CMOs Too Bullish About Pandemic Recovery; UK Wants Regulatory Body For Ad Platforms

Rose-colored glasses

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Rose-Tinted Glasses

CMOs may be overly optimistic about the pandemic’s long-term impact. Seventy-three percent expect the negative effects to be short-lived and hold a positive outlook for performance in the next two years, according to a survey of 430 CMOs by Gartner. With this outlook, CMOs plan to increase marketing investments in 2021, putting an emphasis on brand strategy, marketing technology and digital in light of the pandemic, while analytics and personalization move further down the priority list. This optimistic perspective is “significantly out of step with other members of the C-suite” such as CFOs and CEOs, who are planning for a second wave of the pandemic. “CMOs should plan for future budgetary pressures now, rather than gamble on budgets bouncing back,” says Gartner VP and analyst Ewan McIntyre.

Slide Into Your DMUs

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the United Kingdom’s antitrust bureau, published a market study on Wednesday that calls for the formation of a new regulatory body, the Digital Markets Unit (DMU), to oversee online advertising platforms. “The concerns we have identified in these markets are so wide ranging and self-reinforcing that our existing powers are not sufficient to address them,” writes the CMA in the new report, which follows a year-long examination of Google’s and Facebook’s advertising practices. The DMU would have powers to force disclosure of black box data, for example, Google opening click and query data to rival search engines, order companies to interoperate with competitors or even force separation of business units. Read the release.

The Unlikely Event

The event industry is looking for good news wherever it can find some. But recent virtual events by bellwether companies give some hope for moving major in-person gatherings online. Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference set a benchmark last week, according to The Wall Street Journal, with remote learning tools, one-on-one sessions and pre-recorded videos that were “a lot less hectic” than typical in-person demonstrations. Developer costs were down, without the $1,600 ticket plus airfare. And YouTube’s Brandcast show in June, which diverted viewers to a separate virtual experience than the rest of the IAB NewFronts show, also shifted to pre-recorded videos while facilitating virtual meetings with creators and Google services. They also sent make-your-own pizza kits to replace the usual catered lunch.

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