Recent quotes:

Pret a Manger, Itsu Founder Says High UK Interest Rates Not ‘End of the World’ - Bloomberg

Americans, it's a fundamentally different thing. So your marketing and your communication in America has got to be unbelievably clear because Americans are much more gullible and less cynical than here in Europe. Europeans are unbelievably cynical where Americans are not. Americans on the whole will believe you so your marketing communication has got to be unbelievably good. So when we opened it … initially Itsu made a terrible mistake in America where everything was self service for speed and Americans … they can't get their head around the concept of fresh food being self service. They like interaction, they're so used to bespoking their food. So they have to be able to make it theirs. Now we are ready. If we went into America today, Itsu would probably be very successful. We would have to do better on communication. Healthy is too blunted. You have to really, really communicate why it's better for them. And are they ready to eat gyoza? Maybe now. Yeah, maybe. As long as you can explain.

Read Musk's 2:30 a.m. Email to Twitter Staff About End of Remote Work

Frankly, the economic picture ahead is dire, especially for a company like ours that is so dependent on advertising in a challenging economic climate. Moreover, 70% of our advertising is brand, rather than specific performance, which makes us doubly vulnerable!

How IBM's audacious plan to 'change the face of health care' fell apart

But former employees said IBM’s approach made it all but impossible to answer those questions. It touted multiple studies, for example, that showed the recommendations of Watson for Oncology, its cancer treatment adviser, closely matched those of hospital tumor boards. However, those studies were carried out with IBM clients, not outside and objective researchers, and didn’t prove the tool could actually improve outcomes. That was a far cry from the claim that Watson could help “outthink cancer,” which IBM was suggesting in national advertisements. “It was all made up,” one former employee said of the marketing without robust data behind it. “They were hellbent on putting [advertisements] out on health care. But we didn’t have the clinical proof or evidence to put anything out there that a clinician or oncologist would believe. It was a constant struggle.”

Simulation "proves" Gladwell wrong

They looked at that information spread in several ways, comparing via computer simulation how information moved throughout the networks when it came solely through word-of-mouth within a network ("bottom up"), when it came solely through external advertising or public information ("top down") and when it came through varying bottom-up and top-down combinations. What they discovered refutes Gladwell's concept that network position is always paramount. They found that in instances where there is even a small amount of advertising -- even when it is just a quarter of a percent as strong as word-of-mouth -- there's virtually no difference between the influence of the person at the center of a network and those further out on the string.

News by the ton: 75 years of US advertising — Benedict Evans

Newspapers are, yes, a content business, but they were also a light manufacturing business, and it was the replacement of light manufacturing and trucking with bits that removed the barrier to entry and unbundled their attention. So, here’s what that business looks like. In 2018, the US newspaper industry shipped ~2.5m tons of newspaper, down from 12.5m tons at its peak.

Center for American Progress Puts ThinkProgress Up for Sale

“Unfortunately, like so many other news outlets that have relied on advertising to fund its work, ThinkProgress has seen a significant drop in revenue in recent years, along with other financial strains. In addition, events over the last few years have underscored the divergent missions of American Progress and ThinkProgress,” said Navin Nayak, executive director of the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

What if the Placebo Effect Isn’t a Trick? - The New York Times

A 2015 study published in the journal Pain analyzed 84 clinical trials of pain medication conducted between 1990 and 2013 and found that in some cases the efficacy of placebo had grown sharply, narrowing the gap with the drugs’ effect from 27 percent on average to just 9 percent. The only studies in which this increase was detected were conducted in the United States, which has spawned a variety of theories to explain the phenomenon: that patients in the United States, one of only two countries where medications are allowed to be marketed directly to consumers, have been conditioned to expect greater benefit from drugs; or that the larger and longer-duration trials more common in America have led to their often being farmed out to contract organizations whose nurses’ only job is to conduct the trial, perhaps fostering a more placebo-triggering therapeutic interaction.

End of an era: Media buyers are ditching the much-hated RFP - Digiday

Driving the shift is that agencies are consolidating their spending with fewer media sellers so there’s less need to cast a wide net with the RFP. More buyers are pursing the mantra of “fewer but deeper” relationships with buyers, especially as bigger chunks of budgets are run through programmatic (and, of course, Google and Facebook) as the workhorse for campaigns to get reach.

Confessions of a media buyer: 'It’s a game right now of how cheap you can be' - Digiday

Clients squeezed us for years by cutting down. These fees or commissions often helped us drive head count. It’s a game right now of how cheap you can be. What they want to know is you’re doing everything possible to give them the lowest rate. Some clients have taken it to the extreme in the way that we have to justify every single thing that is bought. Every P&L has to be completely outlined. They want to know everything from how much they’re paying a demand-side platform to more. They’ve taken it to the extreme. I’ve now had clients who won’t run with certain partners unless they in turn disclose what commissions they’re making. They even ask to be provided with the actual insertion orders from agency and vendor.

Why political news sites are adopting paid membership models

TPM launched its membership model in 2012, but Marshall didn’t get serious about growing it until 2014 or 2015. By 2016, membership had grown to 11,000 subscribers. Just a year later it was up to 21,500 subscribers, with a goal of reaching 30,000 by the end of the year. Visiting the site today, it’s fairly common to across headlines with a dark red “P” symbol next to them, signifying that they’re part of TPM Prime.

Angst Among Digital Media CEOs as Ads Fall: Is It Time to Sell? - Bloomberg

“You need to have a unique audience, a unique advertising proposition and unbelievable creative,” said Doug Rozen, chief digital and innovation officer at OMD, part of the advertising company Omnicom Group Inc. “If you can deliver those three things, you are going to find yourself on the better end of the spectrum, or at least the survival end.”

I Helped Create Facebook's Ad Machine. Here's How I'd Fix It | WIRED

But modern digital advertisers constantly tweak and experiment with ads. When big brands requested the ability to post lots of different creative, it posed a real problem. Brands wanted to show a dozen different ad variations every day, but they didn’t want to pollute their page (where all posts necessarily appear). ‘Dark posts’ were a way to shoehorn that advertiser requirement into the Pages system, allowing brands to create as many special, unseen posts as they’d like, which would only be seen by targeted audiences in their Feeds, and not to random passers-by on their page. The unfortunate term ‘dark post’ assumed a sinister air this past election, as it was assumed that these shady foreign elements, or just certain presidential candidates, were showing very different messages to different people, engaging in a cynical and hypocritical politicking. Zuckerberg’s proposes, shockingly, a solution that involves total transparency. Per his video, Facebook pages will now show each and every post, including dark ones (!), that they’ve published in whatever form, either organic or paid. It’s not entirely clear if Zuckerberg intends this for any type of ad or just those from political campaigns, but it’s mindboggling either way. Given how Facebook currently works, it would mean that a visitor to a candidate’s page—the Trump campaign, for instance, once ran 175,000 variations on its ads in a single day—would see an almost endless series of similar content.

I Helped Create Facebook's Ad Machine. Here's How I'd Fix It | WIRED

To prevent rogue advertisers, Facebook will monitor all ad creative for political content. That sounds harder than it is. Take alcohol advertising, for example, which nearly every country in the world regulated heavily. Right now, Facebook screens every piece of ad creative for anything alcohol-related. Once flagged, that content goes into a separate screening workflow with all the varied international rules that govern alcohol ads (e.g. nothing in Saudi Arabia, nothing targeted to minors in the US, etc.). Political content would fall into a similar dragnet and be triaged accordingly. As it does now, Facebook would block violating ad accounts, and could use account meta-data like IP address or payment details to prevent that advertiser from merely creating another account. It would be a perpetual arms race, but one Facebook is well-equipped to win, or at least keep as a stalemate. Zuckerberg’s video shows commitment to waging that war.

I Helped Create Facebook's Ad Machine. Here's How I'd Fix It | WIRED

Code-named KITTEN, it ingested all manner of user data—Likes, posts, Newsfeed shares—and disgorged that meal as a large set of targetable "keywords" that advertisers would choose from, and which presumably marked some user affinity for that thing (e.g. "golf," "BMW," and definitely nothing about burning humans).

Mommy Blogging jumped the shark

I hosted dozens of giveaways sponsored by brands wanting me to promote their products. I gained hundreds and then thousands of email subscribers, and social media followers, by requiring a follow in exchange for a giveaway entry. I used social media management services to connect with similar bloggers on twitter and instagram, and then unfollow those who didn’t return the follow. I paid a virtual assistant to post my links in round ups all over the internet, for back links and extra traffic. I joined blog directory sites, where asking readers for clicks sends you to the top of the list, and some PR intern googling “mom blogs” then finds you when they want someone to review their product. I sent out my media kit with embellished stats and highlights about my ‘targeted audience of mothers who make purchasing decisions for their household’ and negotiated my rates for free products and paid reviews. I made thousands of dollars during months I was focusing and working hard to dig through box after box of shitty as-seen-on-tv like products and share “my 100% honest opinion” about them, that weren’t at all influenced by the page after page of “key messages” the brand requested that I include in my review. You won’t find most of those posts on this blog today. They aren’t gone forever, and I do plan to revive some of them. But for the most part, they are dead and I want them to stay buried forever. Because, like 90% of the fake nonsense I used to share on the internet as a mommy blogger writing about my fake life and oh-so-happy marriage, they are pure bullshit.

NoTrove Malware is Killing Ad Network - - Performance Marketing Insider

They are then displayed on unsuspecting websites through a variety of methods. This might include poor website management or using hacked credentials to take over a website. More effective is the breaking into established advertising networks and using them to place ads on thousands of small business websites and blogs. In February RiskIQ reported that advertising networks from Google, AOL and Rubicon were among those hacked into. This allows malvertising from the like of NoTrove to be placed on large numbers of websites including those of very large companies.

Ad targetting at Facebook

occasionally, if used very cleverly, with lots of machine-learning iteration and systematic trial-and-error, the canny marketer can find just the right admixture of age, geography, time of day, and music or film tastes that demarcate a demographic winner of an audience.

'Buying Traffic Is The Way Of The Future,' Says CEO Who Made $400,000 From A Single Slideshow Last Year | AdExchanger

But getting that $400,000 required buying about $200,000 of native ads to drive traffic to the content. Topix gets readers to consume slideshows by buying native ads on Facebook, Yahoo, Outbrain and Taboola. Think of Topix as a content arbitrage company. It has developed technology that allows it to buy clicks for cheap, knowing that its slideshow format will let it make more than what it paid for that initial click. Topix profits from the spread between what it pays in advertising and what it earns in advertising. CEO Chris Tolles defends his model, arguing that similar pubs create clickbait while he creates quality content. For example, that $400,000 slideshow? “23 Hilarious Hipster Wedding Trends That Need To Stop.”

Over 80% of online ad effect is on offline sales -- ScienceDaily

For two weeks, Yahoo! users in the experiment's treatment group saw branded apparel ads from the retailer whereas users in the control group saw ads for Yahoo! Search. Relative to the baseline established by the control group, the experiment showed that the retailer's campaign increased sales by 3.6 percent or roughly three times the retailer's spending on ads. Reiley said, "This apparel retailer approached us with an interesting problem: 'How do I know if my online ads work when 90 percent of my sales are offline?'"

First of Three Signs of the Adpocalypse | LinkedIn

Ad fraud is larger than anyone thought. The first of three signs of the impending adpocalypse has already been revealed - video ad fraud. It was far larger than anyone thought. There will be two more signs revealed in the coming year -- mobile ad fraud is larger than anyone thought; and ad fraud in China, India and other younger programmatic countries will be so pervasive it almost cannot be believed.

Why a Membership Model? - Political Wire : Political Wire

as publishing moved to the Internet and digital ads evolved, the incentives grew out of whack. Publishers no longer have a direct relationship with most advertisers. Instead they increasingly use ad networks. These ad networks pool an audience across thousands of different publications and websites. Advertisers tell the networks what audience they want to target and their ads are shown wherever those readers happen to be visiting. What does this mean? Publishers no longer have direct relationships with advertisers so they try to make themselves as attractive to ad networks as they can. This often means sharing personal data about their readers and resorting to other reader unfriendly tactics to show as many ads as they can. Advertisers no longer care about individual publications since their audience may come from thousands of different sites. To make matters worse, the Internet has a virtually unlimited inventory of ad space which drives prices down to ridiculously low prices. This often leads to ads that are in very poor taste. The membership model is much more direct and honest. Publishers are directly accountable to their readers. That’s it.

Two years after buying Elite Daily, the Daily Mail says the Facebook publisher is worthless - Recode

The owner of the Daily Mail, the publisher that bought Elite Daily in January 2015, says the New York-based startup has been a bust, and has written down all of its investment in the money-losing company, citing “poor performance.” It is taking a $31 million loss in the process. […] “audience retention and revenue growth have been disappointing and losses have exceeded expectations,” leading to the write-off.

Confessions of an Instagram Influencer - Bloomberg

That night, I signed up for a service recommended to me by Socialyte called Instagress. It’s one of several bots that, for a fee, will take the hard work out of attracting followers on Instagram. For $10 every 30 days, Instagress would zip around the service on my behalf, liking and commenting on any post that contained hashtags I specified. (I also provided the bot a list of hashtags to avoid, to minimize the chances I would like pornography or spam.) I also wrote several dozen canned comments—including “Wow!” “Pretty awesome,” “This is everything,” and, naturally, “[Clapping Hands emoji]”—which the bot deployed more or less at random. In a typical day, I (or “I”) would leave 900 likes and 240 comments. By the end of the month, I liked 28,503 posts and commented 7,171 times.

Google and Facebook are booming. Is the rest of the digital ad business sinking? - Recode

Kint estimates that Google, which saw its ad revenue grow 22 percent in the first half of the year, accounted for 60 percent of the ad market’s year-over-year growth, while Facebook, which grew 67 percent, accounted for 43 percent of the growth. That’s a total growth of 103 percent, if you’re keeping score. Which means that the rest of the industry collectively shrank.

Mo Pageviews, Mo Problems

In 2006, the New York Times boasted that its website drew an average of 12 million unique visitors a month. Today, it has 78 million. Salon, which had a mere 3 million unique visitors back then, now has 17 million. During the same time, the Guardian’s readership skyrocketed from 15.7 million to 120 million. Fat lot of good it did them.

Bernie's record online ads

The Sanders campaign spent more on digital advertising than all federal races combined in 2008. […]