Hello. Lucia Moses here, writing to you from the cozy home office. Hope this finds you safe and healthy. Welcome to another Advertising & Media Insider newsletter, where we spotlight the week's top BI Prime ad and media stories.
'We're going to be totally different'
Richard Bord/Getty Images for Cannes Lions
We've entered a new phase of the economic downturn, with companies from BuzzFeed to LinkedIn variously cutting pay and pausing hiring as advertisers take an axe to their spending.
There's no doubt the coronavirus pandemic will dramatically change the world as we know it. And while it's too early to say definitively how, the advertising world is no exception.
Think of your own behavior. You're probably cutting back on extras, buying more of your essentials online, staying connected with people on Zoom or Hangouts, and replacing live entertainment with Netflix.
When the economy comes back, sure, there may be pent up demand for face-to-face gatherings, but some of those habits will stick, and advertisers will have to adapt.
Read more about how advertising will change here: Ad insiders from Burger King, Freshly, McCann, and Vita Coco say the coronavirus will radically change advertising, from elevating brand marketing to shrinking the holding companies
"Brand safety is a very hot space"
Integral Ad Science
The pandemic has also renewed debate about a longstanding practice where advertisers steer their ads away from hard news, making it hard for news publishers to monetize the big spikes in readership they're seeing.
Funding has poured into this arena in recent years because, as one knowledgeable source put it to me, it's one area of advertisers' budgets that'll never be cut. In fact, the leading companies in this space, Integral Ad Science and DoubleVerify, are still hiring while most companies have hit the pause button.
As Lisa Utzschneider, CEO of Integral Ad Science, told Lauren Johnson, "brand safety and suitability is a very hot space right now."
These companies have plausible deniability here because the advertisers ultimately call the shots. But critics say it's unrealistic to put the burden on advertisers to whitelist news and that the adtech companies should step up and take the lead.
Meanwhile, media companies that are working hard to keep people informed about the pandemic are grappling with getting through the crisis, because no one knows what'll come next.
Read our coverage on the topic here: The two biggest adtech companies that help advertisers defund news are hiring to keep up with demand
Here are some other great stories from media and advertising:
- LinkedIn pauses new hires over coronavirus uncertainty - read the leaked internal memo
- Iris Nova, the buzzy direct-to-consumer startup backed by Coca-Cola, has laid off half its staff as the coronavirus pandemic hits its retail business
- Digital ad firms are finding themselves pinched between publishers and advertisers, and industry insiders say some could go under
- Slack's chief marketing officer explains why its first national ad campaign as a public company centers on its response to the coronavirus pandemic
- How top PR firm Weber Shandwick responded to the coronavirus crisis in real-time, leaked documents show
- The key factors analysts are watching at 5 major media companies including Disney and Fox to help determine whether their stock will keep falling or rebound
- 7 key lessons for brands that want to run sponsored social-media posts during a crisis without appearing tone deaf, according to an influencer-marketing exec
- Millions of dollars are at stake as big advertisers and agency holding companies consider sitting out the Cannes Lions ad festival
- 10 retailers like Macy's, Ralph Lauren, and Victoria's Secret suspended their affiliate programs with a top influencer platform
- PR firms are scrambling to change their pitches to keep up as the coronavirus crisis upends public-relations strategies
- A Forbes alum armed with $150 million is building a new social network to fix fake and misleading news on social media
See you next week. Stay safe, and as always, if you're new to this email, sign up for your own and share it with others by clicking here.