WPP Folded Possible Into Wunderman; Publishers Find Workarounds To Put Ads On Alexa

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Summer Diet

WPP folded digital agency Possible into direct marketing agency Wunderman in a continuation of its strategy to consolidate agency brands, Suzanne Vranica reports for The Wall Street Journal. Bringing Possible into Wunderman’s global network is part of a wider effort to break down silos across data, digital, creative and media and make these services easier for clients to navigate. Last month, WPP merged media agencies MEC and Maxus to streamline what MEC CEO Tim Castree called a commodity service at the group. Possible and Wunderman have both been bulking up on their Amazon expertise, which Martin Sorrell has called the “gorilla in the room” of the advertising space. More.

Alexa, Show Me An Ad

Publishers want to monetize voice queries, but hardware makers are conservative about ads on home devices. (Who can forget the Burger King debacle?) While Amazon initially barred ads from Echo skills which are the equivalent of voice apps publishers like The Washington Post and Bloomberg began inserting host-read sponsor messages into their “Flash Briefings,” or breaking news bulletins. Amazon now allows publishers to read sponsorships within Flash Briefings, streaming music or radio skills. But interactive ads and sponsored content on Echo are still non grata, putting media properties like Hearst’s Good Housekeeping or Elle that don’t cover breaking news in a precarious position. More at Digiday.

Snap Out Of It

Snapchat broke from its longstanding opposition to links in and out of Stories posts. Now a paper clip indicator will allow users to embed a link and viewers to swipe up to access the site via Snapchat’s internal browser. Advertisers and publishers in the Discover section have had similar deep-linking capabilities, but not general Stories users. The new links will allow Snapchat to drive more traffic to news stories and also potentially generate more affiliate revenue for creators. On the other hand, TechCrunch reports, “Snap will have to hope that links don’t disrupt the seamless viewing experience by tempting people to swipe out of Stories.” More.

Prospering In The Swamp

A top Republican digital consultancy, the Prosper Group, got caught fishing in the gutter Wednesday with an email ad scheme selling wrinkle cream, Daily Beast reports. Read it. The Prosper Group worked on the campaign for President Trump and Vice President Pence, as well as previously for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Tom Price, a former Georgia congressman who’s now secretary of Health and Human Services. Email marketing abuses like this aren’t new and voter email lists typically spin into revenue-generating assets after a campaign [AdExchanger coverage]. But Daily Beast reporter Lachlan Markay exposes the flimsy line between legit political operations and spammy sales pitches that piggyback on political email lists.

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