The New York Times Is Exploring An Ad Free Option; Pre-Empting The ANA Agency Report

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Ad-Free Times

Choice is the name of the game, and The New York Times is exploring a new one: an ad-free digital subscription. “We do want to offer all of our users as much choice as we can, and we recognize that there are some users – both subscribers and nonsubscribers – who would prefer to have an ad-free experience,” said NYT CEO Mark Thompson at the IAB’s Ad Blocking & User Experience Summit on Monday. Thompson also had a few zingers for the ad blockers themselves, arguably co-authors of online advertising’s purported demise. (This is an IAB event, after all.) “This is a manifestly unsavory business practice,” he said. “Eyeo wasn’t founded by concerned citizens.” More in Ad Age.

ANA Oh No…

The ANA’s report on transparency in the media-buying world isn’t even out yet, but it’s already got Publicis Groupe honcho Maurice Levy sending out distress signals. In a letter apparently addressed to Horizon Media CEO Bill Koenigsberg and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, Levy was irked that the report didn’t name names but that its unverifiable claims had “potential to cause great financial and reputational damage” to the industry. Levy asked Koenigsberg to share his concerns with ANA CEO Bob Liodice, and asked that any evidence of impropriety in the agency world be turned over to “relevant authorities.” Read more.

AP’s Native Dreams

The Associated Press has tapped native ad network Nativo to package sponsored content campaigns for smaller publishers. The AP makes the bulk of its revenue from subscription access to its global news wire. “We’re hoping to be able to make native advertising available for smaller members who can’t afford to make this stuff or couldn’t spend that kind of money,” Paul Caluori of the AP told the International Business Times. More. In 2016 it’s all about the publisher “hooks,” and AP has lots.

Buy-Side View

In a new report on ad fraud, the World Federation of Advertisers has some advice for advertisers, “the sole victim of ad fraud,” according to WFA CEO Stephan Loerke. It says marketers should revise agency contracts to cover nonhuman traffic, staff up on internal expertise, shell out for ad fraud detection tech and focus on whitelists rather than open exchanges. Read the study and analysis.


BuzzFeed ended its political ad deal with the Republican National Committee (RNC) over Donald Trump’s policies. “The Trump campaign is directly opposed to the freedoms of our employees in the United States and around the world,” said CEO Jonah Peretti in an email to employees. He noted that while BuzzFeed doesn’t agree with all the positions of its various advertisers, “in some cases we must make business exceptions: we don’t run cigarette ads because they are hazardous to our health, and we won’t accept Trump ads for the exact same reason.” While the RNC didn’t respond to BuzzFeed’s request for comment (unsurprising, really), a spokesperson told CNN that the Republicans weren’t planning on using BuzzFeed anyway. So there. Read more.

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