The ‘mindful’ marketer that’s dramatically increased its TV ad spend, the ‘malicious’ Chrome extension scare, and more: Datacenter Weekly
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“Google has removed 106 malicious Chrome extensions that have been caught collecting sensitive user data,” ZDNet reports. “The 106 extensions are part of a batch of 111 Chrome extensions that have been identified as malicious in a report published today by cyber-security firm Awake Security. ... Awake says the extensions contained code to bypass Google’s Chrome Web Store security scans, take screenshots, read the clipboard, harvest authentication cookies, or grab user keystrokes (such as passwords).” Keep reading here for details on what the 111 Chrome extensions had in common.
How widespread was this problem? Well, Awake says its report is the result of “a multi-month investigation that uncovered a massive global surveillance campaign affecting millions of users.”
Dentsu’s diversity data
“According to Dentsu, 1.8 percent of its executives are Black or African American (compared to the EEOC stat of 2.4 percent); 7.1 percent are Asian (compared to the EEOC stat of 10.2 percent); 83.4 percent are white (compared to the sector stat of 82.8 percent); 3.6 percent are Hispanic or Latinx, which is in line with the EEOC stat; and 4.1 percent are of two or more races (compared to the EEOC stat of 1 percent),” Ad Age’s Lindsay Rittenhouse reports. (EEOC is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.) The stats come via Jacki Kelley, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network, Americas, via a leaked “letter to staff detailing the ways in which the company will be working to build ‘a truly diverse workplace, absent of dicrimination, racism or bias.’” Keep reading here for more data and other details.
Up and up
“U.S. retail sales jumped in May by the most on record and double forecasts,” Bloomberg News reports (via Ad Age), “regaining more ground than expected after unprecedented drops the prior two months as states allowed more merchants to reopen. Sales soared 17.7 percent from the prior month, the most in data going back to 1992, following a revised 14.7 percent slump in April, according to Commerce Department data .... The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 8.4 percent gain in May.” Keep reading here.
The definitive look at the agency business
Ad Age published its first Agency Report in 1945. The latest edition, Ad Age Agency Report 2020, not only offers definitive rankings but in-depth analysis of advertising and marketing-services agencies. Ad Age Datacenter subscribers have access to the complete report, including:
• Agency Family Trees 2020, a database of the world’s 25 largest agency companies with profiles, agency holdings, financial facts and links to related content.
• Expanded rankings of agencies by discipline, downloadable in Excel.
• Fast facts and figures on more than 400 agencies and networks.
You’re already a Datacenter subscriber, right?
Heady TV marketing
“Total TV advertising is expected to see a decline of 7 percent in 2020 and another 12 percent in 2021,” Ad Age’s Luke Guillory reports in his take on the U.S. Mid-Year Forecast Report from WPP’s GroupM. “National TV is expected to see an 11 percent drop this year, but 6 percent growth next year.”
Complicating the picture: Some marketer categories pulled back a lot on TV advertising while others have been stepping up their TV ad investment. You can guess some of the former (e.g., certain temporarily shuttered retailers that had no reason to advertise during mandated pandemic closures), but the latter can be ... rather telling. So we’re kicking off a regular look at marketers that have actually been increasing their ad spend during the pandemic.
• The self-described “guided meditation and mindfulness” provider (via iOS and Android apps and other platforms) abstained from advertising on TV for the first four-and-a-half months of 2020—but then began advertising so much that it’s now surpassed 1 billion ad impressions year-to-date.
• That means that Headspace is currently the 58th-ranked brand on TV by ad impressions.
• The brand is 26th in terms of estimated spend ($15.9 million) so far this year.
• Headspace has been running four different ads across English- and Spanish-language networks, including “Be Kind to Your Mind,” in which an announcer notes that “Headspace is now free for everyone in America who’s lost their job.”
• The company’s decision to take to TV has worked out nicely for CNN and Fox News, which have accounted for 15.1 percent and 10.3 percent, respectively, of all the TV ad impressions racked up by Headspace ads so far this year. So, basically, watching CNN and Fox News provides the stress, and then Headspace promises to help minimize how watching CNN and Fox News just made you feel.
There’s probably some perfect metaphor for the synergistic business models at play here—a dog chasing its tail, maybe?—that perhaps we could figure out after engaging in some guided meditation.
• “The Recession’s Impact on Analytics and Data Science,” per MIT Sloan Management Review.
• “5 data-backed axioms for successfully leading your brand through a recession,” a guest opinion piece for Ad Age by VAB’s Jason Wiese.
The newsletter is brought to you by Ad Age Datacenter, the industry’s most authoritative source of competitive intel and home to the Ad Age Leading National Advertisers, the Ad Age Agency Report: World’s Biggest Agency Companies and other exclusive data-driven reports. Access or subscribe to Ad Age Datacenter at AdAge.com/Datacenter.
Ad Age Datacenter is Kevin Brown, Bradley Johnson and Catherine Wolf.
This week’s newsletter was compiled and written by Simon Dumenco.