Ben Young
Ben Young
February 16, 2018

Keith Weed opened the week saying Unilever will divest from platforms that don’t combat divisive content. He quickly clarified that wasn’t quite the case. But shots fired – point made.

What I do like, is that this is getting brands to think about alternative platforms, and there are some great solutions in market. This week FlipBoard have been putting their hand up.

Notable stories this week

  • The rise of the 21st century brand. A surprising (from the IAB) but great POV on how brands are built today, and why this is creating an advertising disconnect. [pdf link]. Do any readers recommend a book on the same?
  • Facebook’s new branded-content guidelines will force some publishers to abandon a business model. The pressure is on.
  • Google Chrome has begun ridding the internet of crappy ads. Each week I use Google Chrome in preparing this newsletter. I open 30-50 tabs, to read all the stories, synthesize and digest. This week, was the first it hasn’t overheated.
  • Branded content faces measurement challenge.
  • Flipboard cozies up to Facebook weary publishers. I am a fan of Flipboard, it’s my magazine on my iPad during the evening. We also see from Nudge data that Flipboard inventory works particularly well for branded content.
  • Ads on premium sites more effective than those on social media, garnering 17% more attention.
  • Google AMP extends to stories. Welcome to the open web of stories.
  • Outbrain launching a closed network recommendation network for premium publishers. Smart. A reflection of the rapidly changing market towards quality.
  • Penny Hoarder has been using SnapChat to promote branded content with their swipe up ads.
  • There’s a skill shortage in branded content, Melanie’s Overlap League is a good spot for sharing and finding new opportunities.
  • Data is key to branded content success.
  • [From us] We interviewed Variety’s Content Studio team about their Loving campaign, how they are able to consistently produce content of the highest calibre & what their content predictions are for 2018.


  • PowerLinks nabs $6.1m in a Series A round. < Well done, Kev.

Campaign of the Week

  • Tourism content, featuring local business (win) and a compelling reason to visit year round (craft beer). Maryland’s Beach & Beyond with The Washington Post.
  • ‘Smart Cities: Charleston, South Carolina’ by Volvo + National Geographic is a great piece about a beautiful city steeped in rich history, with a new creative economy that will only continue to grow. You see why Volvo’s keen to share that this is where their first American factory is opening up later this year.
  • CollegeHumor put together some footage of media animals battling it out in their natural habitat.

Datapoints of note



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