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A fracture in the newsbrand market

17 Jan 2020  |  David Pidgeon 
A fracture in the newsbrand market

'Extremely concerning', 'strange', 'amazingly short-sighted', 'very Brexit', 'a statement of surrender', 'severely damaging'.

It was hard - actually impossible - to find anything good in the reactions to Thursday's news that the Daily Telegraph has pulled out of ABC audits, thus fragmenting a market often praised for its collaboration.

So why has publisher TMG - which put the Telegraph up for sale last year - gone and done it? They were ranked a respectable second place in the quality market, and advertisers are crying out for trusted, independent and verified data.

The official line is that digital subscriptions are the new key metric, and circulations aren't, so in place of ABC will be 'volumes and average revenue per subscription', audited by PwC.

However, ABC data underpins trading in the newsbrand market and IPA member agencies support its use. This will shatter commercial confidence.

And with accusations that the Telegraph has been counting people with fake email addresses as 'registered users', this already looks like a step backwards for media measurement, and we think will cause untold trouble later down the line.

Or perhaps the entire strategy here is simply to confuse people about its size and value as it seeks to look plump ahead of securing a potential buyer.

 

Where do you stand?

This week Dominic Mills argued that adland is developing something of a Messiah Complex over climate action - but it really shouldn't because any impact it can make is only going to be right at the margins.

It's clear that this is an issue that has been slowly dividing opinion. Social media comments suggest plenty of people agree with Mills, and similar comments made during last week's Year Ahead were met with a spontaneous round of applause from some senior names in the room.

However, others feel that adland has both a responsibility and an incentive to take action tackling the climate crisis - and with Mills declaring in his column that he is open to being persuaded otherwise, two members of the industry have risen to the challenge.

Here, Ollie Joyce, head of worldwide at Mindshare, makes the cold-hard business-case for climate action within advertising, arguing that sustainability will be the "megatrend" to shape markets over the next 20 years.

"I've never seen such a such a significant upswing in consumer data on a similarly broad topic," Joyce writes.

And who better than the most recent recipient of the Mackintosh Medal, Tess Alps, to explain why Mills should cheer rather than fret when adland aspires to make the world a better place... and how good, emotionally rewarding advertising will be the key to getting us to start paying more and consuming less.

 

Global's OOH ambitions

It's been some time since Global went on its surprise out-of-home buying spree, and this week it finally launched its offering.

At a packed venue next door to Piccadilly, the biggest take-away was that the business was to incorporate OOH into DAX, Global's existing digital exchange for audio.

That's no real surprise. But other news that might have escaped attention was the commitment not just to digital, but the classic 48 sheet too.

In an open letter published in Mediatel News last year, big name clients called for the protection of classic and highly effective inventory, and Global said it understood the message and would invest in the old as well as the (digital) new.

The only thing missing from Global's initial plans was any mention of mobile - which has proven synergies with OOH and has been talked up by other media owners in the market. But it's still early days and the message this week was that Global now wants to test, learn and partner.

We might also need to understand how Global plans to grow OOH's market share and which budgets it will attack to do so.

However, as Kinetic's boss, Alistair MacCallum, states in this reaction article, what is being offered "is a very compelling articulation of the Global proposition and particularly how they can combine the strengths of OOH and radio to deliver an extraordinary level of reach and impact...Global's pedigree in audio is a reason to believe that they will help transform and grow the OOH market."


@David_Pidgeon

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