Ben Young
Ben Young
June 22, 2018

T’was the week of Cannes – where we got headlines from the regular suspects, that we expected to get.

Heat on Influencer marketing, easy and justified, transparency is needed.

^^ Calling on the social networks to clean up fake followers, for ad spend that isn’t flowing through them, is ambitious though 😉 Given they already block tens of millions of fake accounts/bots each day.

AT&T is heating things up, expect acquisitions.

Notable stories this week

  • [Long read] Nobody gets out alive if the advertising model fails, not Facebook, not Google, not Amazon. An interview with Ken Auletta, author of Frenemies.
  • Microsoft’s browser, beta tests built in ad blocking, toggled on by the user.
  • How Twitter made the tech world’s most unlikely comeback.
  • Bidtellect announced their contextual updates.
  • PressBoard replaces your ads with cats, through smart retargeting.
  • Where brands go wrong with Branded Content.
  • WaPo to utilize Heliograf to create AI driven branded content. A great sound bite but also a promising avenue for publishers in monetization, auto generated (useful) content that brands want to pay to support. That sounds like a win/win if the audience is paying attention. I envisage a point in time where ‘AI’ driven content will be a portfolio decision, how much is too much – the same as syndicated content has been in the past.
  • How Two B2B Publishers are driving meaningful engagement with sponsored content.
  • Facebook is beginning to open up its influencer marketplace. The idea is to make it easier for brands and influential content creators to find each other.
  • OutBrain launches video recommendation units. Not autoplay. Click to play. This actually seems a like a good solution for distributing video and getting opt in views. Delivered with their partnership with Innovid – nice.


  • No specific deals but AT&T changes are likely to change that, So watch this space.

Campaign of the week

  • Making a masterpiece that transcends time, by JANUS et Cie on FT. Great storytelling, high quality images and fantastic brand lift throughout. Truth be told, we haven’t seen a piece quite like it. Well done!

Making a masterpiece that transcends time, by JANUS et Cie on FT

Smartest commentary

Datapoints of note

  • The latest data suggests that the optimal length for native video content on mobile and tablet should be between 15 and 22 seconds. After 22 seconds, user interest does wane.
  • 84% of 1.7b YouTube views were driven by influencers, as opposed to 13% for media companies and 3% for brands.


  • [July 12th] ARF’s NATIVExSCIENCE. Native advertising and branded content are approaches often outperforming traditional advertising. How to plan? How to develop? How to measure?
  • Native Institute is hosting Native Days this November. Use code NAIFRIENDBEN to save.

That’s it for this week.



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