News Corner February 14, 2017

News Corner

a2b Fulfillment appoints Cathy Evans as senior director of technology. Evans, a 25-year information technology veteran, will oversee all information technology assets and resources.

Hulu adds support for 60-frames-per-second live-TV streams for some channels on select devices. The company says viewers will notice smoother movement particularly in sports but even news crawls at the bottom of the screen will look better.

Viacom plans to launch a direct-to-consumer video product by the end of its fiscal year that will be “significant and differentiated from what’s in the marketplace today.” The service will feature “tens of thousands of hours” of content from Viacom’s global library.

Men’s hair loss treatment startup Keeps launches a national TV ad campaign with its agency Quirk Creative. Keeps says it positions itself as a digital-first, direct-to-consumer brand but also believes its message will resonate well on TV.

Yum Brands Inc. and Grubhub Inc. partner to boost online sales and delivery from Yum’s restaurants, including KFC and Taco Bell. Yum Chief Executive Greg Creed says in a statement the company is “aggressively pursuing delivery as a strategic global growth opportunity, with nearly half of our 45,000 restaurants already offering it today.” 

Unilever’s marketing boss Keith Weed threatens to pull ads from platforms that “breed division” or fail to protect children from toxic content, and is calling on the digital media industry to “overhaul its behavior” or risk losing the trust of both consumers and brands.

A survey by One Hour Translation, an online translation agency, reveals that 31 percent of those who intend to buy a Valentine’s Day gift this year will buy it online, while 20 percent say they plan to buy presents in physical stores.

Ad agency Marketing Architects Inc. (MAI) agrees to pay $2 million to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and State of Maine Attorney General’s Office for alleged deceptive radio ads for weight-loss products marketed by its client, Direct Alternatives. In a statement, MAI says its former client “made product claims that the FTC considered to be unfair advertising practices. We had no knowledge of these unfair practices or widespread customer dissatisfaction.” MAI adds that it will no longer work with weight-loss companies. 

The Data & Marketing Association Business Report says U.S. marketers earned the highest levels of sales revenue growth since 2011. This was reported alongside equally significant increases in data-driven marketing expenditures, which grew at the highest rate in five years. More than 70 percent of marketers say investments are driven by customer expectations of more personalized and relevant brand interactions.

YouTube announces three new potential punishments for creators who post objectionable content: removal from the company’s premium Google Preferred ad tier or the cancellation of a YouTube Red original series; the suspension of ads and even permanent expulsion from the YouTube Partner Program; and, finally, the removal of a channel’s ability to be recommended on the home page, trending tab, or “watch next.”

Scott Schiller, the incoming chairman of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, says marketers must tell agency partners what they need and how they define success, and agency partners must help marketers reach their goals, not just their own. “We can no longer each be only serving our own interests,” Schiller says.

Finally, in an impressive direct-to-consumer targeted marketing effort, an unidentified Girl Scout sells 312 boxes of cookies in six hours near a marijuana dispensary in San Diego. Mike Lopes, a spokesman for the Girl Scouts of the USA, says, “For the most part, it’s not any different than selling in front of any other kind of shop. It just happens to be a marijuana dispensary.”