The ad industry has finished off the week at the top of the news agenda with the demise of the proposed merger between Publicis and Omnicom. There was of course only one contender for the biggest news story of the week but there’s still plenty going on elsewhere in media land.
Not only has Katie Price filed for divorce this week, but Omnicom Group and Publicis Groupe called off their $35bn ‘merger of equals’ last night, bringing a premature end to a deal that would have created the largest advertising company in the world. The mutual agreement to terminate has come following nine months of delays, with concerns over tax rulings and rumoured infighting. Publicis CEO Maurice Levy expressed “disappointment” over the collapse but dismissed reports that it has lost clients and staff to its rivals as a direct result of the proposed deal. He claimed the deal has been terminated on a ‘friendly’ basis, with all accrued costs to be divided equally between the two companies. It will be fascinating to see how they both move forward from this.
Amazon has developed a new way to add items to your basket without having to leave Twitter. Every time you see a tweet with an Amazon product link, all you have to do is reply using the hashtag #AmazonCart and the product will be automatically added to your basket for you to review next time you log onto the website. It is important to note Amazon customers wanting to do this will need to set up permissions in advance, but it still represents a great step forward for Twitter showing its potential for retail integration. While adding to a basket doesn’t equate to sales, it will help Amazon to better tailor customer recommendations. The question now is whether every single retailer will try to replicate the tool?
The American video-on-demand service HULU is developing new ad formats that every broadcast platform will envy. After launching pre-rolls where users could choose which ad to watch giving them freedom to pick the right content and getting advertisers to reduce wastage, it’s now launched three innovative ad units. The most promising format is the ‘in-stream-purchase’ unit which does exactly what it says on the tin. Launching with Pizza Hut, users will now be able to order a pizza during the ad break, without having to interrupting the viewing experience.
The Brazilian Nivea Team has come up with a new way to give parents ‘peace of mind’ when spending time at the beach with their kids. The shores of Rio can be overly crowded and children can wander off and get lost pretty quickly, so Nivea decided to create a print ad with a detachable right side that turns into a trackable bracelet. Customers rip off the bracelet, attach it to their child’s arm, then download the companion app. Within the app, parents can set the maximum distance each child can wander; if the child goes too far, the app sends a loud alert to let you know. A brilliant example on how to go beyond print advertising.
This week the social-sphere has been alive with talk of Eurovision, specifically the Austrian performer Conchita Wurst (real name Tom Neuwirth). Pushing the boundaries of gender identity is nothing new at Europe’s annual song contest – an extravaganza known for its eclectic, sometimes-unlistenable line-up of techno beats, love songs and pop tunes. However, the semi-finals have been taking place this week and the bearded diva has sparked controversy by highlighting an increased tension between Europe’s progressive liberal side and the traditional values and nationalist rhetoric of Russia and other nations taking part. The controversy has only fuelled interest, seeing Austria become 5/2 favourites to win. Tune in to the Eurovision Grand Final on Saturday evening at 8pm, BBC1 to see the sparks fly.