that is true…) all in exchange for this new type of marketing. Millennials changed the game when it came to reaching and building awareness, it’s all about the hashtag now, the interaction with the brand in hand, and these consumers are willing to stand in line, sell their soul for a millisecond in order to be part of it. Will this type of marketing – policing hashtags and forcing particular posts from its spectators – become the norm? We’ll see in two years when the Summer Games come to Toyko.

The GDPR is coming! The GDPR is coming!

Not sure if it’ll be wearing a red coat or anything, but marketers around Europe are starting to wonder just how to cope with the upcoming enforcement of the Global Data Protection Regulation toward the end of May. What is the GDPR you ask? It’s, “Intended to put the privacy back into the concept of private data, GDPR enables consumers to view, limit and control how businesses collect and process their personal information.” It imposes financial penalties to companies who do not comply, and is coined as the largest regulation of digital advertising to date. This development is significant worldwide, as companies will try to streamline their practices in advance of this enforcement – while still trying to get as much information on their users as possible. Mass pandemonium hasn’t set in, as “more marketers are treating the GDPR as an evolution of existing data-privacy law, and not as a revolution. The legal basis for processing personal data under the data protection act in the U.K. and the pan-European GDPR has not changed, experts such as Robert Streeter, News UK’s data protection and privacy officer, have previously confirmed. Yes, the threshold for consent has changed, but it was always a necessity to an extent.”

Would You Like the Steak, or Chicken?

Where’s the beef?

Ranchers unite to fight faux meat. Huh? For years there have been veggie burgers, tofurkey and other meat-like abominations, but why is the U.S. Cattlemen's Association fighting it now? Well, because companies are starting to use chemicals and other magic-like ingredients to make vegetarian dishes taste and give the mouthfeel of meat products. I know your mouth is watering. In order to combat the idea of vegetarians encroaching on their meaty turf, “The association launched what could be the first salvo in a long battle against plant-based foods. Earlier this month, the association filed a 15-page petition with the U.S. Department of Agriculture calling for an official definition for the term ‘beef,’ and more broadly, ‘meat.’” While the majority of consumers know whether or not they want to consume a real-meat product or a vegetarian product, it does open a dialogue. Do these ranchers have something to worry about? Maybe. “Data from HealthFocus International show that 60% of U.S. consumers claim to be reducing their consumption of meat-based products. Of those cutting back, 55% say the change is permanent. So for companies cashing in on the growing plant-based food market, a naming war could make for a rocky relationship with the beef industry.” Still hungry? Thought so.

Maybe KFC can use a little veggie help

BECAUSE IT RAN OUT OF CHICKEN! No, this isn’t the start of some silly children’s riddle. KFC locations in the UK actually ran out of chicken, forcing stores to close and corporate to issue an apology. “The company’s officials have attributed the chaos to problems after KFC switched its delivery contract to DHL, leading to a logistical failure in Britain, the fifth-biggest market for KFC.” While it seems they have been able to get those chickens to cross the road (haha) to reach KFC’s UK locations, it wasn’t an easy week for the fried-poultry giant. “Risky ad strategies aside, things have been getting back to normal. As of Friday, about 800 of the 900 KFC restaurants in Britain and Ireland were open, although the disruptions — including stores closing, operating with shorter hours or offering a reduced menu — would continue through the weekend. A list of open KFC restaurants was being updated on its website every 15 minutes.”

Ad News

The Oscars are sold out!

Stick a fork in it, ABC announced it has officially sold out of its ad slots for the 90th iteration of the Academy Awards. Of course, outside of sporting events – ehem Super Bowl – when else can advertisers grab the attention of that many eyeballs? The Oscars provide a broad enough audience to warrant price tags of roughly $2.6 million for a 30-second spot. What’s more, the show tends to only allow for so much advertising, unlike other events which are often cluttered with brand messaging from pregame to post show, even though the awards show seems to show signs of growing ad time. “According to Kantar Media, ABC between 2007 and 2012 aired around 60 30-second ads and promotional units in each of its Oscars broadcasts, which added up to a little more than 31 minutes in commercial/promo time. In the past three years, the spot load has jumped to as many as 80 units, or 45 minutes of ad time, although in-house ABC promos accounted for around two-thirds of the bonus units.”

P&G sheds more ad weight, Unilever too

Oh the humanity! Proctor & Gamble, one of the largest packaged goods producers on the planet, is trimming yet again, shedding another $400 million from its ad budget for this fiscal year – on top of another $750 million reduction already in place. “The moves represent a huge decrease in agency and production fees—$1.15 billion—from a base pegged by analysts at around $2 billion when the process began in mid-2015. Around the start of the decade, P&G spent around $1 billion on agency fees and production annually. Today's announcement would appear to take P&G below that mark, albeit in a company with sales around a quarter smaller thanks to divestiture of 100 smaller or less-profitable brands in the ensuing years.” It is ultimately changing the way it interacts and contracts with its agencies, instead of fees dedicated to retainers, it is looking to open-source some of its work and create a more balanced portfolio and agency roster. Unilever made waves this past week as well, pledging to cut budget going forward. “Around $2.5 billion of the $7.5 billion Unilever plans in cost savings by 2019 will come from a combination of marketing and overhead reductions (such as thinning the internal management ranks).”

Who's on Top? - February 5-11, 2018

Toyota’s first-ever global marketing campaign The Winter Olympics accounted for 28 percent of new national TV ad spend during the week of February 12th. Overall, $129 million was spent on new broadcast placements. 

Inspirational messaging continued with Toyota's first ever global marketing campaign titled "Start Your Impossible." The campaign highlights real-life stories of Olympic, Paralympic and everyday athletes. As part of the campaign, Toyota released two new ads this week which together made up 99 percent of the brand’s new ad spend.


Want to receive these insights weekly straight to your inbox?

Fill out the form on this page or click here!

Reputation PR monitoring and Evaluation
Read more
Social Media Intelligence
Read more