News Corner June 27, 2018

News Corner

Andrea Pass launches public relations consultancy Andrea Pass Public Relations. The 30-plus-year PR veteran has an expertise in national, regional, and local media relations outreach for clients in consumer products, lifestyle, B2B, education, authors, non-profits, and more. 

Douglas Crouthers rises to president of Wayne, Pa.-based ICTV Brands. Crouthers previously served as the company’s vice president of sales after joining it from Applied Perceptions, where he carried the same title.

Extreme Reach elevates a trio of executives to the “C” suite: company co-founder and president Tim Conley becomes CEO; Jorge Martell removes the “acting” from his CFO title; and Jennifer Wambold becomes chief human resources officer.

A survey of U.S. adults conducted this month by Research Intelligencer and Pollfish finds consumers prefer longer-form ad messages, and most believe TV’s standard-length commercials – 30 seconds and 15 seconds – are the ideal length, not the six-second and shorter units being tested and researched by the advertising and media industry. For TV, 46.5 percent of respondents cited 30-second and 26.5 percent cited 15-second commercials as the optimum length to engage with advertising. And for online media – where shorter-length units such as six-second pre-rolls have long been a standard – nearly the same percentages of consumers said they prefer 30s and 15s.

Experts in local advertising and marketing, publishing, broadcasting, and digital media fields will speak at the second annual Local Impact Los Angeles conference at the Hotel Indigo on July 12. Hosted by BIA Advisory Services, the program will examine L.A.’s forecasted $9.1 billion local targeted ad marketplace and how data, trends, and technologies are driving cross-platform media activation and consumer engagement. LA-based Hawthorne Direct’s CEO Jessica Hawthorne-Castro will discuss geotargeting, audience analytics, attribution, cross-channel marketing, and creative strategies for brands targeting local consumers.

Adtaxi, a digital marketing agency, launches its new website,, which features interactive content, educational resources and a full report on of its performance assessment of Quantum, the company’s new optimization algorithm. Data revealed considerable gains when evaluating cost per action of Quantum-powered campaigns against non-Quantum campaigns.

Former AT&T store employees in Hawaii accuse the telecom of unethical sales practices of bundling DirecTV Now virtual MVPD service with mobile plans. As reported by the Hawaiian CBS affiliate KGMB, Abraham Buonya, once AT&T’s top sales employee in Hawaii, and five other AT&T Honolulu sales workers were recently fired after a company investigation of fraudulent sales practices. Buonya, however, says the company pushed sales employees too hard with unattainable goals.

A new study from advertising technology provider Visto says 80 percent of purchased digital ad placement is done using programmatic exchanges. The results also show advertisers who use a multi-format plan to execute across platforms and publishers increase their supply path optimization by 10 times.

A new study from Juniper Research says more and more consumers are using their mobile devices in place of credit cards. Juniper says mobile point-of-sale devices will be used to conduct 28 billion transactions in 2018. And that number is set to explode during the next five years. By 2023, mobile devices will facilitate more than 87 billion transactions.

The White House is weighing a federal approach to digital data privacy, sources tell Axios. “The preliminary conversations show that the White House wants a voice in the contentious domestic and global debate about how to protect consumer privacy online,” it writes. “So far, Europe’s strict General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has set the terms of the debate, alarming companies and some regulators in the U.S.”

Gray Television and Raycom Media announce they are merging as part of a $3.8 billion deal that will create a broadcasting company with 142 full-power TV stations. Raycom Media CEO Pat LaPlatney will join Gray as president co-CEO and work alongside Gray CEO Hilton Howell, who will become executive chairman and co-CEO. Both LaPlatney and former Raycom CEO Paul McTeer will join Gray’s board. The merger is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Nielsen Catalina Solutions, the Nielsen-Catalina joint venture that offers ad resources for the consumer packaged goods industry, rolls out a tool that measures in-store sales driven by TV and video advertising. The offering combines linear TV, over-the-top video, connected TV, desktop, and mobile, and will examine “the total incremental sales driven by a given ad campaign and how each platform contributed to the total lift,” according to the company. It will also measure the sales driven by a single campaign that airs on a single program across all the platforms it appears.

Viacom is set to begin making shows directly for Netflix as part of a new deal. While other TV studios like CBS and Warner Bros. make shows for Netflix, Viacom is taking it a step further by making network-branded shows. First up will be a Nickelodeon-branded show. Viacom CEO Bob Bakish says his company hopes to make shows based on other networks including BET, Comedy Central, and MTV for many of the top SVODs and mobile carriers. 

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) plans to hold hearings across the country to examine whether to revise its approach to enforcement in light of new technologies and business practices. “When the FTC periodically engages in serious reflection and evaluation, we are better able to promote competition and innovation, protect consumers, and shape the law so that free markets continue to thrive," Chairman Joseph Simons said last week in a statement. The agency suggested that it plans to focus on topics including the relationship between privacy and Big Data, as well as the impact that large technology companies have on competitors and consumers.

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