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More job cuts could soon hit Time Inc., company executives told their top 300 managers at a quarterly meeting on Monday.
The warning came during a question-and-answer session with Norm Pearlstine, Time Inc.'s newly appointed chief content officer. Asked by Time magazine Managing Editor Nancy Gibbs whether there will be layoffs, Mr. Pearlstine answered "yes" and said the decision would be a difficult one.
"He spoke compassionately," said one Time Inc. staffer who attended the meeting.
Google+ will extend its reach across the web in the guise of new ad units.
Google has been testing new social ads composed of posts published by brands to its two-and-a-half-year-old social network, which they can now promote and target across the Google Display Network.
It's launching the units, dubbed +Post ads, with Toyota, the French telecom company Orange, and Mondelez brands Ritz Crackers and Cadbury U.K.
Three new ad spending forecasts released Sunday night are pegging ad growth next year partly on the Winter Olympics, the World Cup and the mid-term elections in the U.S., but forecasters continued to regard Western Europe with caution.
WPP's GroupM revised its worldwide advertising spending forecast for 2014 downward to 4.6% from 5.1%, its prediction earlier this year, citing "economic gridlock in the U.S. and a persistent financial crisis in the Eurozone." The media agency network is now forecasting an increase in global spending from $508 billion in 2013 to $531 billion in 2014.
In Western Europe, the group is projecting a 1% decrease in spending in 2013 and, tentatively, an end to declines next year. "We predict Western Europe advertising will return to modest 2% growth in 2014, but this depends on stability being restored to the troubled Eurozone periphery," the GroupM report said.
Carrie Underwood may have delivered the big ratings for NBC Thursday night, but it was DiGiorno pizza that stole the marketing show with a barrage of tweets during the live broadcast of "The Sound of Music."
Sure, many of the brand's tweets were, um, cheesy.
"Pizza" is my favorite "habit" #wordplay #TheSoundOfMusicLive
Brazil's government tourism authority Embratur took advantage of today's live World Cup draw to start targeting online videos at potential visitors to Brazil from key tourism markets. The draw, eagerly awaited by soccer fans around the world, places the 32 national teams in 8 groups and determines which teams will play each other first, and in which of the 12 Brazilian cities that will host World Cup games starting in June 2014.
Embratur worked with Sao Paulo agency Neogama/BBH to create videos for each of 13 key tourism countries that have teams playing in next year's World Cup in Brazil. Each video is narrated by a native of that overseas market who happens to live in Brazil, talking about the charms of the city that his country's team will play its first World Cup game in.
Because no one knows the outcome of the drawing in advance, Neogama had to shoot one-minute videos for each of the 12 host cities for all the key countries. They include the U.S., five European and five Latin American countries, and Japan. An additional film, covering all the host cities, will be used in the other countries participating in the World Cup with the exception of Iran, which doesn't allow online media.
Pop Secret and Deutsch Los Angeles have for the last year been coming up with innovative digital ways to change your popcorn-eating experience, via Pop Secret Labs. There was Pop Search, a browser add-on that searched the web to find the best place to watch a movie online; a Rotten Tomatoes partnership to help viewers find like-minded critics; and an app to prevent your popcorn from ever burning again.
But this might top them all.
Pop Dongle is a mobile phone attachment that emits the sweet-and-salty smell of popcorn as you play the brand's mobile game, Poptopia, available for iPhone and iPod Touch. Every time you swipe the butter inside the game, which asks players to pop corn kernels, the Dongle will emit a spritz of popcorn scent. How did they do it? The dongle plugs into the audio jack, so the game emits a certain frequency signaling it to go ahead and spread the smell. Deutsch worked with Deeplocal, the tech production company on projects like Nike's "Chalkbot," to develop the design and technology of the dongle.
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New outlets flooded readers with Nelson Mandela coverage after the former South African president died on Thursday.
Time magazine quickly assembled a special issue for Monday, devoting the cover to a previously unpublished photo of Mr. Mandela during his first trip abroad after his release from prison in 1990. It plans to distribute 200,000 copies to newsstands.
The New Yorker's cover illustration, by artist Kadir Nelson, shows a young Mr. Mandela, from his time on trial, with his first raised in the air.
Spotify plans to offer a free advertising-supported version of its music service for mobile devices, according to three people with knowledge of the situation.
Spotify will provide details at a press event on Dec. 11 at its New York offices, said the people, who requested anonymity because the plans aren't public. Spotify currently only offers a free ad-supported service on computers, charging $9.99 per month for an ad-free service on mobile and other devices.
The new ad-reliant mobile service will let Spotify attract more users who can potentially be converted into paying subscribers, said the people. New agreements with music companies have given the Stockholm-based company flexibility to develop additional features, the people said, as it competes with Pandora, Apple's iTunes Radio and, next year, planned entries from both Google's YouTube and Beats Electronics.
The Rubicon Project, an online- advertising company that reaches more U.S. Web users than Google's ad network, picked Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group to lead its initial public offering, according to people with knowledge of their plans.
Rubicon, based in Los Angeles, is aiming for a market debut next year, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information hasn't been disclosed.
While many newly public ad-technology companies have seen their share prices plunge, Rocket Fuel's successful offering in September and the rally that followed Twitter's IPO last month have instilled a renewed level of confidence. TubeMogul, a maker of software for digital marketing, is also planning an IPO for next year, people with knowledge of the matter said.
Young consumers are into technology -- but cars, not so much. So Nissan is reaching out to digital natives by bringing them into the car design process and giving them a hot new virtual reality technology to play with.
At the Tokyo Motor Show, the Japanese car company handed people virtual reality goggles designed by California startup Oculus VR. The company promises to bring the gaming world, among other things, to a whole new level by immersing audiences fully within a virtual environment via its Oculus Rift headset.
In the case of Nissan, the googles plunged participants into a virtual 3D world where they designed a concept car. Nissan is working on a theme it calls co-creation including consumers in the car development process and the VR game echoes that idea.
Rolling Stone plans to introduce a new website called Rolling Stone Country in the second quarter of 2014.
The new standalone site's aim is to cover the country music scene in the same way Rolling Stone does rock and pop music, according to Gus Wenner, director of Rolling Stone.com. To that end, the magazine is opening an office in Nashville with 10 to 15 editorial staffers, said Mr. Wenner, whose father Jann is the co-founder of Rolling Stone and parent company Wenner Media. To coincide with the site's introduction, the magazine is planning a country-themed print issue, a first for Rolling Stone.
The initiative is among the younger Wenner's first major moves since he was named to run RollingStone.com in May. "There's a really big void in the digital coverage of country music as far as giving it the serious attention it deserves," he said, comparing the genre's popularity to that of Nascar. "I saw some similarities and thought it could be an opportunity for Rolling Stone."
For an ad to be "native," it has to fit the look and feel of the publisher site it ran on, and perhaps even its editorial tone.
But as advertisers pushed to buy native campaigns at scale, a tech infrastructure is starting to emerge to help advertisers deploy sponsored content across many sites.
The native ad-tech ecosystem is starting to look like banner-based display, with ad servers, ad networks and real time bidding is on its way. Add in the systems needed to produce the content and (also like display) you end up with a mess of "solutions" all working to solve similar problems with frustrating complexity.
CMOs are on a continuous quest to maximize ROI by creating the perfect marketing cocktail of consumer demand. As former senior VP-global marketing at Activision Blizzard, I helped build billion dollar brands like Call of Duty and Guitar Hero through finding the right combination of brand marketing to drive consumer demand along with the retail or "pull-through" marketing to convert that demand to purchase.
So-called "native" ads look and feel like editorial content, except that they are created for, and sponsored by, advertisers. So are they deceptive to consumers? That's the question the Federal Trade Commission hoped to answer during its workshop on native ads in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.
We spoke with Mary Engle, the associate director of the commission's division of advertising practices, about what caused the FTC to hold the workshop and what comes next:
Mazda wants to know where consumers were eating or shopping before they checked out the latest Miata. Mobile location tracking and targeting data from PlaceIQ not only helps the company aim ads to people the automaker thinks would want to test drive a car, it can show how many interested consumers also visited a competitor's dealership or which portion of them visited a big box store before eyeing Mazdas.
"They help us define behaviors based on real-world location," said Shari Kourilsky, group manager for digital marketing at Mazda. "The value of this to us is we're actually getting real world [indicators]," she said. The carmaker has worked with PlaceIQ for the past quarter to test a mobile ad effort that combines audience targeting with tracking.
The mobile firm uses satellite data to carve physical locations into 100x100 meter tiles. It ingests billions of data points referring to each of those areas, applying attributes to locations such as what type of business it is or the average household income of the area's population or people who frequent the location. The company can detect a device ID that's been hashed -- or obscured for privacy purposes -- when it is present at one location and later at another.
Facebook is being more blunt about the fact that marketers are going to have to pay for reach.
If they haven't already, many marketers will soon see the organic reach of their posts on the social network drop off, and this time Facebook is acknowledging it. In a sales deck obtained by Ad Age that was sent out to partners last month, the company states plainly: "We expect organic distribution of an individual page's posts to gradually decline over time as we continually work to make sure people have a meaningful experience on the site."
It's a big shift from the stance Facebook took a year ago, when agencies including GroupM called out the fact that posts published by clients were being seen by fewer of their fans.
The advertising industry descended on Washington, D.C. today, mounting a vigorous defense of so-called "native" advertising at workshop held by the Federal Trade Commission to scrutinize the practice.
The workshop, called "Blurred Lines: Advertising or Content," focused on whether publishers and advertisers are doing enough to keep consumers from mistaking native ads -- which are meant to closely resemble non-sponsored content -- from the content itself.
"As consumers, we started seeing, when we went online, things we that weren't sure what they were," said Mary Engle, the FTC's associate director for advertising practices, in reference to native ads' resemblance to editorial content. Concerns about deception, she said, sparked the FTC's interest.
When Newsweek returns to print early next year, it will resemble the "love child of The New Yorker and The Economist," according to Jim Impoco, Newsweek's editor since September.
Mr. Impoco sent a shockwave through the media world Tuesday after he told The New York Times that Newsweek would begin printing again starting in January or February. The reaction from some quarters wasn't kind, either, with Vanity Fair joking that it was a better idea than reviving Newsweek as a CD for sale in Tower Records -- but only just.
It's a bold decision, at the least, when weekly magazines face challenges in print. New York magazine this week announced its decision to cut its print frequency. And Newsweek's last attempt at a makeover, under high-profile editor-in-chief Tina Brown, failed to change the economics.
So-called "native" advertising goes under the microscope today in Washington, D.C. at a day-long workshop hosted by the Federal Trade Commission. The workshop, called "Blurred Lines: Advertising or Content?" will run from 10 a.m. ET to 6 p.m. and ask whether the advertising industry is doing enough to ensure consumers don't mistake "native" ads for the content they are supposed to resemble.
It's a hearing, so don't expect must-see TV. If you'd rather read a concise summary, check in at AdAge.com later today.
BuzzFeed, the online publisher of news, lists and quizzes that are designed to be shared on social media, is forecasting revenue of as much as $120 million in 2014, said two people with knowledge of its financials.
The sales level will depend on how many advertising deals are booked next year, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the numbers are private. BuzzFeed has projected about $60 million in sales for 2013, according to another person familiar with the matter, indicating that revenue may double next year.
The company, based in New York, has seen its Web traffic more than quadruple over the past year, vaulting it into the top ranks of news sites. BuzzFeed is now completing work on its 2014 budget and will soon present the numbers to the board, one of the people said. This year's revenue projection was raised from $40 million in the middle of 2013 because the startup was growing faster than expected, according to the person.
Acxiom has been perceived as an agency by many parts of the ad industry, including this publication, but now the data giant has sealed a multi-year deal with one of the biggest media agencies in the business: Starcom MediaVest Group.
The deal lets Starcom use Acxiom's Audience Operating System, which enables audience segmentation and targeting across online and offline media using first-party and third-party data. Some clients have already used the platform in beta, but the ultimate goal is more involved than simply extending that access: The two firms aim to develop new applications for the system, such as targeting TV advertising.
"We believe leveraging Acxiom client data with third-party media data across any channel is going to shape the market in years to come," said Laura Desmond, CEO at Starcom MediaVest Group, which is part of Publicis Groupe.
Sprint's absurdist campaign with veteran thespians James Earl Jones and Malcolm McDowell reading everyday text messages and phone calls gets a new iteration today -- but this time instead of debuting on TV, the ad will bow first on a single person's Twitter feed. At 6 p.m. today, the new ad featuring the two actors reading a text exchange between girl and her boyfriend will appear first for Danielle Gray and her friends.
Ms. Gray is a fan of the TV spots, having tweeted about her love of the ads. Sprint and its ad agency team contacted her for permission and her involvement, and Messrs. Jones and McDowell did the rest in the spot called "Thinking About You."
Leo Burnett, Chicago, created the video, as well as the ongoing series with director Noam Murro. DigitasLBi, Boston is handling social media. Burnett shot 16 video ads with the actors; this is the eighth spot to go live.
Cyber Monday sales surged, sending online shopping toward a single-day record as Amazon and eBay siphoned consumers from brick-and-mortar stores.
Online sales rose 19% from 2012 as of 9 p.m. in New York yesterday, according to IBM, citing data from its IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark service. Retailers catering to smartphone and tablet users benefited the most, with mobile traffic accounting for 30% of the total site visits, an increase of more than 58% from last year, IBM said.
The results deliver another blow to physical stores, which just suffered the first spending decline on a Black Friday weekend since 2009. Web sales this holiday season are projected to climb as much as 15% to $82 billion, more than three times faster than total retail growth of 3.9% to $602.1 billion, the National Retail Federation said. Mobile devices drove 16% of online purchases, IBM said.
Apple purchased data-analytics firm Topsy Labs, giving the world's most valuable company new tools to spot trends as they emerge on Twitter's social network.
Apple paid more than $200 million for Topsy, said people with knowledge of the deal, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The San Francisco-based startup's service is used by companies to analyze consumer sentiment on Twitter, be it responses to TV shows or politics. Topsy is one of a few partners that has real-time access to the messages that roll across the microblogging service, and can search through every tweet published since 2006.
Access to information about what is being discussed on Twitter can be integrated in any number of ways by Apple, according to Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst with EMarketer Inc. That includes to improve results within Apple's voice-based search tool Siri, analytics of the iAd mobile-advertising service, or to make purchase recommendations from iTunes and App Store,
One day after New York magazine said it would reduce its print frequency to every other week, The Week said it plans to increase the number of issues it publishes to 51 next year from 48.
New York's decision was informed by clear media-business trends, but the reasoning for The Week is just as straightforward, according to Steven Kotok, CEO of The Week and its sibling publication, Mental Floss. "Each one of our issues is profitable," he said. "If we add more issues, we're more profitable."
The Week's website offers new print-only subscribers 50 issues for $1.19 per issue. Most subscribers pay between $1.25 and $1.50 per issue, according to Mr. Kotok.
Once, the "news" on Facebook generally meant who had a baby or a birthday. But now Facebook is taking the term a lot more literally, and making itself more Twitter-like in the process by promoting real news posted by users within their feeds.
Facebook acknowledged in a blog post today that it's tweaked its news-feed algorithms to expose more links to articles from media organizations, which will be particularly evident on mobile devices.
The algorithm shift is a big change to the core ingredients of Facebook, one designed to make the world's biggest social network more relevant to current events, territory that has been staked out by the much smaller but buzzier Twitter.
New York magazine will reduce its frequency from 42 issues to 29 -- effectively going from a weekly to biweekly -- in a move that reflects shifting reader habits as much as it does the economic realities of putting out a print magazine, the company said Monday.
The magazine will save $3.5 million in manufacturing costs because of the shift from weekly to biweekly, according to Larry Burstein, New York's publisher. And even though it's reducing frequency, the subscription price will remain the same -- resulting in an increase in the cost per print issue for readers. The newsstand price will also increase to $6.99 from $5.99.
Adam Moss, editor-in-chief of New York, said he plans to reinvest those dollars back into the magazine and its website, bulking up some of its coverage and adding staff.
Peanut butter has a day. So do donuts. So why shouldn't 2013's most-hyped technology also get one? General Electric is on it, folks. It has designated Dec. 3 (D3, geddit?) as the official 3D Printing Day, and has also launched a new campaign that hopes to gives elves a rest for the holidays, by 3D printing gifts instead.
Here's how it works: On Dec. 3, people can pick a prototype and tweet their wish, along with the hashtag #3DPrintMyGift. The prototypes themselves are designed by celebrities including weatherman Al Roker, host Stacy London, Red Sox pitcher Craig Breslow, as well as companies, like the Cooper-Hewitt Museum and Spotify. They're all working with CAD designers, who will customize the prototype, then ship to your house, for free, just in time for the holidays.
Prototypes include penholders, iPhone 5 speakers, and even a cat charm (this is the Internet, after all.)
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