Media Beat: February 17, 2020

What Was Said: How to blow $120M online

Media Beat: February 17, 2020

By David Farrell

What Was Said: How to blow $120M online

In "Advertising's Untold Stories" I wrote, "In marketing, the untold stories are usually the real story." That's because the stories that get told -- the nonsense that the trade press publishes and the "case histories" we hear at conferences -- are profoundly skewed by the habit of human beings to publicize their successes, not their failures. The stories we read and hear represent wildly unrepresentative samples.

Now there's a unique opportunity to listen to a real-world story of the type you rarely get to hear.  Kevin Frisch, the former head of performance marketing and CRM at Uber, tells the story of how ad fraud (specifically attribution fraud) was headed toward eating $120 million of Uber's $150 million online ad budget. You can find it at the Marketing Today podcast, hosted by the great Alan Hart.


Most marketers have no idea how deeply they're being screwed by online ad fraud. They don't even know where to look. Listening to Frisch tell his story brings it all to life. "We turned off 2/3 of our spend, we turned off 100 million of annual spend out of 150, and basically saw no change..."

And the wonderful thing about his story is that he explains why nobody gave a shit -- not agencies, not marketers -- about how much money was being pissed away. If you want to know what's really going on in online advertising, it's a must-listen. – Bob Hoffman, The Ad Contrarian

Houdini of Re-invention, Tommy Schnurmacher, now taking his act to stage

When he announced he was leaving his popular CJAD talk-radio show to travel the world and, perhaps, pen the memoir he had long been talking about, many felt this would be the last they would hear from Schnurmacher. Well, they don’t know Tommy. – Bill Brownstein, Montreal Gazette

The fall and rise of Julie Snyder

When Julie Snyder found out in 2016 that her show Le Banquier would be cancelled, “I read it in the morning and then walked into the bathroom and put a facecloth on my face. Then I said, ‘OK, life has to continue.’ … But it was the following days that it really hit.” – Brendan Kelly, Montreal Gazette


Peladeau calls Bell a 'public danger' at CRTC hearing

The president and chief executive officer of Quebecor Inc. described Bell Inc. as a "public danger" and "multi-tentacled octopus" at a CRTC hearing Wednesday.

Pierre Karl Peladeau testified before the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission which is considering Bell Media's potential acquisition of Groupe V Media's conventional TV network and Noovo video-on-demand service for an undisclosed price. – CP

CTV’s Evan Solomon tackles Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault



Rogers now pre-selling Samsung Galaxy 5G series

Rogers announced it is bringing Rogers Infinite customers Canada’s first 5G smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy S20 5G series, starting March 6. Rogers recently announced it began to roll out Canada’s first 5G network in downtown Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, with 20 more markets to come this year. – Press release

Conservative candidate has plans to de-fund CBC services

Conservative leadership candidate Erin O’Toole is promising to end funding for CBC’s digital news services and to eventually sell off its English-language television operations.

In one of his campaign’s first major policy announcements, O’Toole said he would leave CBC Radio and Radio-Canada untouched, but end CBC’s English-language digital news footprint and move to privatize its English TV operations. 


That would be done by slashing CBC’s television budget in half and eliminating advertising on its networks, before moving to sell off its English-language TV entities. – Jolson Lim, iPolitics

RIP: Author, journalist Anne Kingston

She covered the sex assault trials of Jian Ghomeshi and Bill Cosby and the murders of Honey and Barry Sherman. She added analysis and reassessments of current events as the dust was settling. She died Wednesday, Feb. 12 at age 62, after being diagnosed with aggressive cancer. – Adrian Humphreys, National Post


Anne Kingston retrospective: 15 years of writing at Maclean's

Kingston had a brilliant 40-year career as an award-winning reporter, columnist and author. Here is a look back at some of her most memorable stories and covers from her 15-year career at Maclean’s.

‘All newspapers are going to die’

Those are the words of newspaper executive and Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charles Munger. His comments were made the same week McClatchy, the second-largest newspaper company in the United States, filed for bankruptcy.

Between 2006 and 2018, McClatchy’s advertising revenue fell by 80 percent and daily print circulation fell by 58.6 percent. The company has been family owned for 163 years. It has 30 newsrooms in 14 states.

The McClatchy newspaper empire took generations to build and scarcely a decade to eviscerate. So, too, the family’s fortune. Fifteen years ago, the McClatchy clan shared a $2.7B media fortune. Back then, shares of their company traded above $700. On Monday of last week, they traded below a dollar. – Radio Ink, Forbes

Pittman sees exceptional growth for podcast industry

The iHeart CEO was a keynoter at Podcast Movement’s Evolutions Thursday night in Los Angeles. Bob Pittman took some heat from the podcast community last September when he said podcasting was radio’s birthright. In his keynote, he made it clear how much he believed in podcasting and told the crowd it’s going to be a lot bigger than anyone thinks.

“Sitting here today, whatever we think podcasting is going to be, we are missing it. It’s going to be much bigger. As we think about our company it’s AM, FM, Digital and Podcasting. It’s a platform as big as our other platforms. And, by the way, audio overall is going through a renaissance...” – Radio Ink

Private Eye now UK’s best-selling magazine

Private Eye, Britain’s fortnightly satirical and current affairs news magazine that routinely pillories the indiscretions of the famous and the powerful, is now boasting the fact that it is the UK's number one best-selling news and current affairs magazine. The tattler also has regular podcasts called Page 94, which you can listen to here, and you can keep up to date with the latest news by following Private Eye on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.


US elections drive record digital ad spending

This election cycle’s digital political ad spend is more than three times the amount spent during the last presidential cycle, primarily due to a large number of Democratic presidential primary candidates vying for the party’s nomination. The roughly two dozen candidates have spent millions to list-build and acquire small donors, the latter of which was a prerequisite for participation in the Democratic National Committee’s primary debates. However, TV’s share of the total ad spend dominates, capturing 66% of the pie. -eMarketer

Playing on Kansas City Radio: Russian Propaganda

Radio Sputnik, a propaganda arm of the Russian government, began broadcasting on three Kansas City-area radio stations during prime drive time. – Neil MacFarquhar, NYT

FRONTLINE: Amazon Empire: The Rise and Reign of Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos is not only one of the richest men in the world, he has built a business empire that is without precedent in the history of American capitalism. His power to shape everything from the future of work to the future of commerce to the future of technology is unrivaled. As politicians and regulators around the world start to consider the global impact of Amazon — and how to rein in Bezos’ power — FRONTLINE investigates how he executed a plan to build one of the most influential economic and cultural forces in the world. Below is the trailer for the documentary.


Nielsen offers insights into viewership platforms in the US

According to the results of a survey within the Total Audience Report for February, 19% of all TV activity is streaming content. Nielsen says that 93% of streaming service subscribers are planning to maintain their current number of streaming services or increase the number of services they use. 47% of consumers between ages 18-34 are already using 3 or more services. – Jess Barnes, Cord Cutters News

Boris Johnson’s plan to cancel funding of the Beeb

Claims were made on Sunday that No 10 may be preparing a new onslaught on the BBC with a threat to scrap the television licence fee and turn it into a subscription service. The Sunday Times quoted a senior source as saying that the broadcaster could be forced to sell off most of its radio stations in a “massive pruning back” of its activities. – The Guardian

Is this how fascism comes to America?

“Donald Trump does not represent Republican ideals. He is our Mussolini.”

So said a Republican Congressman, Utah Representative Chris Stewart, at the start of Mr. Trump’s presidency in March of 2016.

Around the same time, neoconservative Robert Kagan offered his view of the new President. “This is how fascism comes to America,” he said. “Not with jackboots and salutes … but with a television huckster, a phony billionaire, a textbook egomaniac ‘tapping into’ popular resentments and insecurities, and with an entire national political party – out of ambition or blind party loyalty, or simply out of fear – falling into line behind him.” – Lawrence Martin, Globe and Mail

Yseult, Sevdaliza and Pabllo Vittar

Yseult, Sevdaliza and Pabllo Vittar

Chart Beat

Sevdaliza, Pabllo Vittar & Yseult's Multilingual Hit 'Alibi' Debuts on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100

The single by the Iranian-Dutch Sevdaliza brings together a host of cultures and styles in a winning mix that features French singer Yseult and Brazilian drag queen Pabllo Vittar and samples Colombian legend Magín Díaz.

A viral song featuring no less than four languages has debuted on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100 this week.

"Alibi" by Iranian-Dutch singer Sevdaliza arrives at No. 96 on the chart, while it holds the No. 19 spot on Billboard's Global 200.

keep readingShow less