Amazon is on its first Madison Ave charm offensive; Give agencies their due

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Amazon Advertising

Amazon is a top 10 ad company in the world, and it was able to achieve that status without doing all the stuff platforms typically do to butter the guys up with the budget (rewarding advertisers with open bars and organize sumptuous and starry events) .

As recently as 2019, Amazon was a shark hiding mysteriously under the advertising industry.

But that changes Initiated reports. The company leases a huge stretch of beachfront in Cannes next to the main theater, with dedicated spaces for Amazon Ads, AWS, Twitch and its Wondery podcast group. Oh, and there’s going to be a Daft Punk concert.

Amazon hosted its first-ever live NewFronts show earlier this month, hosted by Amy Poehler. And, also for the first time, Amazon sent gift packages to agency executives with swag touting Amazon’s NFL deal.

It’s not all for show either. Amazon is courting some of the best programmers.

A month ago, Amazon hired Stephanie Layser, former head of ad tech products at News Corp, as global head of publisher ad tech solutions for AWS. Neal Richter, a programmatic OG, joined a year ago as Amazon DSP’s director of ad science. MediaMath and Google vet Sam Cox joined in 2021 as director of technical product management for Amazon’s DSP, and Steve Truxal, a former AppNexus/Xandr product manager, is now director of ad technology products for Amazon’s DSP. Amazon’s physical stores.

The unsinkable agency

Stories of growth in gambling and commerce are making headlines. But advertising agencies haven’t received much attention for their good performance.

WPP grew 9% in the first quarter, Publicis recorded 10% growth last year and Dentsu did even better. IPG and Omnicom have raised their 2022 outlook.

Agencies are rumored to be burned out due to internal programmaticbut they survived supposed existential threats from big consulting firms and maintained their position even as ad tech companies tried to go directly to brands.

Yet agencies are not getting their due as adaptable survivors, writing Mike Shields.

In fact, several agency holding companies have pioneered business and advisory practices that, if at all, could outperform consultants in their home turf, Shields writes.

And agencies follow their own advice, as evidenced by their investments. Just look at Publicis Groupe’s acquisition of the e-commerce analytics platform Profitero in early May.

And Amazon isn’t alone in hiring ad techs. Agencies such as Merkle and Essence have attracted ad tech talent, as have new performance agencies such as WITHIN and Tinuiti.

help you, help me

The Chrome Privacy Sandbox recently reached an important testing milestone. Half of Chrome’s beta population – developers who sign up to participate in the original trials – are now eligible to test sandbox proposals.

Now is the time for Google to divide these developers into two groups: a control group and an experimental group.

But there is a problem here, a kind of Catch-22 for Google. The business needs a control group, but it also needs as much inventory as possible to actively test new APIs.

Google needs publishers and their tech vendors to play in the privacy sandbox, but it’s a heavy hitter for people already strapped for time.

“It’s a highly technical problem with a bunch of highly technical solutions, and publishers don’t get a lot of free engineering hours,” said a supply-side ad tech manager. Advertising week.

But the challenge isn’t just about not having enough time in the day – some publishers are less than convinced of the value of the Topics API. In fact, many are turning away from it.

Oh, and Topics is also buggy.

Chrome relies on outside developers to check the code for inevitable bugs, but they don’t catch everything. “It really depends on whether the developers are able to identify the bug and report it to us,” says Vinay Goel, Chrome privacy product manager.

But wait, there’s more!

Many networks have announced trials of alternative measures. But, despite the buzz, this year’s initial negotiations will largely still be done on Nielsen. [Ad Age]

Retailers including Walmart and Dollar General are working with more ad tech companies as they race to take advantage of growing retail media. [Insider]

Disney is hiring and promoting advertising executives to bolster its audience-based advertising business. [Digiday]

The buyable video is “about to explode”. [MediaPost]

You are engaged!

Omnicom adds Brian Clayton as Data Privacy Officer, a new role within the agency. [MediaPost]

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