Brand Safety In The Post-Trump Era; Some Buyers Start To Embrace Politics

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Is It Safe To Come Out?

With the Trump circus leaving town, what does this mean for brand safety? Seb Joseph of Digiday wrote  about how the political divide amongst American consumers has extended to the media channels people consume. “And it’s made the challenge of trying to market products and services to people all the harder,” Joseph pointed out. Go-to “legacy” online channels, particularly Facebook, have been called out for their role in enabling posts that call for violence. But what’s an advertiser to do? A Facebook ad boycott isn’t news these days, and buyers inevitably come crawling back. Still, in the days following the insurrection at the US Capitol, ad buyers faced even more scrutiny on where they place their ads. Joseph notes how Omnicom and Home Depot shareholders urged both companies to scrutinize whether their advertising inadvertently funds hate speech and disinformation. But the path forward for advertisers still isn’t clear cut, and it varies from brand to brand: “One option is to use the differences in ideology, political orientation and values as segmentation variables and see how they align with the core segments that the firm is targeting,” Joseph wrote. He acknowledges, however, that not every marketer wants to lean into socially-relevant issues. Mostly they just want to sell stuff. 

Celebrate With A Pint

But some marketers are relishing what seems to be a safer media environment, at least for now. Audi, Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia, Nickelodeon and numerous other brands chimed in on social media during Inauguration Day. Audi, for example, posted about President Biden rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement (while referencing its forthcoming electric car), while Ben & Jerry’s gave a civics lesson of sorts about the importance of the first 100 days of a new administration. Vice President Kamala Harris being the first female, Black and Indian-American VP also proved a popular subject for brands to applaud, such as female-designed dating app Bumble. Seeing brands align themselves with politics marks a stark departure from the Trump presidency, when “Trump” topped brand safety lists and marketers gave a wide berth to any action taken by the newly former president. Read on.

Don’t Spurn Earned

Earned media can be an effective driver of outcomes and tangible business results, including sales and reputation lift. The problem is being able to prove it to skeptical clients. And so public relations agencies are starting to take a page out of the ad tech playbook. See Omnicom’s new analytics platform, dubbed OmniearnedID, that it hopes will give PR pros the ability to demonstrate their worth, Business Insider reports. The platform, which is built on Omnicom’s insights platform Omni, uses anonymized data, such as demographics, firmographics, location, brand affinities, media habits and purchase behavior to track success, analyze who is consuming media about a given brand or issue, understand cultural trends and predict future ones. By migrating Omnicom Public Relations Group to the Omni platform, both have the ability to “leverage data and directly link social to sales,” said Omnicom Digital CEO Jonathan Nelson. Omnicom's PR agencies include FleishmanHillard, Ketchum and Porter Novelli.

But Wait, There’s More!

Here’s how Google finally decided to remove Parler after months of flagging the app's harmful content. [Business Insider]

From Trump to Biden, TV captures a dramatic shift with inaugural address after a tumultuous – and divisive – four years. [The New York Times]

Facebook has referred its decision to indefinitely suspend former President Trump’s accounts to its outside oversight board as the company grapples with how to treat one of its highest-profile users after his exit from public office. [The Wall Street Journal]

Unilever is preparing to call an international media buying review that is expected to be carried out in many key markets around the world. [CampaignUS]. The CPG giant is also making diversity a priority and pledges to root out advertising stereotypes from its marketing. [The Drum]

Narrative rolls out a tool for universal onboarding. [MarTech Series]

Digital audio solutions specialist Targetspot is integrating with Tru Optik’s data management platform on audience-based targeting capabilities for streaming audio. [release]

SoCal’s flagship PBS stations rebrand in anticipation of a digital future that includes the launch of new logos and a creative refresh both on-air and online. [release]

You’re Hired!

Ogilvy hires Steve Soechtig to lead its global experience practice. [CampaignUS]

Acast brings on Elli Dimitroulakos to expand programmatic podcast advertising in the Americas. [release]

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