Agencies Aren’t Fans Of Procurement; Comcast Subscriptions Stall

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A (Pro)cure For What Ails You

Agencies and brand marketers are split over their view of procurement. Which is to say, marketers collaborate well with their own procurement departments while agencies begrudge the procurement folks. 

At least, that’s the message in a new ANA survey, Ad Age reports. 

The survey suggests agencies alleviate the tension by incorporating procurement early on, setting clear goals and educating procurement departments about the trade-offs between price and quality. 

Agencies (and ad tech) are at odds with procurement because procurement often values reach over quality. On TV, cheap reach is great – it’s still a TV ad, after all. Online, cheap reach likelier signifies truly worthless if not straight-up fraudulent media. 

It’s taken a long time to woo marketers away from their love affair with cheap reach – and many are still married to the approach. What holds many marketers back from moving on is procurement’s tunnel vision on the cost vs. reach debate.

But procurement departments are willing to cooperate – if agencies make the effort to reach out. According to the ANA’s survey, 57% of procurement execs say they have “very healthy relationships” with their own marketing teams, and 54% say the same about their agencies. Counterpoint: Only 15% of agency respondents say they have a healthy relationship with procurement. Time for some couples therapy?

Comcast’s Subs Slide

Although Comcast’s less-than-stellar Q2 earnings results weren’t a shock, they did mark a steeper downward trend than expected for TV and streaming.

For the first time, Comcast failed to add at least 100,000 new subscribers in a quarter, with the exception of the 2008 recession, WSJ reports.

But streaming subscriptions didn’t save the day for Comcast, either.

To be fair, NBCUniversal’s revenue grew 18% year-over-year compared with its parent company’s overall 5% growth for the quarter. And yet, NBCU’s streaming service Peacock plateaued, failing to add net new subscribers in Q2.

Peacock is still at 13 million subscribers, which is where it was at the close of Q1 after adding 4 million that quarter.

NBCU apparently expected this subscription lull, since during its last earnings the company warned that the Q1 subscriber uptick was thanks to that year’s Olympics and the Super Bowl, both seasonal events. Now that Comcast’s first Peacock subscriber push is in the rearview, the company must produce more original content to attract new viewers, which is a major expense. CEO Brian Roberts also told investors that the subscription slump is being exacerbated by the “macroeconomic environment putting pressure on our customers.”

Whatever the reason, Wall Street wasn’t impressed. Comcast’s shares dropped by more than 9%.

The Apple-Proof Ad Platform?

The previously well-oiled Google and Facebook-Instagram marketing machines have been coming off the tracks lately. 

Even so, Google and Meta remain the best options for reach and targeting, because ad tech in general is also being hit by the same Apple privacy policies. But there is one entity that seems to be made of Teflon, and that’s Amazon, which gains more than anyone else (except Apple, of course) by the relative downgrades to Facebook and Google.

“We have significantly increased marketing spend on Amazon while decreasing our marketing on Facebook and Google due to volatility in those channels,” Daniel Millar, co-founder and chief growth officer of the wellness brand Beekeeper’s Naturals, tells Modern Retail

A global economic downturn would be a relative gainer for Amazon, too (what isn’t, though?), according to Jason Goldberg, chief commerce strategy officer at Publicis. That’s because when belt-tightening happens, advertisers tend to take fewer risks and put money in places that drive direct sales. 

“In tight economic times, advertisers tend to ship more on their budget down funnel, and Amazon’s at the bottom of the funnel,” Goldberg says.

But Wait, There’s More!

Advertisers are struggling with Instagram’s TikTok clone, Reels. [Bloomberg]

Publishers are concerned that Google’s Topics will lead to a higher “ad tech tax.” [Marketing Brew]

Meta officially cuts funding for US news publishers. [Axios]

Snapchat is working on a way to pay musicians on its platform. [TechCrunch]

Spotify buys audiobook distributor Findaway for $119 million, making it an Audible competitor. [Variety]

You’re Hired!

Vistar Media brings on Welby Chen as its new chief operating officer. [release]

Habu hires Juan Novella as head of marketing and Frederick Stanichev as head of sales, Americas. [release]

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