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Good morning! One of our big stories of the past week was the agency change at McDonald’s, from advertising correspondent Patrick Coffee. Patrick obtained an internal doc from the new agency, Wieden and Kennedy, that just won the fast-food giant’s ad business.
Internal memo from McDonald’s new ad agency reveals why the world’s biggest fast-food chain bucked industry trends to reshape its marketing strategy Why it matters: With legacy ad agencies under attack from new competitors, agencies have been hyping their ability to use consumer data. The McDonald’s move seems to be a repudiation of that trend. Is this the unraveling of the whole effort by agencies to reinvent themselves? Stay tuned; Patrick will have more to come on this.
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And … the fall conference season has begun. Senior reporter Tanya Dua is reporting from Groceryshop in Las Vegas, a conference for packaged-goods makers, grocers, mass retailers, and startups, where e-commerce is the big topic on attendees’ minds.
The cereal maker addressed the conference, saying it’s cracked the code of e-commerce while other legacy CPG companies are too bogged down in their legacy processes.
While marketers often complain that Amazon is too stingy with its data, the CEO of Amazon competitor Boxed told attendees that it’s trying to compete by doing the opposite and showering brands with data.
Meanwhile, senior reporter Lauren Johnson is in Santa Barbara, Calif., at AT&T’s Relevance advertising conference for media companies, ad agencies, and platforms.
AT&T is eager to get publishers besides its own like CNN and WarnerMedia to join its ad sales marketplace, and its first order of business was to announce new additions to the service. Some advertisers still have doubts about how much data AT&T will share with them, though.
AT&T also acknowledged there’s growing scrutiny of that business as media companies take over more of the ad ecosystem, and that ad fatigue is a problem.
Speaking of AT&T, Brian O’Kelley, who sold his AppNexus ad tech company to AT&T, apparently has a knack for finding industries to disrupt. As he told Lauren, venture capitalists were practically throwing money at him based on the mere idea of his starting a company in the area of logistics.
O’Kelley isn’t the only online ad vet looking for growth in other industries. Lauren also got the news about another ad vet who’s starting a company to help airlines compete with online pricing agents.
Other media companies are looking for ways to make money outside of advertising. I talked to the co-CEO of the once-buzzy business news publisher Quartz, which is trying to fix its membership model. As publishers pivot to paid products, it’s expected that they’ll have to experiment with the benefits and price to get it right. But several insiders told me they felt the program was rushed and didn’t understand how it would convince people to pay for it.
Meanwhile, I got some details on high-profile startup Axios’ plans for a pricey new service that will help it offset its reliance on advertising.
High-profile news startup Axios is targeting giant companies with a new service that could put it in competition with Facebook and LinkedIn Here are other great stories from media, marketing, and advertising. (You can read most of the articles here by subscribing to BI Prime; use promo code AD2PRIME2018 for a free month.)