How media companies are returning to the office

Hi and welcome to Insider Advertising for April 15. I’m senior advertising reporter Lauren Johnson, and here’s what’s going on:

First, a reminder to sign up for our event about the future of digital advertising on April 22 at 2 PM EST/11 PM PST with The Trade Desk, R/GA, The Washington Post, and Mars.

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Fred Ryan washington post
Washington Post publisher Fred Ryan speaks during a 2019 Pulitzer Prize announcement ceremony in the Post office.

Media companies including Bloomberg, The Washington Post, and ViacomCBS detail their return-to-office plans as workers push for flexibility after the pandemic

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Showtime insiders worry it will struggle against big-spending rivals like Netflix if it doesn’t broaden its appeal or shake up its strategy

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IPG Phillipe Krakowsky

How a quiet, behind-the-scenes fixer became CEO of the fourth-biggest advertising company – and how he plans to keep its momentum going

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More stories we’re reading:

Thanks for reading and see you tomorrow! You can reach me in the meantime at and subscribe to this daily email here.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Facebook is under investigation in the EU for its massive leak of 533 million people’s data –¬†and it could face a fine in the billions

facebook mark zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appears before a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019.

  • A European regulator announced that it’s investigating Facebook over a leak of 533 million people’s data.
  • Ireland’s Data Protection Commission will probe whether Facebook broke EU privacy laws.
  • Facebook could face a fine of up to 4% of its $86 billion global revenue if found responsible.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Europe’s leading privacy regulator is investigating whether Facebook broke the law in its handling of a leak of over 533 million people’s phone numbers and personal data.

Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, the body charged with overseeing Facebook’s privacy compliance in the European Union, announced it had opened an investigation into the social media giant on Wednesday. If Facebook is found to have violated the EU’s data rules, it could face a monetary fine of up to 4% of its $86 billion global revenue.

In a statement, the DPC said it believes EU data rules “may have been, and/or are being, infringed in relation to Facebook Users’ personal data.”

The personal data of over 533 million Facebook users were dumped online for free in a hacking forum earlier this month, Insider first reported. The data included phone numbers that users didn’t make public on their Facebook profiles, which were scraped by cybercriminals in violation of Facebook’s terms of service.

A Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to Insider that the company is “cooperating fully” with the investigation, adding that the DPC is probing a now-patched vulnerability in a Facebook tool that made it possible to gather information about a Facebook user by entering their phone number.

“We are cooperating fully with the IDPC in its enquiry, which relates to features that make it easier for people to find and connect with friends on our services. These features are common to many apps and we look forward to explaining them and the protections we have put in place,” the spokesperson said.

When news of the leak first broke, Facebook said the data was scraped due to a vulnerability that the company patched in 2019, and downplayed the issue as “previously reported” – but the company never publicly addressed the vulnerability in detail until the data dump this month.

Facebook also said it does not plan to notify the hundreds of millions affected by the data breach because it’s not confident that it has full knowledge of which users are affected, and because users can’t take steps to fix the issue given that the data has already been published online.

The DPC investigation comes on the heels of pressure from the European Commission. Justice commissioner Didier Reynders said on Monday that he had met with the DPC head Helen Dixon regarding the Facebook leak.

The EU investigation will probe whether Facebook had a legal obligation to notify users and European regulators when it found and fixed the vulnerability. The EU’s data privacy rules, known as GDPR, require such disclosures – but the GDPR only applies to data processed after 2018, and it’s not yet clear if the leaked Facebook data was scraped before the GDPR went into effect.

The DPC said that it has already started questioning Facebook about the data leak and that Facebook has “furnished a number of responses.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Advertising agencies imagine the office of the future

Hi and welcome to the Insider Advertising newsletter. I’m Lucia Moses, deputy editor, and this week in advertising and media news:

Companies wrestle with burnout, reopening;

Crispin Porter Bogusky has a new CEO;

And new stats on TikTok users.

First, if you got this newsletter forwarded, make sure to sign up for your own here.

WPP London.JPG

Agencies consider the office of the future

Going back to the office is on everyone’s minds as vaccination rates rise.

But while agencies and media companies reimagine workspaces with shared desks, expanded meeting space, and touchless services, a sizable portion of people are likely to keep working partially if not entirely at home.

That poses a messy issue for companies that will have to accommodate hybrid workforces to make sure remote people don’t get left out and teams keep working smoothly, to say nothing of addressing burnout, Lindsay Rittenhouse reported.

From her story:

[WPP CEO Mark] Read said 5% to 10% of employees have gone back to most of WPP’s offices and expects more to return this summer, though there is no set date or mandate for reopening. He said WPP is figuring out how to safely reopen its global offices as well as how to “embrace the flexible ways of working we learned in the pandemic.”

Read said the holding company of agencies like Ogilvy, VMLY&R, and Wunderman Thompson would adopt a hybrid model, with offices being reserved for collaborative work and employees handling other solo tasks remotely.

He’s also mindful WPP will have to train managers to ensure all employees have the same opportunities to avoid excluding people who are remote.

Read more:

Marianne Malina

New CEO for CPB

Ad agency Crispin Porter Bogusky became famous for its work for marketers like Burger King, but since then, it’s lost its way, losing giant clients like Domino’s and Infiniti.

Now, it’s hoping for a new shot with a new CEO in Marianne Malina, who it poached from Omnicom’s GSD&M.

Malina has a promising track record: Under her stewardship, GSD&M won several big accounts like Capital One, Avocados from Mexico, and Pizza Hut.

Read more: Storied ad agency Crispin Porter Bogusky just hired a new CEO away from rival Omnicom as it tries to turn its fortunes around

The TikTok logo is displayed on a phone in China on March 3, 2020.

TikTok users revealed

Tanya Dua got her hands on recent TikTok decks that reveal new stats on the red-hot video app’s usership and shopping proclivities.

They’re part of a pitch to get advertisers to spend more on the app, using new commerce-style ad formats, as its usage and online shopping have boomed during lockdown.

“TikTok is at a tipping point,” Jon Severson, the vice president and director of paid social at Mediahub, told Tanya. “It’s no longer just a novelty for brands to maybe try but is trying to become something that can drive incremental returns and business outcomes.”

Read more: Never-before-seen TikTok stats from leaked sales presentations show how it’s trying to lure advertisers to the platform

Other stories we’re reading:

Thanks for reading, and see you here next week.

– Lucia

Read the original article on Business Insider

Spotify quietly removed over 40 episodes of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, report says

Joe Rogan
  • Over 40 episodes of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast have been removed from Spotify.
  • Episodes removed included far-right activists Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos, and Gavin Mcinnes.
  • “There were a few episodes they didn’t want on their platform,” Rogan said of Spotify in February.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Spotify appears to be removing controversial episodes of its wildly popular Joe Rogan Experience podcast from its service.

According to a report from The Wrap, 42 episodes of the podcast from the MMA commentator and comedian have been removed from the platform since it purchased the podcast for $100 million in May 2020, though some of the original uploads remain on YouTube.

Four episodes with comedian Chris D’Elia, who has been accused of pursuing underage girls on social media, are among the removed episodes, The Wrap reported. Another six episodes featuring conspiracy theorist David Seaman have also been removed.

Rogan has frequently made offensive statements, shared misinformation, and hosted problematic guests on his podcast. In 2020, he made the false claims that Caitlyn Jenner could have been transgender as a result of living with the Kardashian women, that the Portland forest fires were started by “left-wing” activists, and described transgender identity as a “social contagion.”

The most recent removal of content occurred on April 6, according to The Wrap, with two old podcasts being taken off the platform. One of those episodes, first released in 2013, featured Bulletproof Coffee founder David Asprey, who has shared controversial scientific misinformation, like that with stem cell injections you can live to be 180-years-old. Rogan himself did call out Asprey’s misinformation on his podcast, saying in episode #459 with Dr. Rhonda Patrick that “he gets s— wrong and I don’t know if he’s always so good at recognizing when he has done that and correcting himself.”

There are currently 1,632 episodes of the Joe Rogan Experience created since 2009, with less than 3% having been removed.

Some episodes recorded before the Spotify acquisition never made the move over to the streaming service from YouTube, as Variety reported, including those with conservative YouTuber Sargon of Akkad, Proud Boys extremist-group founder Gavin McInnes, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and far-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos.

During a February episode with guest Fahim Anwar, Rogan alluded to the fact that some of these episodes were taken down. “They haven’t given me a hard time at all,” Rogan said. “There were a few episodes they didn’t want on their platform, I was like ‘okay, I don’t care.'”

Spotify did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Insiders are buzzing about Subway sale rumors

Hi and welcome to Insider Advertising for April 13. I’m senior advertising reporter Lauren Johnson, and here’s what’s going on:

If this email was forwarded to you, sign up here for your daily insider’s guide to advertising and media.

Tips, comments, suggestions? Drop me a line at or on Twitter at @LaurenJohnson.

subway sandwich

Insiders are buzzing about Subway’s attempts to sell itself to Arby’s or Burger King’s parent companies

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David Paykin
David Paykin has gained more than a million followers on TikTok posting career advice tips and tricks.

Inside the CareerAdvice TikTok trend, where creators have driven more than 1 billion views and are helping Gen Z users land jobs

Read the story.

Impossible Foods ground beef

Impossible Foods is reportedly looking to get in on the SPACs craze. Here are 7 other health-centric food brands that experts say could go public next.

Read the story.

More stories we’re reading:

Thanks for reading and see you tomorrow! You can reach me in the meantime at and subscribe to this daily email here.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The ultimate guide to Amazon’s advertising business, which is $21 billion and growing

amazon advertising executive 2x1

Amazon’s e-commerce dominance is quickly expanding to advertising.

The pandemic has drastically cut ad budgets as marketers reign back their spending, but e-commerce advertising is booming as people shop more from home – with Amazon leading the pack.

EMarketer said Amazon claimed 10.3% of the US digital ad market in 2020, up from 7.8% in 2019 – competing with Google and Facebook for ad budgets. That growth has attracted Walmart, Instacart, Walgreens and other retailers that have joined Amazon in vying for a slice of the pie.

Here’s the latest on what we know about Amazon’s moves to grow its advertising business.

How big is advertising for Amazon?

Amazon made about $21.5 billion from advertising in 2020, up from roughly $9.3 billion in the year-ago period.

While that amount is a tiny sliver of Amazon’s revenue from retail sales and Amazon Web Services, its cloud business, advertising is one of its fastest-growing areas. The tech giant continues to cut into advertisers’ search budgets that mostly go to Google.

The pandemic’s impact on Amazon

While advertisers have slashed TV and some digital budgets during the pandemic, Amazon’s advertising has grown as people do more of their shopping online. Amazon has also increased the advertising potential of Twitch, its live-streaming service whose viewership has grown during the pandemic.

Ad tech’s role in Amazon’s ad business

Advertisers and sellers often cite a lack of data and tools as challenges in advertising on Amazon, which has given rise to a cottage industry of firms that specialize in helping marketers navigate the site. Meanwhile, Amazon has pushed further into programmatic advertising with its OTT arm that sells ads in some Fire TV apps.

Ad measurement

Amazon has loads of data about how people shop and has offered advertisers more data to help buy and target ads. Still, advertisers say that Amazon’s data can be limited and continue to find new ways to measure ads.

Who runs Amazon’s ad business?

Amazon is notoriously secretive as a workplace. As Amazon’s advertising ambitions have grown, it’s cultivated a team of execs who pitch advertisers on its ad business.

They include several longtime Amazon employees, including Colleen Aubrey, who is part of Amazon’s executive suite. Amazon has also hired big names from ad agencies and brands over the past few years to build teams that work directly with advertisers.

How to get a job at Amazon

Amazon is consistently looking for advertising talent, but its heavy focus on culture makes it hard for outsiders to break into the company.

We talked to insiders about how to ace the interview process.

Read the original article on Business Insider

1.3 million Clubhouse users’ data was reportedly leaked

Hi and welcome to Insider Advertising for April 12. I’m senior advertising reporter Lauren Johnson, and here’s what’s going on:

If this email was forwarded to you, sign up here for your daily insider’s guide to advertising and media.

Tips, comments, suggestions? Drop me a line at or on Twitter at @LaurenJohnson.

clubhouse app
A user of the social media app Clubhouse shows her smartphone with the logo of the audio application.

Scraped personal data of 1.3 million Clubhouse users has reportedly leaked online

Read the story.

inmobi naveen tewari
InMobi chief Naveen Tewari

Apple’s upcoming privacy changes are sparking a wave of mobile advertising consolidation. Here are 7 companies experts say could be acquired next.

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Newsrooms are facing a mental health crisis and burnout is driving some journalists to quit

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Read the original article on Business Insider

Google’s secretive ‘Project Bernanke’ reportedly used data from outside advertisers to benefit the search giant’s own ad system

Google New York Office
Google in Manhattan.

Google reportedly ran a secretive project – codenamed “Project Bernanke” – using bidding data collected from outside advertisers using its exchange to benefit the search giant’s own ad system.

The codename leaked in an erroneously unredacted document filed by Google in response to an antitrust lawsuit brought by Texas. It was first noticed midweek by reporters at MLex, a newswire service, then reported by The Wall Street Journal on Saturday evening.

The filing was resubmitted under seal.

The Journal, which reviewed the unredacted filing, reported that outside advertisers weren’t told about the “Bernanke” system, which brought in millions for Google each year. The project was in place for years, the Journal reported.

The antitrust lawsuit brought by Texas in December alleged that Google used anticompetitive practices.

“Google repeatedly used its monopolistic powers to control pricing” and “engage in market collusions to rig auctions,” Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a Facebook post in December.

Texas alleged that the “Bernanke” project was instrumental in those efforts, according to the Journal’s reporting.

In the unredacted filing, Google reportedly wrote that information that came from the project was “comparable to data maintained by other buying tools.”

In Google’s publicly available response on April 6, the company said the plaintiffs in Texas had a “deep misunderstanding” of the digital advertising market. The state’s case said “remarkably little about how this lawsuit would help consumers,” Google’s lawyers wrote.

“The government intervention sought by Plaintiffs would do significant harm to the many businesses, large and small, who choose to use Google’s effective advertising services, with a ripple effect of unintended consequences,” Google’s lawyers wrote.

Google and other companies have long used codenames – like “Wolverine” – for their projects.

It was unclear why the name “Bernanke” was used for the advertising project. As chair of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke led US monetary policy between 2006 and 2014.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Salesforce invests $40 million in text-marketing startup Community

Salesforce tower
  • Salesforce is investing $40 million in a text-marketing startup called Community.
  • Community, which started as a tool for celebrities to message fans, is now pitching to businesses.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Salesforce is investing $40 million in the text-marketing startup, Community, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The new funding, which comes through the company’s investment division, Salesforce Ventures, brings Community’s total amount raised to around $90 million.

Community first launched in 2019, raising tens of millions of dollars from investors like Ashton Kutcher to build an app where celebrities and influencers could send texts directly to their fans. Early users included Paul McCartney, Jake Paul, Ellen Degeneres, and Jennifer Lopez. In January, the company told Insider that it had begun targeting business customers in addition to celebrities.

“We’ve started moving into small businesses, streetwear brands, big brands, and we have over 6,000 leaders using our platform,” Josh Rosenheck, the company’s co-founder and chief product officer, said.

Community customers can use its platform to send out mass texts, one-to-one messages to followers, or custom texts to a select group of customers based on their location or demographic info. Users who opt into receiving messages can also text back.

Joshua Weissman, a YouTube star who began using Community last year while it was still invite-only, told Insider that the app had proven to be an effective way to keep in touch with his fans.

“I’ve only been promoting it a little bit, and I’ve got around 10,000 people on my text platform,” Weissman said. “I sent out a text message and it went out to 9,900 [people]. It had a 98% open rate.”

“I would compare it to Mailchimp, but the text version,” Weissman added. “It’s very similar in that fashion, but it’s run through an app on your phone.”

Interest in text marketing has been on the rise this year as media brands, digital creators, and advertisers look for new ways to reach audiences outside of email. Email platform Mailchimp acquired the text-marketing startup Chatitive in January.

“Over time, everyone’s going to want to have a more real connection with the things that they care about,” Rosenheck told Insider. “We wanted that to become adopted and understood as a new social paradigm, like, ‘Oh wow, I can actually have a personal engaging relationship with people I love like the sports teams, the brands, the businesses that I love.'”

Read the original article on Business Insider

How ad agencies are planning to return to the office

Hi and welcome to Insider Advertising for April 8. I’m senior advertising reporter Lauren Johnson, and here’s what’s going on:

If this email was forwarded to you, sign up here for your daily insider’s guide to advertising and media.

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Mark Read WPP Toby Melville Reuters.JPG

Here’s how major ad agencies like WPP and Omnicom are planning a return to the office

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Sadoun Cannes.JPG

Publicis is signing on to The Trade Desk’s alternative to cookie-based ad targeting

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David Bentley, CEO of Porter Novelli
David Bentley, CEO of Porter Novelli

Porter Novelli’s CEO lays out his plan to revive the PR firm after office closures and years of decline

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Read the original article on Business Insider