Future of Media: eyes shut to piracy, the nepotism agency and reimagining auditing

Future of Media. John McCarthy here. This week we look at why advertisers fund piracy, News UK’s new creative shop, ITV’s programmatic future and what’s next for media auditing. Oh and Instagram is now 10 and Facebook’s going to stop taking political ads AFTER the election.

Ads fund piracy

Often, we write and talk and write and talk about brand safety but it struck me how rarely it enters the same conversation as piracy.

This week I outlined how ads fund pirate football feeds – and the dangers of marketers ignoring the problem.

No stranger to the odd pirate feed, I’d noticed top brands competing for space in junk environments populated with stolen IP. The thought of this spend being redirected by cash-starved news organisations got my blood boiling. Some brands actually had a foothold (broadcast and sponsorship) in the sport while undermining its value.

A new agency to tackle nepotism?

Imogen Watson (she runs the very good creative round-up)took a look at why News UK has opened a photography and illustration agency to support unrepresented creative talent.

Studio PI’s founder and managing director, Sachini Imbuldeniya, wants to tackle nepotism in the media and has already reached out to many who wouldn’t have had the opportunity. “I removed all names and bios of the artists and they were just judged solely on their work so that there wasn‘t any sort of unconscious bias,” she told us.

It’s OK to be stoked by Studio PI’s grand mission and to be at the same time disappointed that it is needed.

TV ad shift

ITV, the UK’s biggest commercial broadcaster, unveiled its long-touted ‘premium advanced advertising platform’ – Planet V – and in doing so, revealed how it expects the media scene to shift in the next decade.

Its managing director of commercial, Kelly Williams, talked me through the end-to-end shop that it hopes attracts inventory beyond ITV’s empire. And Mihir Haria-Shah, the head of broadcast at Total Media, gave it a test run.

This is the start of ITV’s journey but as Haria-Shah says it is a ”bold step” in the right direction. ITV will need to attract more inventory to make it a vital part of the media buying process.

Odd audits

PJ Leary, the global chief exec of ID Comms’ newly-formed media auditing practice, Assurance, said the pandemic has pushed traditional media to the “tipping point”.

“As consumers have flipped from cable and broadcast TV to cord-cutting and OTT services during the lockdown, the relevance of the traditional methods for comparing media prices has become even less, well, relevant.”

Leary argued that the pandemic has accelerated media consumption shifts. As things calm down, opinion differs about how much habits will return to norm. Months in isolation surely changes habits though?

Facebook again

It’s the recurring Facebook bit of this briefing.

“We plan to temporarily stop running all social issue, electoral or political ads in the US after the polls close on 3 November, to reduce opportunities for confusion or abuse.”

Did Facebook just admit its platform is open to abuse and spread confusion? It is stealing itself for a messy election result. Oh, and a thinktank reports that it exposed millions to climate denial ads.

And Instagram has turned 10. Lore Oxford, global head of cultural insights at We Are Social, explained why that’s significant.

And the rest

David Attenborough joined Instagram and immediately broke a growth record and issued a stern warning for the planet.

Well, that’s this week’s round-up. If you missed the last one, I’ve summarised it here.

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