Inside Juul's layoffs, IgnitionOne's shutdown, and theSkimm sale talk

FILE PHOTO: A man uses a vape device in this illustration picture, September 19, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/Illustration/File PhotoFILE PHOTO: A man uses a vape device in this illustration pictureReuters

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Before you head out for the Thanksgiving holidays, make sure to read Tanya Dua's insider reporting on Juul's implosion, where 650 people, or 16%, were laid off amid mounting regulations and federal investigations. Some key takeaways from former employees:

  • Some thought the cuts reflected problems of unchecked explosive growth, lack of proper business processes, and mismanagement.
  • Some said they lost faith in the company's leadership as they saw the executive ranks packed with people from tobacco and alcohol companies.
Juul just laid off 650 workers after federal investigations rocked the company. Workers who were affected describe how it was handled and what they saw leading up to it.

Funding for adtech companies may be drying up, leading to consolidation, but it's still notable when an established and heavily funded one goes under. Lauren Johnson's been following the story of one of adtech's first firms, IgnitionOne, that raised $85.2 million and just shut down, with backers losing their stakes. Key points:

  • IgnitionOne was billed as a "one-stop shop" to help marketers with their digital-ad spending. It pitched advertisers on its expertise of Google, Facebook, and programmatic advertising early on.
  • But agencies have been cutting the number of adtech companies they use, putting pressure on adtech companies to differentiate what are similar-looking offerings.

IgnitionOne is shutting down. Read the letter its CEO sent to shareholders about what happened to one of adtech's oldest companies.

Finally, I was curious about what's happening with theSkimm, which has raised more than $28 million on its ability to connect with millennial women with its breezy, speed-read daily news digest.

TheSkimm is mostly ad-driven, but given how hard it is for independent media companies to compete for ad dollars, the path forward for companies like it is to pivot hard to subscriptions and other revenue streams or get sold. That seems to be where theSkimm finds itself now.

Industry insiders say buzzy millennial media company TheSkimm has been looking for an investor or buyer as user growth slows

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.) And send me tips at lmoses@businessinsider.com.

Amazon is shutting down a controversial advertising program that lets brands slip samples into delivery boxes

Spotify lays off about 30 in ad sales after missing internal revenue goals

Mobile ad company Kargo is trying to prepare for privacy laws with its first chief revenue officer and a new ad format

Direct-to-consumer brands' average sales revenue is expected to soar 85% by 2020, spelling more doom for legacy brands struggling to catch up

An ad-industry-salary spreadsheet is going viral, and its entries range from an assistant account exec making $40,000 to a chief strategy officer earning $500,000

The biggest direct-to-consumer spender, SmileDirectClub, explains why it keeps pouring money into its own ad agency

How advertisers can overcome the obstacles to ads on smart speakers and capitalize on their rise

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