No Worries For Big Tech; Luxottica’s Programmatic Vision

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Big tech may be under scrutiny in Washington, but it’s doing just fine on Wall Street. Amazon, Google and Microsoft continue to post huge profits and revenue growth, even as regulators become more critical of their growing influence over news and industry. On Alphabet’s third-quarter earnings call [AdExchanger coverage], not one investor asked about the company’s upcoming congressional testimony regarding its role in Russia’s interference with the 2016 election. “If you’re looking for consumers to go after these companies, we’ll be waiting for a long time,” says NYU marketing professor Scott Galloway. “I do not see, to be honest, anything between Amazon and a trillion-dollar market valuation except D.C. and Brussels, and at this point it looks more likely that it’s Brussels.” More at The New York Times.

Future So Programmatic

Global eyewear brand Luxottica took to the stage at AdExchanger’s Programmatic IO in New York last week to talk about its programmatic journey, Digiday reports. “In a traditional marketing setup, media planning and CRM planning are separate,” said Tiziano Cembali, VP of customer targeting. “But with a programmatic setup, we bring media planning and CRM planning together, with our DMP sitting in the center.” But the company didn’t go it alone, said Nicola Saraceno, SVP of retail marketing and CRM. “We are working with the same partners, but we know much more about programmatic and we constantly challenge our partners. Agencies have tons of expertise use it.” Bonus from Programmatic IO, courtesy of BIA Kelsey: Linear TV Ecosystem is a Mess, Ready for Disruption.

Sales Pitch

Brands want to connect digital marketing to business outcomes (i.e., sales) instead of digital-only metrics like clicks or views. And BuzzFeed is taking that idea to its logical conclusion by offering inventors and manufacturers ad deals in exchange for a cut of sales. The idea isn’t meant for established product brands. “A lot of it is coming out of the fact that there’s a whole new breed of companies coming out of Kickstarter that don’t have a big marketing budget,” BuzzFeed ecommerce and merchandise lead Ben Kaufman tells Peter Kafka at Recode. BuzzFeed’s Product Lab, run by Kaufman, has kitchen and home products it sells through BuzzFeed channels, but product manufacturing isn’t a core capability for the new media giant. Audience targeting and quick videos plugging gadgets, on the other hand, are right in BuzzFeed’s wheelhouse. By taking a share of all sales, as opposed to affiliate link conversions, BuzzFeed wouldn’t face the attribution drawbacks that weigh on digital media. More.

Prescription For Disruption

CVS’s $66 billion bid for health insurance firm Aetna is driven by fears of Amazon’s looming presence in the pharma space. CVS has been devising its survival strategy since May, The Wall Street Journal reports, when Amazon indicated it would begin selling pharmaceuticals. The health care and pharma retailer vertical is “ripe for ecommerce,” according to industry officials. Investors are already worried. “Amazon’s entry is expected to pose an immediate near term threat to retail pharmacy chains,” Leerink Partners wrote in a note to investors. More.

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