Sorrell Won’t Undermine WPP; Podcast Measurement Fixes Hurt So Good

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Playing Nice

As he throws his energy into a new marketing investment vehicle, Martin Sorrell has no plans to undermine WPP Group, where he remains the eighth largest investor, Reuters reports. Reuters spoke with another big WPP stakeholder, Jupiter Asset Management fund manager Alastair Gunn, after Gunn talked with Sorrell. “He’s got a lot of money still invested in WPP and he made it clear that it would be very illogical of him to be out to try and undermine his single largest investment,” Gunn is quoted as saying. “He said he wasn’t going to come back and do something that would be a waterfront-type competitor to WPP.” Read on.

Hear And Now

Wondery is adjusting to the short-term pain of using a new metric for podcast advertising, Digiday reports. Podcast episodes are downloaded in chunks to a users’ phone, and some publishers have grown used to thinking of each partial download as a new listener. After adopting the IAB’s standard for podcast ad measurement, which counts every episode downloaded within 24 hours as a single download, its downloads dropped by a double-digit percent, according to CEO Hernan Lopez. Adopting the IAB standard will create a more realistic representation of a podcast audience, and that’s a good thing. But many networks worry advertisers will flee if the numbers go wobbly. “It is the right thing to do,” Lopez said. “We certainly hope agencies will notice we’re taking the first step.” More at Digiday.  

Skeletons In The Closet  

Facebook has been sharing the personal data of users and their friends with at least 60 smart-device makers, including Apple, Amazon and Samsung, for the past decade, The New York Times reports. Facebook struck deals with manufacturers so they could offer custom features like voice-based messaging and likes. The partnerships, however, allowed device makers to access personal data from users and their friends without consent and to override sharing restrictions, potentially violating a 2011 FTC consent decree. Facebook declined to mention the partnerships when it started catching heat for improper data sharing during the Cambridge Analytica scandal because it doesn’t consider device manufacturers third parties, but rather service providers, like a cloud computing company. More. In a rebuttal, Facebook defends its sharing of the data.

The Ultimate Competitor

Just as Amazon uses its retail marketplace data to inform private-label product decisions, the company scrutinizes data from Amazon Web Services to identify tech categories where it can effectively enter the market and squash platform frenemies. This “black-widow behavior” is nothing new for Amazon, but its position in the cloud infrastructure market and growing mar tech business put it in new antitrust territory, The Wall Street Journal reports. “As a small company, you’ve got to be the minnow that swims in and out of the mouth of sharks,” said Barry Crist, CEO of the developer automation tech company Chef Software, about building on AWS. “If you get lazy, that mouth might close on you.” More.

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