The New York Times Beefs Up T Brand Studio; The Weather Co Expands Off-Property Access

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Selling Up

The New York Times’ in-house content agency, T Brand Studio, is “moving deeper into more agency-like services, creating ad campaigns that may show up outside the Times’ own properties or offering consulting and research services,” writes Jack Marshall at The Wall Street Journal. Sebastien Tomich, the Times’ VP of advertising and innovation, says there’s really no choice for publishers since “advertisers don’t need publishers’ audiences the way they used to; they can get that anywhere.” More.

Rain Or Shine

The Weather Co. will extend off-property access to its ad targeting platform, Weatherfx, through a partnership with The Trade Desk and programmatic out-of-home company Vistar Media. The IBM-owned company has troves of data that helps advertisers target against weather’s impact on purchase behavior. “Marketers will be able to apply Weatherfx targeting to a much larger portion of their overall media and marketing, and make their campaigns more targeted and relevant based on local weather conditions,” said Jeremy Steinberg, global head of sales at The Weather Co., in a statement. More at MediaPost.

Bust And Boom

A proposed CBS-Viacom merger is officially off. The Redstones are feeling confident in Viacom’s new CEO, Bob Bakish, who has outlined a clear vision to turn the flailing entertainment giant around. A more likely reason the deal fell through, however, is that Viacom wasn’t willing to pay CBS the terms CEO Les Moonves demanded. Rumors are CBS, still on the lookout for a merger, may seek a tech buyer or even theoretically tie up with a post-Disney ESPN, according to Recode. Regardless, broadcasters may face a rough ride in 2017, with sliding ratings, telco rate pressure and ever more competition from cable giants and Silicon Valley. More.

Chat With Your Agency

Ogilvy & Mather London is making chatbots for advertisers. “Eight years ago the question for clients was, ‘Should we have an app?’ but now the CEO wants to tell shareholders there’s a chatbot,” OgilvyOne CEO Jo Coombs tells Digiday. Unlike other mobile investments, the tech investment for bot development is low and upfront – it’s time spent by human copywriters that accounts for ongoing costs. “This time next year we’ll be having the same conversations, but we’ll be talking about Alexa and Google Home,” says James Whatley, Ogilvy innovation planning manager, who’s leading the bot team. More.

But Wait, There’s More!

You’re Hired!

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