Advertisers Are Clawing Back Q3 TV Buys; Uber Bids For GrubHub

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Cut Me Some Slack

Advertisers are trying to get out of their TV deals as the pandemic timeline lengthens. Brands including GM, Pepsi, Domino’s and General Mills are trying to cancel commitments to broadcast and cable networks, threatening to upend the deal-making process, The Wall Street Journal reports. Advertisers have the option to cancel up to 50% of their upfront buys for Q3 starting on May 1. But this year, many expect an unprecedented pullback in the $1 billion to $1.5 billion range. Networks are bracing for impact. Hard-hit categories such as travel and hospitality already cut $2 billion out of the TV ad pie in Q2.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered?

Uber has made an offer to buy Grubhub. The companies are in talks and could come to an agreement this month, Bloomberg reports. The synergies are pretty clear. Uber Eats competes directly with Grubhub, and after years of working purely as a platform for restaurants to manage their own deliveries, Grubhub has started to deliver food as well. The combined business would put (Gruber? Ubhub?) ahead of DoorDash as the largest player in the food ordering and delivery category.

Prime Theaters?

In other post-COVID M&A news, Amazon is circling AMC Theaters, the world’s largest cinema chain. “However, it is not clear if the discussions are still active or if they will lead to a deal,” the Daily Mail reports. The report also hasn’t been corroborated. And does Amazon even want a theater chain? Perhaps, but Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Studios serve a clear purpose driving Prime subscriptions. Amazon could pick up AMC for a song, and Daily Mail reports the chain is on the verge of bankruptcy. It is still early in terms of the recession fallout from the coronavirus, but these recent news blips won’t be the last major takeover targets by companies with huge balance sheets of big-name media, entertainment and retail brands as they go under.

Whitelists FTW

Facebook is adding more brand safety tools. It will offer delivery reports with impression data at the publisher and content levels, along with publisher whitelisting on Audience Network. The whitelists are a concession of sorts. Facebook’s previous approach to brand safety centered on blacklists, which require constant updates and tweaks. Buyers were demanding more flexibility. “When it comes to brand safety tools, we’re in constant dialogue with our marketers and the industry,” a Facebook spokesperson told AdExchanger. Read the blog.

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