IPG’s Roth Bristles Over Questions About Acxiom; Xandr Finally Adds Video Partners To Community

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Asking About Acxiom

IPG outperformed its peers in Q2 with organic revenue growth of 3% to $2.1 billion. While the group will continue to face headwinds from client losses through the rest of the year, it was able to offset losses in the quarter with net positive new business wins. IPG also isn’t suffering as much from CPG client cutbacks, which have plagued other agencies, because CPGs make up a relatively small 8% of its business. In answer to an investor question about whether the Acxiom acquisition represents IPG’s decision to buy data rather than rent, CEO Michael Roth reiterated that many people are mischaracterizing the group’s $3 billion purchase of Acxiom last year as a sudden entrance into the data business. “Acxiom’s core competency is data management, first-party data management,” he said. “That’s not a question of buying or renting.” Read the release

Community Gardens

Xandr has added A+E, AMC and Cheddar, recently acquired by Altice USA, to Community, a video marketplace that promises publishers stronger returns based on aggregated inventory and AT&T subscriber data for targeting and measurement. The Community marketplace “will power more relevant advertising for brands, while helping networks optimize yield more efficiently across live, linear TV inventory or via playback and on demand,” according to the Xandr press release. Xandr’s new supply partners are critical from a scale perspective, because they’re the first linear TV companies to join Community. Before, Community primarily relied on AT&T’s WarnerMedia channels sprinkled with a mix of additional inventory from OTT apps such as Philo and Tubi and news publishers with video content, including Vice and Hearst. Still, some broadcasters won’t integrate with Community over competitive concerns. In April, Xandr suddenly exited OpenAP, a TV ad-serving consortium it co-founded that’s now backed by NBC, Fox and Viacom, just a few weeks before it launched the proprietary Community product. Read the release.

Trust Busting

The Justice Department has opened a new antitrust review of big tech companies, The Wall Street Journal reports. According to unnamed DOJ officials, “The review is geared toward examining the practices of online platforms that dominate internet search, social media and retail services.” In other words: Google, Facebook and Amazon. The new investigation will be in addition to a recently opened review of Google's business practices, as well as an ongoing initiative at the FTC to monitor anticompetitive behavior by large tech companies, most of which are ad-supported in part or in all. Read on.  

Facebook Tips The Scales

Facebook’s business has been booming, with revenue for the core Facebook app up 26% year-over-year in the first quarter, and active users up 8%. But there’s a flip side. Facebook has faced serious user retention issues over privacy violations, as well as user engagement slow-downs when the company stopped optimizing news feed posts for clicks. Internal research shows how Facebook must juggle its product portfolio (Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp) as it grows into certain markets or risk cannibalizing its own app usage numbers, The Information reports. “Facebook’s researchers found that as Instagram continued to grow, the number of Facebook-only users would decline, thereby making it less attractive for people to stay active on both apps.” More.

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