The FTC Rules Against Warner Bros.; Twitter Will Stream Thursday Night Football

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FTC Hammers The WB

The FTC has brought the hammer down on Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, as the company settled charges that it engaged in deceptive practices. As per the FTC’s complaint, Warner Bros., through ad agency Plaid Social Labs, contracted a roster of influencers to create YouTube videos promoting the 2014 release of the video game “Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor.” But all the necessary disclosure information happened below the fold. That’s a no-go for the FTC. As a result of the settlement, Warner Bros. is prohibited from misrepresenting gameplay videos that are part of a marketing campaign, must disclose marketing connections it has with sponsors and must educate and monitor influencers to ensure they’re properly revealing their connection with the studio. One does not simply produce sponsored content without a disclosure! Read more.

Caught A Live One

Twitter scored a sweetheart deal from the NFL to stream Thursday night games. (Twitter CFO Anthony Noto, who seems to be leading Twitter’s live-streaming charge, is a former NFL CFO.) Twitter has been on a live-streaming tear, as it already broadcast Wimbledon and, later this month, will do the same for CBS’ news coverage of the Republican and Democratic conventions. Yesterday the social platform announced a streaming partnership with Bloomberg TV. And unlike the Wimbledon partnership, the Bloomberg deal has a rev share. “Brands will be able to buy pre-roll ads before clips (provided they aren’t live) using Twitter’s Amplify platform, and there will also be the potential for in-stream ads,” reports Mathew Ingram of Fortune. Get that worm, little blue bird. More.

Programmatic Creative

Google inked a partnership with Shutterstock that opens its full image database for its advertising products. Right now, the partnership is only live for Adsense’s rich text ads, though according to a release the contract also enables Adwords and Admob to pull images from Shutterstock’s library. Advertisers buying on Google can access the images at no extra cost. “Google is controlling the experience here,” Janet Giesen, senior director of biz dev and strategic partnerships at Shutterstock, told AdExchanger. “An advertiser enters keywords and text and Google pairs images based on their data and the metadata in our collection. What goes on behind that is Google’s secret sauce.” Read the release.

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Snapchat ad hype is huge, but its strategy ain’t original, and it’s following Facebook’s playbook, writes Garett Sloane of Digiday. Like Facebook, Snapchat opened its ad program with an API for select marketing partners. Its sales teams are organized around verticals rather than regions. Its ads are created for mass appeal to bring in brand dollars. And the platform is working with app-install marketers who need to meet download numbers. Sound familiar? But with a meager support staff of 100, Snapchat has a long way to go before catching up to its predecessor. More.   

Comeback Kid

Publicis Groupe announced a strategic partnership with Walmart on Tuesday that according to a press release gives the marketer “unfettered access to all of Publicis Groupe’s agencies and resources.” The relationship mostly focuses on Walmart’s advertising and in-store creative in the US, for which Publicis is the agency of record. It’s unclear whether or not the deal includes media buying (MediaVest lost the Walmart account in February), but the release alludes vaguely to “access to resources outside of marketing, including capabilities to support corporate reputation and technology that builds relationships with customers.”

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