TV companies gun for direct-to-consumer dollars, Facebook and Google's privacy crackdown, Pepsi fights back

TV companies gun for direct-to-consumer dollars, Facebook and Google's privacy crackdown, Pepsi fights back


Ryan Seit


Welcome to your weekly Advertising and Media Insider newsletter, where we catch you up all the big stories we worked on this past week.

The direct-to-consumer boom was a big theme in our reporting. It’s become conventional wisdom that for these born-on-Facebook companies to get to the next level, they’ll have to buy television, with its ability to introduce products to a new, mass audience. This week I surveyed how the TV giants like NBCUniversal and CBS are trying to change their hidebound practices to sell advertising to these companies.

Here’s what I learned:

  • TV companies are eager to portray themselves as well positioned to capture DTC dollars, with dedicated sales teams and pitches around addressable TV, shoppable ads, and branded content.
  • Yet TV still is a big hurdle for many DTC companies that are used to low-cost, performance-based advertising.
  • Today, DTCs represent a scant 3% of TV advertising, but it’s only poised to grow, having doubled over the past two years.

Privacy continues to be top of mind for advertisers as Google and Facebook crack down on third-party ad targeting on their platforms.

Lauren Johnson broke down Google’s moves againstadvertisers’ use of third-party cookies. Meanwhile, Facebook ispreparing advertisers for a “clear history” tool that will limit use of its most powerful ad targeting tool. Our takeaways:

  • The big question is how popular the tools will be, given growing concerns about online privacy.
  • Ad experts think the Facebook move could have a bigger impact on advertisers because it would limit their ability to target people based on all their browsing data that Facebook collects.
  • These moves could strengthen the incumbent titans Facebook, Google, and Amazon and make it easier for them to take credit for advertising’s effectiveness.

Here are other stories we’ve been reporting. (Read most of the articles here by subscribing toBI Prime; use promo code AD2PRIME2018 for a free month.) What did we miss? Send me tips or feedback at [email protected].

Tanya Dua talked to Pepsi’s marketing chief about how the soda brand is surviving the war on sugary drinks.

Americans are ditching fizzy, sugary sodas more than ever before. Pepsi’s marketing head is adopting a challenger mindset to survive.

Here’s what he said:

  • Pepsi’s diversifying its portfolio to products like Bubly and Lifewtr.
  • It’s trying to be disruptive like Burger King and Domino’s.
  • After its Kendall Jenner ad fiasco of 2017, Pepsi is working more closely with its agencies.

Here’s what to expect in 5G from the ‘Big 4’ carriers as Verizon, AT&T, and others battle for dominance
5G has been more hype than reality so far, but it’s set to gather steam in the year ahead. Abby Jacksonrounded up the changes to expect from the wireless carriers:

  • Verizon says it will have launched 5G coverage in 30 US cities by the end of the year. AT&T says it will have nationwide 5G service in early 2020. Sprint is rolling out in nine cities by June.
  • But experts say AT&T’s and Verizon’s plans to use higher-frequency spectrum is expensive and can be hard to access inside buildings.
  • 5G’s promise of bringing cheaper products to consumers is still several years off.

An Accenture Interactive exec says it’s ‘time to put the checkbook away’ after its string of acquisitions including Droga5
Accenture Interactive has snapped up a series of marketing-oriented companies to become a stronger competitor to ad agencies. Now it’s going to focus on using those companies to help businesses with advertising and more. The company sees itself playing a bigger role as marketing gravitates toward data, automation, and artificial intelligence, Tanya reported.

Here are other stories in tech, media, and advertising you should check out:

A new report shows HBO’s big weakness as it battles Netflix and Disney in the streaming wars

Inside Amazon’s battle to kill an unprecedented shareholder revolt over facial recognition

Google’s advertising boss says that it won’t sacrifice privacy to boost its slowing ads business

A Warner Bros. exec explains the data behind licensing shows like ‘Friends’ to Netflix

These new TikTok influencers have millions of fans and are hustling for a fraction of the price of YouTubers

Get the latest Google stock price here.

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