Kantar Media Newsroom: And the Winner is....Inclusion Rider!

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. 

Movers and Shakers

Highs and lows from Oscar’s big night

Too long, too many commercials and a tense red carpet were some of the critiques. However; presenters, long-shot winners and Best Actress winner Frances McDormand’s feminist power speech introducing the larger public to the concept of “inclusion riders,” demanding their projects be comprised of diverse casts, “both onscreen and in ‘below the line’ positions, where women, people of color, and members of L.G.B.T. communities are traditionally underrepresented.” The 90th annual Academy Awards took a tone of equality, women and minority representation and featured a diverse array of presenters, nominees and winners. Fortunately for both second-time host Jimmy Kimmel and the Academy, there was no “evelopegate” this year either, “The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences confirmed several changes in January, including that presenters make sure they have the correct envelope before they go onstage, with that fact confirmed by stage managers, too. PwC accountants were forbidden from using social media during the show, in hopes of reducing distractions.”

Move over Papa John’s, there’s a new pizza in town

Just one day after Papa John’s and the NFL ended their partnership, a new official pizza of the NFL was announced. Pizza Hut, home of stuffed-crust pizza, now holds the title. “The company is the biggest pizza chain in the country with 7,500 locations — twice as many locations as Papa John's. Pizza Hut can use NFL tickets and ‘unique fan experiences’ for games in its marketing. Terms of the deal were not yet disclosed, although the league said it was for multiple years.” Papa John’s founder and former CEO John Schnatter got into a bit of a PR blunder when he blamed the NFL-player-anthem-kneeling for its declining sales, ultimately leading to his departure and mutual agreement to end the official football partnership.

Condé Nast’s Teen Vogue is run by a 26-year old, and they love it

The ever-changing world of publishing has young and old alike curious of its best path forward. Listless ad sales, declining readership, shuttered titles, all make for a question of “what’s next for the trusty dusty magazine?” Enter Phillip Picardi, once-intern now-leader of Teen Vogue. The 26-year old has catapulted to the top, winning over critics with his edgy, new age view for Teen Vogue and how to attract clicks now that it’s only served in digital format. Post-election think pieces helped shape the one-time adolescent fashion mag to somewhat of a reference title – from retweets to Dan Rather to an appearance on The Daily Show, Teen Vogue and Mr. Picardi’s leadership were forever altered. “Mr. Picardi’s flair for riding a cultural wave continues to win him key fans in the building. ‘I think there’s no end to his potential,’ Robert A. Sauerberg Jr., Condé Nast’s chief executive, said. ‘He’s innovative, he knows the marketplace, he knows young people, he knows all ages, he’s not afraid, he’s courageous, he’s a brand-builder, he’s a culture-driver. And it’s just in his bones — it’s not like you trained him. It’s just there.’ When I asked Ms. Wintour if she thought Mr. Picardi could one day run Condé Nast, she did not swat away the question. ‘For Phill, anything is possible,’ she said. ‘It’s his road to take.’”

What keeps CMOs up at night?

Questionable sushi and two-for-ones at the local watering hole aside, what are the things that keep the country’s CMOs up in the middle of the night? Understanding the consumer experience, knowing the difference between important and urgent initiatives, and most of all, measuring the right data to evaluate those initiatives are what play lead roles in CMO nightmares. Things like digital transformation and having the key talent in place to drive the company’s plans forward remain constants in the ever-changing world we live in. More and more, understanding the customer and being able to evaluate and measure successes is becoming the benchmark for all marketing heads, and once there’s a handle on it, the sky is the limit for driving strategy.


Another day, another White House shakeup

White House Communications Director Hope Hicks resigned just about six months after she officially took the top ranking post. In another sign of a tumultuous environment, the White House is tasked with yet again finding communications leaders to adequately keep the public informed. Her resignation comes at a curious time, with timing tied closely to a few developments, “Her involvement in the Rob Porter scandal as both communications director and his girlfriend, and her House Intelligence Committee testimony Tuesday in which she admitted to telling white lies for Trump. If nothing else, the timing is suspicious for a resignation to come so close in proximity to each of those two things. But consider the alternative. The alternative is that someone who has been in the White House for 13 months started thinking about leaving well shy of a year on the staff — and shortly after rising to one of the top jobs. The point: Regardless of which one it was, it doesn't portend good things or stability in the White House moving forward.”

Trump, tariffs, turmoil

Alliteration is fun, isn’t it? What’s not fun is a roller coaster stock market, especially after the President discusses imposing significant tariffs on steel and aluminum, upsetting markets globally. On top of it all, revamping the NAFTA agreement – something he’s been lamenting about since his candidacy – seems to be tied directly to this new development, as opposed to a separate conversation. “It’s the latest sign that Trump’s plan to impose stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum is overshadowing talks to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement. The president’s intervention may complicate a process that had already been yielding little progress on the most contentious issues.” Currency values in both Canada and Mexico dropped, angering and scaring analysts across the board. News regarding the tariff issue spread throughout the weekend, with big GOP donors voicing their displeasure at the developments, stating costs would force their companies to do more business outside the US, at the expense of US workers. Interest groups also chimed in, “the Club for Growth, an organization with close ties to the billionaire Koch Brothers, slammed Trump's plan as both a philosophical and economic failure. ‘The idea of imposing steel or aluminum tariffs of any kind is an affront to economic freedom,’ Club for Growth President David McIntosh said. ‘We urge the Trump Administration not to impose tariffs that could threaten to undo the historical economic growth the tax cuts and the president's deregulatory agenda have unleashed.’”

Social Media

First casualty of the Facebook algorithm change?

Little Things, an online video publisher has shut down, with its announcement to employees claiming the drastic changes to Facebook’s algorithm put the company on the outs. “The prioritization of friends/family content over publishers was the last straw. Our organic traffic (the highest margin business), and influencer traffic were cut by over 75%. No previous algorithm update ever came close to this level of decimation. The position it put us in was beyond dire.” The fear of Facebook’s shift is nothing new, it just seems the actuality of it all proved to be too much for Little Things, perhaps being one example of a host of media companies who will need to shift or close as a result.

Fake news got you down? NewsGuard Technologies to the rescue!

The $6 million start up, NewsGuard Technologies is set to launch this fall, poised to be the faux-news-police as platforms scramble to find solutions to combat the growing problem of fake news. On an interview with CBS, co-founder Steve Brill explained, “’We're going to hire dozens of journalists to read and review the 7,500 news and information sites that are responsible for 98 percent of [news] consumption in the United States. It's going be very simple; they're going to be charged with telling the difference between the Denver Post, which is a real newspaper, and the Denver Guardian, which is a hoax site.’” The service will then evaluate the news sources as “red, yellow or green,” allowing users to learn about the site and make the determination if it is credible or not, simply by hovering their mouse over the site. This concept is a step away from the algorithms being developed by the platforms themselves, which seem to not address and remedy the problem effectively.

Who's on Top? - February 19-25, 2018

Google Home Max takes center stage 

The Winter Olympics took the gold for new TV ad spending for the third week in a row. New commercials airing during the games accounted for 34 percent of all new national expenditures during the week of February 19th, reaching $43 million.

Google spent $5 million to promote the newest addition to the Google Home family - the Google Home Max. Advertising for Max began in January 2018 and, this week, Google upped its promotion by increasing exependitures tenfold and placing ads mainly during broadcasts of the highly coveted Olympics.


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