100% Media Roundup: Google, Reddit, FreeWheel, Channel 4
This is a daily digest of news stories from around the media world, updated by The Media Leader team, to ensure you’re 100% up-to-date.
Thursday, 8 September
Google CEO ‘wants to make the company 20% more efficient’
Google CEO Sundar Pichai said he wants to make the company 20% more efficient, according to reports.
That could mean a significant number of job cuts, following years of expansion in hiring.
Pichai said at the Code Conference on Tuesday in Los Angeles: “The more we try to understand the macroeconomic, we feel very uncertain about it. The macroeconomic performance is correlated to ad spend, consumer spend and so on”.
Dutch city bans public meat advertisements
The Dutch city of Haarlem became the first city in the world to ban the public display of advertisements for meat products on Tuesday, according to reports.
The city will enact the prohibition beginning in 2024, per a report from The Guardian.
Last month, France moved to ban fossil fuel advertisements across the country amid a broader effort from environmental advocates to push governments and businesses to more speedily address the climate crisis.
Reddit begins changing its feed
Reddit has announced the first of “a steady flow of updates” to its continuous scrolling feed.
Beginning today on the iOS Reddit app, the Home, Popular, and News feeds will move from the top of the app screen into a drop-down menu.
To switch feeds, users can either swipe between them (which is the primary way most redditors switch between feeds today, according to a blog post by the platform) or simply tap on the drop-down menu and select your desired feed.
The change comes as other social media companies are also tweaking their feeds; Meta’s Facebook and Instagram have evolved their feeds to compete more directly with TikTok.
FreeWheel appoints first chief strategy officer
Comcast company, FreeWheel, has appointed Soo Jin Oh as its first chief strategy officer.
In the new role, Oh (pictured, below) will be responsible for developing strategy to achieve the company’s global long-term vision, as well as boost business operations and build relationships within the advertising ecosystem.
She will be based in New York and report to Mark McKee, general manager of FreeWheel.
Oh joins FreeWheel from Gamut where she was vice president of client strategy and solutions within five years. Prior to she began her career as an account manager at Google and later held roles at Magnetic, IDG TechnNetwork and DogTime Media Inc, now Evolve Media.
FreeWheel focusses on connecting the TV advertising industry and enabling TV advertising’s addressable future with efficiency at scale.
Channel 4 appoints 4Sales AV leader
Sonia Cunningham has joined the 4Sales team as London AV leader from Hearts & Science.
The newly created role means Cunningham (pictured, main image) will be in charge of the audiovisual team in London, comprising the customer-facing sales team and AV Hub, and the strategy for the “effective delivery” of linear and digital advertising activity.
She will start in the role in October and report in to Victoria Appleby, head of sales in London. Additionally, she will work “collaboratively” with Loretta Hagger, the AV leader of the Manchester 4Sales team. Together they will aim to drive maximum commercial revenue across Channel 4, support the Trading Team and deliver deals.
Most recently at Hearts & Science, Cunningham was head of AV for more than three years and prior to that worked at Wavemaker as business director and activation lead managing the £100m L’Oréal account across a range of divisions.
The GoodNet partners with zero waste app, Ferris
Sustainability start-up The GoodNet has announced a partnership with Ferris, “the Zero Waste App”.
As part of the agreement, The GoodNet will take on the sales of Ferris’s new advertising and sponsorship products. Meanwhile The GoodNet’s advertisers will be able to reach Ferris’s user base of ethical consumers.
Ferris is an app with 35,000 users giving and acquiring once-loved items for free. It was founded by ex-BT and Sky executives, Phil Galloway and Nick Castle, to inspire consumers to reduce waste by transforming the circular economy.
Research by McKinsey has predicted 50% of consumers in the UK have purchased pre-owned items, and as sustainability-conscious Gen Z age, that proportion will only rise.
The GoodNet’s mission allows advertisers to reach an audience of ethical consumers, while directly funding publishers with content that inspires people to live greener, healthier and more socially positive lives.
Read more on The GoodNet here: Greener, healthier, fairer: what ‘good’ means in ex-Global execs’ start-up The Goodnet
Bauer Media Audio launches ad-free subscription in Finland
Bauer Media Audio has launched a premium subscription radio service in Finland.
The service will offer subscribers 24/7 ad-free access to all 13 Bauer Media Audio Finland radio brands and two online stations for a fee.
Radio Nova Premium, Iskelmä Premium, Radio City Premium, NRJ Premium, Radio Nostalgia Premium, Radio Pooki Premium, Suomirock Premium, Kasari Premium, Basso Premium, Suomiräp Premium, TOP51 Premium, Radio Classic Premium, Radio Pori Premium, Ysäri Premium and KISS Premium will be available across web, app and supported smart speakers for a three-month free trial, followed by a monthly subscription fee of 4.99 EUR.
Bauer Media Audio reaches 61 million weekly listeners in nine countries.
Clairol partners Channel 4’s First Dates
Clairol, the at-home hair colour brand, has partnered with Channel 4’s First Dates to encourage people to “find their perfect match”.
A 30-second ad starring First Dates talent, Cici Coleman and Daniella Kalita (pictured, below) talking about how they found their perfect match, will run in the premium first break spot during First Dates Hotel until 11 October.
The spot will run across live and on-demand TV on All 4, produced by First Dates creators Twenty Twenty Productions.
The campaign aims to show the expertise of Clairol as an at-home hair dye solution for all women, no matter their hair type or level of commitment, and drive confidence and “empower” women of all ages to to come to “life in full colour”.
The TV activation will be supported by store marketing and social activity running until 21 November. The “Find Your Perfect Match” campaign will continue throughout the holiday season as well as in the lead up to Valentine’s Day 2023.
The partnership was negotiated by Zenith and Publicis Media Content.
Mindshare UK: prepare for the most frugal Christmas in a generation
Four in 10 Brits are worried about affording Christmas this year according to a new study.
Mindshare UK’s Reality Check report asked more than a thousand UK adults how they were feeling about Christmas, revealing the number of people feeling “very negative” about the festive period was almost five times higher than the same time last year at 14% of those surveyed. Meanwhile, those feeling “positive” about Christmas was down by a quarter to 25%.
The 35-54 year-old age group were the most likely to be concerned, as more than half of those surveyed in this demographic were worried about covering the costs of Christmas this year.
The report warned brands should be prepared for “the most frugal Christmas in living memory” as the cost-of-living crisis puts pressure on people’s disposable income.
More than three-quarters (78%) said they would prioritise saving over “splurging”, and nearly 80% anticipated staying in rather than going out.
However, 59% of those surveyed said they wanted to make sure their kids did not miss out, while 56% expected they would rather spend on loved ones than themselves.
Read more about the cost-of-living crisis:
Wednesday, 7 September
NewsGuard partners with social media intelligence company Meltwater
NewsGuard has partnered with social media intelligence company Meltwater with the goal of further helping organizations understand and combat the spread of online misinformation.
The partnership will allow Meltwater to leverage NewsGuard’s online news reliability ratings and “Misinformation Fingerprints”—an updated catalogue of top myths circulating online—for its over 30,000 global corporate customers.
Meltwater was founded in 2001 and lays claim to being the world’s first online media monitoring company.
Fox Broadcasting has ‘nearly sold out’ Super Bowl ad inventory
Fox Broadcasting has already sold 95% of this February’s Super Bowl ad inventory, according to reports.
The Wall Street Journal writes that the network expects this year’s average cost of a commercial to land around or slightly higher than last year’s average of $5.5m, with premium spots going for over $7m.
Crypto companies, which spent big in last year’s Super Bowl on NBC, are not expected to be buying much inventory, The Journal continues.
The move comes as live sports have become a valuable bedrock for broadcast and cable television outlets, which are having to stave off streaming services in media rights bidding.
Read more about the NFL:
Instagram is testing more ways to control what you see
Instagram is testing two new ways for users to shape their own experience on the platform.
The Meta-owned social media company is trialling the ability to mark multiple posts in the Explore page as “Not Interested”, which will prompt Instagram to immediately hide those posts and refrain from showing users similar content in the future.
Instagram will also “soon” be testing a feature that would allow users to restrict Instagram from recommending posts that contain words, phrases, or emojis in captions or hashtags that are not interesting to you.
The move comes following a bevy of changes to Instagram’s recommendations algorithms to make the platform more like short-form video competitor TikTok.
Read more on Instagram:
Digital UK appoints Samsung exec as chief commercial officer
Digital UK, the Freeview and Freesat operator, has appointed Samsung’s Deep Halder as chief commercial officer.
Halder (pictured, below) has had roles across strategy, business development, commercial, sales and marketing and general management in the UK and South Korea over more than twelve years working at Samsung, most recently he was head of retail & content Services for SEUK.
In his new role at Digital UK starting on 12 September, he will be responsible for commercial and partnership strategy with a focus on consumer electronics and operating systems partners along with retail and content providers.
Currently Digital UK with Freeview and Freesat works with more than 50 companies across content, devices and retail.
This comes as Digital UK’s senior management team is restructured.
Hubble promotes Rebekah Brooks to managing director
Hubble, part of What’s Possible Group (WPG), has promoted Rebekah Brooks from managing partner to managing director.
Hubble is a marketing team that operates across multiple countries from a central “hub” office and works with clients with the same model.
Brooks (pictured, above) co-founded Hubble in 2021 and is based in London. She is a director at WPG and begins the Hubble managing director role immediately, focussing on recruiting more global “hub-based brands”.
She will be recruiting a managing partner to join the team and previously she co-founded nubie.com and held positions at Harmonia Publishing and PML Group.
Ex-Global and Primesight execs found DOOH startup
Former Global and Primesight directors, Tim de Monte and David Peters, have launched a digital out-of-home business called iQ OOH.
iQ OOH will offer advertisers a network of 400 large format digital screens across the UK and promises “agile outdoor advertising that can match any budget”.
The business will be based out of London but will rent its digital screen inventory from Wildstone, an outdoor infrastructure business.
iQ OOH plans to run campaigns from November which can be bought programmatically.
NHK WORLD-JAPAN debuts on Freeview UK
NHK WORLD-JAPAN, the international English-language channel from Japan’s public broadcaster, has launched on Freeview channel 271 via the Channelbox platform.
The channel will deliver the latest information about Japan and Asia and currently reaches more than 380 million households in 160 countries and regions via local satellite and cable TV providers.
NHK WORLD-JAPAN was previously available on Sky and Freesat.
Tuesday, 6 September
NABS Golf Open raises £35,000 for the industry charity
This year’s NABS Golf Open raised £35,000 in essential funds for the industry charity, with 106 people taking part in the annual event.
Demand for NABS surged 23% during and after pandemic lockdowns, and is expected to increase further this winter amid rising cost-of-living.
The day was sponsored by News UK, ITV, and Digital Cinema Media.
Kantar appoints ex-Publicis exec as consulting managing partner
Kantar has hired Natalie Vander Vorst to lead its consulting practice, which advises brands on commercial and marketing growth strategies.
In the new role Vander Vorst (pictured, below) will lead a team of 150 people and focus on demand generation, brand and creative positioning, sustainability, retail optimisation and organisational performance. She will report to Amy Cashman, executive managing director, Insights division, UK & Ireland at Kantar.
She joins from Publicis Groupe where she worked for eight years, most recently as executive global vice president of client advising businesses on marketing, digital transformation, brand building and opportunities to expand share and revenue in challenging markets. Vander Vorst was in charge of PG One, Publicis Groupe’s dedicated agency for Procter & Gamble.
Prior to her time at Publicis, she held roles at WPP agencies for 10 years.
Clive Myrie says Netflix-style subscription mistake for BBC
Clive Myrie, BBC journalist and presenter, has warned the new government headed by recently-elected Liz Truss that turning the BBC in to a subscription-based business could endanger the future of its news service.
A subscription model like that of streaming giants Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ would not work for the BBC and its public service mission as it would require the corporation to focus on programming that is “big and sellable”, he said.
At the Steve Hewlett Memorial Lecture at the University of Westminster on Monday night, Myrie (pictured, main image) also warned that proceeding with the privatisation of Channel 4 could result in the loss of its flagship news programme.
“The culture secretary of our new Prime Minister has to make a renewed commitment to quality public service broadcasting, at the BBC and Channel 4,” Myrie asserted. “It is too important to be left in the hands of a free market.”
Read more on BBC funding and Channel 4 privatisation here:
Meta fined $400m over handling of children’s data
Meta has been fined $402m (€405m) for its mishandling of children’s data on Instagram by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC), according to reports.
It follows a two-year investigation into potential data breaches at Instagram, which found that the social media platform was allowing teenage users to operate business accounts, allowing their phone numbers and email addresses to be viewed.
Instagram intends to appeal the decision, per a report by Reuters.
Meta has come under scrutiny over its data practices and potential harmfulness to teen users in the past year following disclosures from Facebook whistleblower Francis Haugen.
In response, Instagram has attempted to institute new policies to make its platform safer for young users, including a recent update to its Sensitive Content Control policy to show less “potentially sensitive” content to under-16s by default.
Full details of the fine will be released by the DPC sometime next week.
Monday, 5 September
i-media reaches D6 build landmark of 200 screens at 50 locations
i-media has reached a key landmark in its digital screen roll out at Motorway Service Areas, having installed 200 Digital 6 sheet panels at 50 locations.
The landmark brings i-media’s total number of digital screens to 275 across the UK; in total, the company aims to build or upgrade a national network of 650 high quality full motion screens by Q1 2023.
The motorway advertising company was previously known as Admedia before rebranding to i-media in September 2021.
HBO and Sky release House of the Dragon episode one for free on YouTube
HBO and Sky have dropped episode one of Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon for free on YouTube.
The release aligned with the 2 September release of Prime Video’s competitor fantasy series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.
Reddit acquires audience contextualization company Spiketrap
Reddit has acquired audience contextualization start-up Spiketrap, whose technology the platform expects will help improve Reddit ad relevance and performance through “upleveled” targeting, quality scoring, and engagement prediction.
Spiketrap was founded in 2016 and is currently based in San Francisco.
Ocean Outdoor broadcasts sustainable fashion show in six countries
Ocean Outdoor has broadcast a fashion show by designer and human rights campaigner Louise Xin across large format advertising screens in six European countries.
The 10-minute broadcast happened simultaneously across digital out-of-home screens in busy retail locations in Amsterdam, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Edinburgh, Helsinki, London, Oslo and Rotterdam on 2 September (pictured, main image).
The “I have a dream” couture fashion show at Stockholm Fashion Show addressed the environmental and social impact that fashion has through archive footage and messages from human rights and anti-slavery organisations.
Johan Lööf, Ocean Outdoor marketing lead for Sweden said: “This is the first time a fashion show has been broadcast simultaneously across multiple outdoor screens, shining a light on two important messages about sustainability and anti-slavery that, as a business, Ocean wants to support and share.”
Apple plans to nearly double digital advertising headcount
The iPhone maker currently has roughly 250 people on its ad platforms team according to LinkedIn and is looking to recruit another 216 employees per its careers website. In late 2020 Apple’s ad platforms team hired 56 people.
This comes as the tech giant introduced changes to its iOS app tracking permissions making it harder to track consumer behaviours.
New streaming service SkyShowtime to launch in Nordics
SkyShowtime, a new pan-European streaming service, is launching on 20 September in the Nordics.
The joint venture of Comcast (parent company of NBCUniversal and Sky) and Paramount Global will first launch in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden before expanding into the Netherlands in Q4 this year.
SkyShowtime will replace Paramount+ in the Nordics.
Future rollouts across Spain, Portugal, Andorra, and Central & Eastern Europe will also occur over the coming months and through Q1 2023.
The streaming service will include a suite of film and TV content from Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, Dreamworks Animation, Paramount+, SHOWTIME, Sky Studios, and Peacock.
Google re-allows Parler onto Play Store
Google has re-allowed Parler, a social media app commonly used by far-right users, onto its Google Play Store, according to reports.
The move stands in contrast to Google’s policy regarding Truth Social; the Trump-owned social media platform which is still disallowed from the Play Store.
The tech company had removed Parler from its app store in January 2021 over concerns regarding its content moderation policies, primarily in relation to the attempted insurrection on January 6.
The decision to reinstate the app has been reportedly made after Parler complied with Play’s developer policies, including implementing robust moderation practices.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power grabs 25 million global viewers on first day
Amazon’s highly anticipated The Lord of the Rings prequel series, The Rings of Power, debuted with more than 25 million global viewers within its first day, according to Amazon.
The viewership marks a record for an Amazon Prime Video debut.
The Rings of Power launched in more than 240 countries and territories with two episodes last Friday, and will release one new episode weekly through the 14 October season finale.
Read more about fantasy TV series here:
JAA Media wins Centrepoint account
Independent media agency, John Ayling & Associates (JAA Media), has been appointed by youth homelessness charity, Centrepoint, to handle its media planning and buying following a competitive pitch.
Centrepoint aims to end homelessness among the under-25s in the next 15 years. This comes at a time of record demand as in the last year the number of homeless young people needing emergency food support has quadrupled.
The brief for JAA Media is to help Centrepoint navigate “the challenging macroeconomic times ahead” while planning around its product offering comprised of brand, acquisition, legacy, mass participation events and advocacy.
The incumbent agency was All Response Media.