AT&T Will Consolidate Its Various Accounts Under Omnicom; Pokémon Go Continues Its Reign

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Tectonic Shifts

AT&T will consolidate its creative, digital and media accounts under Omnicom, Ad Age reports. Hearts & Science, Omnicom’s newly launched agency led by Scott Hagedorn [AdExchanger coverage], will handle media buying for the telco giant. BBDO will handle creative. It’s a huge loss for WPP, and a big win for the data-centric marketing thesis underlying Hearts & Science. AT&T was swayed by Omnicom’s integrated offering as it plans to “launch new streaming video entertainment choices that are built for mobile,” said AT&T marketing honcho Lori Lee in a statement. More.


“Pokémon Go” is still scorching hot, reports the Financial Times. In its first month, the mobile app phenom reportedly brought in $250 million in in-app payments. Supercell’s “Clash Royale” ($125 million) and’s “Candy Crush” ($25 million) were a fraction as profitable in their debuts. The FT cites a YouGov poll of the US, UK and Germany finding retention rates, broad audience demographics and a funnel of regular in-app spenders unlike anything the mobile gaming world has seen before. It’s crazy.

A Labor Of Fake Love

The New York Times acquired branded content services firm Fake Love last week (its second marketing agency acquisition this year, following social media specialist HelloSociety in March), Jack Marshall reports for The Wall Street Journal. Print revenues are obviously crumbling, but digital advertising has taken a hit too, down almost 7% for the industry leader, as mobile monetization sputters. Fake Love, which specializes in shiny new marketing toys like AR and VR tech, will give the Times a way to squeeze higher premiums from its top-shelf sponsors. “The question for all those companies is whether such initiatives can make up for weakness in the legacy digital ad business.” That question remains unanswered. More.

Survival Mode

Broadcast giants aren’t cooling to new school digital media platforms. “For us, it’s less of a VC-type investment and more of a survival investment,” a Turner spokesperson tells Digiday, in reference to the network’s new investment in Refinery29. “We can be more tolerant on business models and take additional risks on the monetization side.” GershonMedia’s Bernard Gershon adds, “If you put most of these digital media startups in a bucket, their best long-term opportunity is to partner with or get bought by a traditional, established big media company. … I’m not sure many of them are going to be standalone entities five years from now.” Meanwhile many VCs on the tail end of their own media investments – think BuzzFeed, Vox and Vice – are glad be bought out by “old media,” according to Bloomberg.

But Wait, There’s More!

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