Gartner’s Ad Spend Survey At Odds With Agency Consensus; Captify Finds A Buyer

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Boom Or Bust? 

New forecasts from Dentsu, WARC and others indicate the ad business is in for a boom year in 2021. GroupM projects the US ad market to grow by 15%, and global growth forecasts range from 6.4% (Magna) up to 10.4% (Dentsu). So what to make of Gartner’s latest CMO Spend Survey, covered by The Wall Street Journal, which suggests marketers are dramatically reducing their investments? The survey of 400 companies found budgets fell from 11% of company revenue last year to 6.4% this year. The reason for the disparity may lie in the size of the companies (Gartner mostly surveyed large-cap brands with marketing budgets over $1 billion), as well as the sectors (e.g., travel and hospitality). The agency researchers’ consensus is summed up by GroupM’s Brian Wieser: "In 2021, the American advertising industry is poised to regain all that it lost in 2020 and more.”

Captive Audience

Search intelligence company Captify has sold a majority stake to private equity firm SFW Capital, Business Insider reports. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the funding will help London-based Captify expand in the United States and could help Captify make future acquisitions. In February, Captify – which has raised $12.3 million since it was founded in 2011 – launched a self-serve insights, planning and activation platform called Sense in partnership with Universal McCann. SFW was particularly attracted to Captify’s cookieless solutions when talks between the two companies began last year. The deal comes amid a flurry of IPOs and M&A in ad tech, but Captify CEO and Co-founder Dominic Joseph told Insider the company does not want to go down the IPO route. [Related in AdExchanger: Search Data Is Becoming A Central Part Of UM’s Strategic Planning Process

Should Facebook Be Frantic?

Facebook is feeling the heat as iPhone owners upgrade to the new iOS that requires users to consent to ad targeting for each app and for cross-app tracking. People are giving consent about 25% of the time, according to data from the mobile measurement firm Branch. That means Facebook is unable to attribute sales and conversions across apps and sites, which has been its bread and butter for years. One Facebook advertiser who spends millions of dollars per month on the platform said the conversion tracking between Facebook and Shopify dropped from about 95% previously to 57% for one recent campaign, Bloomberg reports. Missing the attribution data also removes Facebook’s prospecting. Without those conversions to create a seed audience, the same ad buyer said Facebook is losing its look-alike skills to recreate “other people that might be able to buy a product similar to that.”

But Wait, There’s More!  

Salesforce launched a cross-channel management tool called Advertising Sales Management for Media Cloud. [release]

Facebook wants Federal Trade Commission Chief Lina Khan to recuse herself after the agency filed an antitrust lawsuit against the company. [Bloomberg]

Speaking of Lina Khan, the FTC’s review of Amazon’s planned acquisition of MGM Studios could be a boon to Disney and Netflix if the deal is ultimately blocked. [WSJ]

China-based Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings may open up their walled gardens to each other. [Reuters]

Verizon Media launched a new measurement tool that combines both linear and digital. [The Drum]

TikTok “quietly” rolled out brand content rules. [Ad Age

Advertisers face uncertainty ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. [CampaignUS]

Amazon is giving fast fashion website Shein a boost after it was shut down in India last year. [CNN]

You’re Hired

MiQ hired Katherine Strieder as global chief product officer. [release]

LG Ads named Raghu Kodige chief executive officer. [release]

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