Meet Digital Media’s Newest Darlings; Accenture Interactive Wins Big Piece Of Kimberly-Clark’s Business

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Raise The Roof

Vice, Refinery29, Mashable, Mic and BuzzFeed are just a few of the VC-backed digital media companies that faced painful revenue shortfalls and setbacks over the past year. But newer news startups are starting to gain traction, typically in narrow categories – and they’re picking up new VC rounds. Axios, for example, is taking a small, strategic investment to help back its plan to sell newsletter and email software, The Information reports. And The Athletic, a subscription sports news site, is raising $50 million at a $500 million valuation. The Athletic previously raised $90 million, including a $22 million round in May with the company valued at $300 million. The new money will fund The Athletic’s international expansion. Then there’s The Chernin Group (TCG), backed by Hollywood financier Peter Chernin, which raised a new $700 million fund to continue investing in digital media, after placing lucrative bets on Barstool Sports, Twitter, Otter Media and The Athletic. In September, TCG invested $83 million in Food52, a hybrid ecommerce kitchenware company and food and recipe publisher. Looks like it’s still possible to be a digital media darling – if you’re an outlet with a new revenue model beyond traditional advertising.

Droga FTW

Accenture Interactive picked up Kimberly-Clark as its first major creative win since acquiring Droga5 in April. The firm will be the lead creative agency for K-C’s baby and childcare products, which includes brands such as Pull-Ups and Huggies, The Wall Street Journal reports. Droga5 will handle brand strategy and creative from New York and London, while Accenture Interactive’s global team will “deliver local market-driven experiences powered by data and technology,” a spokesperson told AdExchanger. According to Kimberly-Clark growth chief Alison Lewis, Accenture Interactive won the pitch because it’s got the technology and it’s got the creative chops courtesy of Droga5. “Technology without creativity or ideas really doesn’t work,” Lewis said, adding that she wasn’t sure if Accenture Interactive without Droga5 “would have given us the full solution.” In a statement to AdExchanger, Kimberly-Clark said that Mindshare “will continue to service the media side of the business.” More.

Gathering Clouds

Adobe and Microsoft deepened integrations between their cloud suites on Tuesday. Adobe can now connect CRM data or ecommerce data from Marketo to Microsoft campaigns, as well share data across LinkedIn and Marketo for attribution. Read the blog post. The partnership isn’t major news on its own, but it is representative of a broader realignment between marketing and cloud tech giants. Microsoft and Adobe have become powerful friends. (Frenemies?) Microsoft, Adobe and SAP launched the Open Data Initiative last year, and Microsoft and Adobe released a slew of other integrations this year for B2B sales data, attribution and account-based marketing. Adobe even moved Adobe Experience Manager, its digital content management system, from its own cloud hosting service to Microsoft Azure, and uses Azure as its preferred cloud provider for business apps created using its technology. Google and Salesforce (specifically, Salesforce’s version of a CDP) have also buddied up with exclusive integrations and strategic partnerships over the past couple of years. Google and Salesforce are natural allies, though, since Salesforce doesn’t compete with Google on ad tech. Adobe and Microsoft are a logical pair, too … since they’re both companies not named “Google.”

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