The In-House Trend Muddies Agency Relationships; Brian Lesser Talks WPP Programmatic Plans

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Inside Job

In light of the transparency debate, advertisers are vying to regain control of their agency relationships by bringing programmatic capabilities in-house. The “inside-out” model embraced by Walmart and others has brands incorporating programmatic stack components or even full-on trading desks. But many agencies are still retained to “manage” the new tech. Procter & Gamble, L’Oréal and Unilever are a few giants making this transition, according to Ad Age. “if you decide to partner with your agency, you have clearer sight to what you’re paying them on an FTE basis,” said Mark Kaline, global media director at Kimberly-Clark. But the change could also be just another layer of complexity in an already thin-sliced ecosystem. More.

Lesser’s View

In a Q&A with Chris Loupos of Adweek, GroupM’s North American CEO, Brian Lesser, talked about his plans for programmatic across the WPP media network. “Over time, all media will be digital, all digital will be addressable and all addressable media will be bought and sold programmatically,” said Lesser, who was the CEO of Xaxis before being promoted to his current gig. Lesser says walled gardens are here to stay. “The job of our agency, our technology platform and our data platform are to help join up various versions of the truth.” Read the interview.


Facebook added “Suggested Videos” last year so users would watch multiple videos instead of scrolling past soundless autoplay, and it’s going… well, it’s going. On the one hand, the revenue mechanics are a mystery. “Like YouTube, Facebook gives 55% of the ad revenue to its partners. But, unlike YouTube…Facebook must split the revenue between multiple partners, since the ads are sprinkled in between a carousel of videos,” writes Mike Shields of The WSJ. Some see value and modest revenue, but “this is still very much in a test phase,” said Athan Stephanopoulos, president at NowThis. “What I can sense is that they are working really hard to figure it out.” More.

A New Target

Target will consolidate its $686 million media account within GroupM. The retailer will get its own team at GroupM, which the advertiser began working with last year, by choosing talent from its digital, analytics and media planning. The retail giant comes from Haworth Marketing + Media, a Minneapolis-based agency that’s held its business since its 1970 launch (and 49% of which is owned by GroupM parent WPP). Read the release. AdAge reports that Target has been reviewing its account for the past few years as it refines its in-house capabilities. Related: Haworth is reportedly bidding on the Walmart business. The wheels on the bus go ‘round and ‘round.

Put Me In, Coach

Twitter spent $10M for the streaming rights to 10 Thursday NFL games next season. Bloomberg describes the deal as “a triumph for Twitter, which is struggling to attract new users and expand its content beyond the posts of journalists, politicians and celebrities.” Twitter is an ancillary distribution partner, though, as the games will still air on NBC, CBS and the NFL Network. For the NFL, it’s a cheap way to test where viewers stream live content, based on Twitter’s plan to embed its stream across other sites. The bargain price makes it a good deal for Twitter (whose CFO, Anthony Noto, is a former NFL CFO), but it’s still more like getting practice reps than a chance to start at quarterback. More.

But Wait, There’s More!

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