Influencers Make Bank During A Recession; Planned Parenthood Pours Money Into Meta

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Positive Influence

Recession-wary brands are redirecting ad spend away from Google Search and Facebook and toward influencer marketing, Marketing Brew reports.

Influencer marketing is more effective than other media channels right now, according to Junior Pence, CMO of Peace Out, a skincare brand that raised its influencer budget on Instagram and TikTok by about 20% YoY. Brands are “barely making back” what they spend in paid media anymore, Pence said, whereas “influencers are now beginning to generate what paid media was during the pandemic.”

Coterie, a baby products brand, upped its influencer budget from $300,000 in 2021 to about $500,000 this year. Coterie’s VP of partnerships, Lindsey Kling, said influencer marketing is a high-ROI channel and close partnerships with influencers – like Coterie’s relationship with supermodel Ashley Graham – help keep rates stable.

It’s becoming the norm for brands to increase influencer spend during economic downturns, said Ali Fazal, VP of marketing for Grin, an influencer marketing platform. Consumers change their behavior during recessions and, although people may be less inclined to click shoppable Instagram ads, they’ll continue to follow their favorite content creators, Fazal said.

But there’s another reason influencers are gaining more traction: Since Apple’s privacy changes on iOS, Facebook and Instagram ad performance has become more difficult to measure, making influencer marketing a more appealing choice, said Ben Witte, CEO of beverage brand Recess.

The Good Word

The overturn of Roe v. Wade has an alarming number of negative implications for safety. But some advertisers see the aftermath as a chance to use advertising as a force for good.

Planned Parenthood, for example, has spent $2.17 million running ads on Facebook and Instagram in the past 30 days, according to Meta. For reference, that’s nearly 20% of the organization’s total media spend on Meta-owned platforms since 2018, Digiday reports.

Planned Parenthood also spent a record $22,000 on TikTok advertising the day after the SCOTUS ruling in June, and it’s running its latest campaign, “Force of Nature,” on several TV networks.

This “special uptick in spending [is] because we’re trying to combat that narrative of misinformation around abortion care,” Sapna Khatri, a teaching fellow at the UCLA School of Law, told Digiday.

But publishers can’t get too excited about the surge in ad revenue. They still have their own obligations to protect visitors against misinformation, including verifying where ads are actually coming from.

In related news, some publishers are donating inventory to Planned Parenthood, including, unsurprisingly, dating apps. OkCupid is donating ad space to help the nonprofit raise awareness about the 26 states where abortion will likely soon be illegal, the app’s CMO, Melissa Hobley, told Digiday.

Goodway Growing

Goodway Group was founded in 1929 (you read that correctly) as a printing company that evolved into a programmatic and digital media agency.

In all that time, Goodway didn’t make any acquisitions. This year, it’s made two so far.

In March, Goodway snapped up the growth marketing agency Tuff to bolster its marketing services for startups, including customer acquisition and conversion rate optimization. And, on Thursday, Goodway acquired Canton Marketing Solutions, a consultancy that helps clients in-house their digital marketing and programmatic media buying, Adweek reports.

Goodway plans to merge Canton with Control v Exposed (CvE), a performance agency that was spun off from Goodway in 2019. CvE says it grew 277% last year.

One of the main rationales behind the Canton acquisition is getting ready for third-party cookie deprecation. That clock is ticking, and Canton brings expertise in mar tech consulting and data engineering, according to CvE’s president, Paul Frampton.

But Wait, There’s More!

Hulu is facing an existential crisis as Disney approaches a 2024 deadline to buy Comcast’s 33% stake. [CNBC]

IPG’s Arun Kumar wants big marketers like Netflix and Tesla to play a bigger role in fixing the industry’s media measurement issues. [Ad Age]

Europeans risk seeing Facebook and Instagram shut down this summer, as Ireland’s privacy regulator doubles down on its order to stop the firm’s data flows to the US. [Politico]

The separation of media and creative agencies is “bizarre,” says Ogilvy Vice Chair Rory Sutherland. [Campaign US]

What do companies do when their SPAC dreams fail? [The Information]

Monetization platform Equativ invests in SSAI provider Nowtilus to boost its CTV growth. [release]

National CineMedia partners with Neustar and ElementalTV to build on attribution and shoppable ads. [release]

You’re Hired!

Mobile programmatic platform Moloco hires former Disney Plus-owned Hotstar exec Sunil Rayan as its first chief business officer. [Indian Television]

Ad agency MRM promotes Diana Ceausu Caverly to global chief strategy officer. [Campaign Asia]

Convergent TV sell-side server company Beachfront hires Marni Rommel as VP of business development. [release]

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