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GroupM’s softer stance on social ad viewability The debate over what constitutes a ‘viewable’ ad is still evolving but GroupM has come up with some new standards that have the sign off of some of the biggest advertisers in the world, including Unilever, Volvo and Shell. And there’s an interesting mix of softening some while strengthening others. For example, the requirements for social video have been relaxed. Whereas before GroupM demanded sound on and that people actively click...

John Veichmanis can lay claim to a rare distinction. Not only did he start his career at almost exactly the same time as the internet reached the masses, he has also worked entirely in online roles ever since. From his beginnings as a university ‘internet co-ordinator’ in 1996, via stints at Apple, Skype and Expedia, through to his current position as CMO of luxury marketplace Farfetch, Veichmanis has seen online innovations come and go at some of...

Kobe Bryant’s retirement from basketball hasn't been much of a retirement. After ending his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers last year, the former NBA star has kept himself busy as creator of the ESPN video series ‘Canvas’ and as creative director of a campaign for BodyArmor, a sports drink brand in which Bryant is an investor.  But perhaps the project closest to Bryant’s heart is the short film Dear Basketball, which made its debut at...

The WPP Group has been the most active in the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) department for the marketing and communications (marcoms) sector according to research by Results International. Nine deals were made by WPP and its subsidiaries in Q1 2017, focusing on emerging markets such as India, China and Brazil. Dentsu and Publicis lag behind with four deals each. Dentsu has been topping the M&A charts for the marcoms sector in recent quarters, while Publicis is getting back...

    For Kentucky Fried Chicken’s newest addition to the U.S. menu, the Colonel, played by actor Rob Lowe, gives a press briefing that mimics the U.S. putting a man on the moon, for the new menu item. The Zinger, which will be available on April 24, is one of the top selling sandwiches internationally for KFC. "I have no idea how we'll launch a chicken sandwich into space, but the marketing team thinks they can do it," said Kevin...

Arsenal is the first Premier League club to launch an Amazon Alexa Skill, developed by digital agency AKQA, that allows fans to stream live matches. Skills are Alexa's in-built capabilities that enables users to interact with devices, like Amazon Echo and Echo Dot, using voice. The Arsenal Skill for Alexa allows fans in the UK and US to access live commentary and real-time match stats, plus pre-match build-up, line-ups, score updates and post-match analysis. Charles Allen, head of marketing at...

Keeping in sync with Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, NDTV and Dettol launched the fourth season of NDTV-Dettol Banega Swachh India. It was launched by campaign ambassador Amitabh Bachchan who believes that the first step of community participation is to teach children about cleanliness from a very young age. He further added, "Waste management is a huge problem and we need to inculcate thinking and training about it at a very young age. We need to have a civics class where this is...

National Geographic announced its Mission Blue in Mumbai to mark the occasion of Earth Day, announcing Bollywood actor Farhan Akhtar as brand ambassador for the cause.  National Geographic will also use various modes to disseminate the message, which includes special documentaries on the water issue; both global and local, as well as specially created short films by award-winning directors Imtiaz Ali, Hansal Mehta, Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, and MadhurBhandarkar, who will creatively bring out the key message through everyday...

Labour has created its own digital tool called Promote to put targeted social media marketing at the heart of its general election campaign. Promote is linked with Labour’s voter database and will enable the party to identify specific people in a constituency for candidates to target a message to, its joint national elections coordinator Andrew Gwynne told the Guardian. He cited so-called Waspi women – those born in the 1950s and opposed to changes to the state pension scheme...

Twitter has unveiled a range of special emojis ahead of tonight's hugely anticipated Spanish football clash between Real Madrid and Barcelona. The El Clasico graphics include a delighted-looking Lionel Messi, a rather more stern-faced Cristiano Ronaldo and a half-and-half shirt sure to leave football purists aghast. Fans can activate them before and during the game by using the associated hashtags. Matches between the two giants of Spanish football generate over $40m in media value for sponsors, according to research by...