Programmatic Levers; Behind The Media Agency Review Trend

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A Day In The Life

Ad Age takes readers through a routine day for Andre Banilevi, a 23-year-old programmatic ad buyer for MDC’s programmatic arm, Varick Media. One of 10 traders for Varick, Banilevi represents a growing group of math-savvy buyers behind the levers of automated trading. These specialists are wanted men and women, according to Ad Age, and Banilevi and his co-workers disclosed they’ve heard from in-house marketers including Netflix as brands look to poach talent with programmatic expertise. Varick chief Paul Rostkowski knows the value of his programmatic staff. “I’m subject to lose all these people at some point in time,” he said. More.

Media Review Landslide

Reporting on the 20 large advertisers who’ve put their media agencies up for review in the past six months, Business Insider reporter Lara O’Reilly pens a handful of theories to explain the trend. Marketers could be reacting to a lack of transparency about how budgets are being managed, or, they might be spending more on new mediums like digital video. It could also be a domino effect, where several advertisers sparked a landslide for the industry at large. At stake is $25 billion in ad spend, but “[a]gencies who have embraced yesterday’s science fiction and made it into today’s normalcy have nothing to fear,” notes Richard Robinson, managing partner of Oystercatchers, an intermediary firm that connects brands and agencies.

Following The Money

As publishers and media companies like Facebook and Google continue to build their internal creative (providing content for native campaigns, designing ads and interfaces, shooting videos), traditional ad agencies are struggling to compete for talent. The WSJ quotes J. Walter Thompson board member Bob Jeffrey, who claims there is “pop-culture cachet that some of these new players can offer.” The director of talent acquisition at Leo Burnett says The Onion poached its creative talent when the satire pub branched into branded content. There are other market forces at play besides “pop cachet,” however. Agency execs claim their paltry starting salaries aren’t a factor, while the tech industry pays a premium for young talent.

Button Up

Foursquare is tapping into its geolocation and consumer intent through a partnership with Uber. TechCrunch reports that Foursquare is adding an in-app touchpoint via Button, a deep-linking firm, that enables users to pick out the bar/restaurant/venue they have in mind and automatically order an Uber from their location to the destination. As companies open up their platforms for integration, as Uber did recently with its API, startups like Button are hoping to build a web of frictionless commerce between apps.

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