Kevin Mayer Out As TikTok Global Chief; Sorrell's S4 Makes Its Fourteenth Acquisition

Stop The Clock

Your daily update on the TikTik saga: Kevin Mayer is out as global CEO after a mere four months on the job as the company grapples with political turmoil and government scrutiny. The ex-Disney exec cited a number of issues that contributed to his swift departure, including that a main draw of the job for him was the global aspect of the role, The New York Times reports. And considering TikTok has less than 90 days to sell its operations in four Western markets, including the United States, that role just got a little less global. TikTok North America GM Vanessa Pappas will take over as interim global head. Oh, did you think that was all? CNBC reports that Walmart is teaming up with Microsoft in a bid for TikTok. Looks like the retail giant is still interested in video after selling off Vudu in April, and thinks it can leverage TikTok’s ecommerce integrations. And! The Information reports that SoftBank wants in on a TikTok deal too. 

The Mighty Hive

S4 Capital’s MightyHive has acquired Brightblue, a UK-based consultancy focused on data, analytics and predictive modeling in the marketing space. Brightblue’s 25-person team will become part of MightyHive’s recently launched global data practice. Under S4, MightyHive has been on a shopping global spree, scooping up small firms focused on data, measurement, analytics and systems integration in key markets. S4 has already merged four companies under the MightyHive brand since acquiring it in late 2018, including Latin America-based Digodat, Korea-based Delicious Data and UK-based ConversionWorks. And, apparently, Sorrell doesn’t have to travel far for international growth – all he has to do is open up his Rolodex. Brightblue’s CEO is ex-WPPer Michael Cross. This is the 14th company S4 has acquired in slightly more than two years.

A Tale Of Two Ad Servers 

Why is frequency capping across AVOD platforms so bad? It’s because their parent companies are working off of different ad servers. Media megamergers (see: ViacomCBS) and ownership changes (a la Disney taking control of Hulu) have created a frankenstack problem for ads teams, Digiday reports. Hulu has a proprietary ad server, but Disney uses Google. CBS uses Google, but Viacom and Pluto TV serve ads through FreeWheel. As one agency exec put it: “There’s no way to properly manage frequency on two ad servers.” So, what to do about repetitive ads? Disney consolidated Hulu’s ad tech team with its own in June, and ViacomCBS plans to be on a single ad server by next April. For now, ViacomCBS has created a link between Google and FreeWheel through Adobe Audience Manager to manage frequency, but it’s not a perfect workaround. 

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