Insider Advertising Newsletter: Ozy Gets Advertisers’ Attention


Hello and welcome to Insider Advertising, your weekly look at the biggest stories and trends affecting Madison Avenue and beyond. I’m Lara O’Reilly, Insider Media and Publicity Writer. If this has been sent to you, register here.

Facebook is set for another headline-heavy week as it returns to the hot seat on Thursday, with its security chief Antigone Davis scheduled to testify before a Senate subcommittee on whether its products are harmful to children . Adding fuel to the fire: the whistleblower who disclosed to the Wall Street Journal these juicy internal documents who helped form his explosive “Facebook files“a survey series should be interviewed on CBS News’s “60 Minutes” airs Sunday. The Senate should then hear a Facebook “whistleblower” – presumably the same – Tuesday.

Now let’s move on to the news of this week’s big announcements:

Ozy Rules

Carlos Watson speaks on stage during the 2018 OZY FEST at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on July 21, 2018 in New York City.

Matthew Eisman / Getty Images for Ozy Media

This is the season open to an apparent open secret in the media: At Ozy, everything may not be what it seems.

A damning New York Times article this week questioned the media company’s audience figures and reported that Ozy co-founder Samir Rao posed as a YouTube executive during a call with Goldman Sachs.

The fallout has started.

Ozy is facing an FBI investigation into this bizarre call. Its board of directors hired an outside law firm to investigate its business practices. One of its star journalists has resigned. An early investor has sold its shares in the company.

Advertising agencies are also starting to scrutinize his numbers, reported Claire Atkinson, Patrick Coffee, Lindsay Rittenhouse and Tanya Dua of Insider. Ozy CEO Carlos Watson, pictured above, challenged at The Wrap that he inflated Ozy’s figures; he did not respond to Insider’s requests for comment.

For advertisers, this story is another high-profile reminder to always check and recheck the dream sold to them.

The story becomes even more curious. Aram Zucker-Scharff, an adtech engineer who says he has already been interviewed for a managerial position at Ozy, but walked away after realizing that “nothing on the site made sense.” this week introduced us to the adtech infrastructure of using publicly available sources.

In short: there aren’t many ads out there other than a few newsletter referrals and his podcast and video partnerships, where Ozy presumably has to share some of the ad revenue with a third party. Yes, Ozy also makes money from TV deals (including A&E Monday also canceled the broadcast of a documentary hosted by Watson) and its events, but where does its advertising money come from?

New Kids On The Block

Californian wind turbine

A rainbow is visible west from Palm Springs, Calif. On Monday, January 28, 2008, next to a set of wind turbines.

Sandy Huffaker / AP Photo

“advertisers”fear of screenshot“strikes again. As I reported for Insider, a significant number of keyword blocklists – which advertiser’s brand-safety providers use to prevent their ads from appearing alongside website pages containing certain words or categories of content – extend to include terms like “carbon footprint” and “greenhouse gases”.

Such general terms mean that seemingly harmless items can also be caught in the brand’s safety net. This is a problem for media companies at a time when readers are consuming more content related to the climate crisis than ever before and newsrooms are investing more in staff in their science and environment offices.

The debate also continues on whether it is really “dangerous” for a brand to appear next to the news. The Guardian, Havas and telecommunications brand O2 recently tested to serve advertisements on Guardian content deemed “safe” by the brand’s security providers and the other half against “risky” content. ‘At-risk’ content delivered nearly nine times the level of brand lift, The Guardian’s UK advertising director, Adam Foley, wrote on LinkedIn last week.

Dilip Shukla, managing director of the Brand Advance diversity media network, told me that advertisers looking to minimize their perceived risk might also reduce their opportunity to effectively reach people. “The brand’s security approaches don’t seem to be very effective in keeping you away from disinformation sites, for example,” Shukla said. “Therefore, what are you really protected from?

On this subject :

Bet the farm

The football season is well underway and sportsbook advertisers are taking advantage of the NFL’s recent change of mind on gambling. The league, which was furiously pushing against the practice, recently changed the rules to allow TV networks to sell a handful of commercials per game to sportsbook.

Sports betting companies wereted no time, as data from the analytics platform AdImpact shows. The data, which covers the occurrences of ads shown on NFL broadcasts in the first two weeks of regular season games, shows that the volume of ads from sportsbook advertisers has nearly tripled since last year.

Stacked chart of top sportsbook advertisers in 2020 and 2021 from NFL Play Weeks 1 and 2 with the FanDuel advertiser leading the way for both years, growing from 2.4K ad volume in 2020 to 5.8K ad volume in 2020 announcements in 2021

Advertising impact / TV broadcast; Taylor Tyson / Insider

Additionally, the volume of sports betting ads during NFL games has narrowly surpassed the alcohol category – typically one of the biggest spenders in sport, behind fast food, which is almost always nil. ° 1, according to AdImpact.

Update yourself:

All the small things

TikTok ads for MELAA rose lip gloss


Anyone who has followed the rise of Google, Facebook, and Amazon will know that while it makes sense to win over blue chip advertisers early on, the big payoffs really come when platforms can respond effectively to small and medium businesses.

TikTok this week made a ad host during its first TikTok World event. While most of them, like his new brand safety partnerships, were largely aimed at major marketers, other announcements like his shopping solutions – where he works with partners like Shopify and PrestaShop that have attracted large direct-to-consumer brand customer bases – hinting at its SME ambitions.

Other platforms have made recent changes for smaller advertisers as well, Insider reported.

EBay may already have a billion dollar ad business, but it just rolled out cost-per-click ads, reported Lauren Johnson, senior reporter for Insider. This is the type of inventory that is standard on e-commerce sites like Amazon and Walmart, and especially popular with businesses with modest ad budgets.

Elsewhere, Insider senior reporter Tanya Dua reported that entertainment company Fandom has launched a self-service platform for small and mid-sized advertisers to tap into its audience of entertainment enthusiasts and fans. games.

Recommended reading

WPP to Pay $ 19 Million to Resolve Securities and Exchange Commission Investigation Alleged to Violate Foreign Corrupt Practices Law after Swiftly Spreading to India, China, Brazil and Peru , but did not put in place adequate controls to prevent corruption in these areas. – the Wall Street newspaper

Insurance giant Liberty Mutual seeks new agency to handle its US $ 435 million advertising business

A look at how Uber shunned linear TV ads in favor of digital and pivoted its marketing to focus on its delivery activities during the pandemic – Insider

Macy’s filed a lawsuit last week in an attempt to prevent Amazon from advertising on the billboard that surrounds its flagship Herald Square store in New York City – New York Times

U.S. ad spend is expected to grow 23% this year to $ 278 billion, according to Magna’s latest quarterly forecast – Advertising week

Invitation to a sponsored event: Savvy marketers know their customers are more than a list of demographics and past buying decisions. Join PayPal’s bestselling author David Allison and Carol Hargrave on Thursday, October 7 at noon ET to find out how marketers reach customers based on Core Values. register here.

That’s all for now, see you next week – Lara


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