Neither Mercedes-Benz or Rocket Fuel are to blame for the latest high-profile case of a major brand's campaign falling prey to online advertising fraud, says Duncan Trigg, chief executive at content verification service Project Sunblock. He argues that with 1.6bn adverts being served to bots instead of people every year in the UK, it is time for the industry to fight back by combining verification methods, such as dwell time measurements, viewability data and human analysis of traffic patterns.
Adam & Eve/DDB has won the AA's advertising account without a pitch. it is believed the brief is to develop a brand image for the AA which goes beyond its heritage in emergency breakdown. Chris Jansen, who took over the role of AA's CEO earlier this year, commented: "While our roadside recovery is at the heart of what we do, we do much more. We believe we should be showing our members how we can help in their everyday adventures."
Fallon has extended its remit with Skoda from its UK advertising brief to Europe. In a competitive pitch, the London agency included, in the final stages, Leagas Delaney's Prague office and 18 Feet & Rising. Fallon will now set up an office in Prague, where Skoda is based, to service the account. The EU-wide brief is estimated to be worth around GBP2.85m in fees alone. One of the first tasks will be to help launch the new Fabia model later this year.
Mobile technology that allows consumers to buy directly from television, print and outdoor adverts is to be used by Waitrose, Argos and Laura Ashley from next month. PowaTag uses an app that can read QR codes, watermarks and images, or a signal from an iBeacon, so a consumer can interact with an advert and purchase the goods or services being offered. PowaTag claims 475 brands have signed up to use the service, including Adidas, Carrefour and Electrolux.
The Sun's decision to erect a paywall last August has meant the Mail and Mail on Sunday are now the most read UK titles. The National Readership Survey -- which combines print figures from NRS and Web data from comScore --reveals that 14m people read the Mail titles each week in March 2014 -- 6m in print and 9m online. The Sun is still the most read print edition, with 11m weekly readers, but it now has only half a million Web users, down from 1.6m pre-paywall. The figures do not include mobile browsing.
Betfred is calling a review of its GBP5m advertising account. The incumbent, BJL, has worked with Betfred since 2011 and has been asked to repitch. Chemistry meetings are to be held in early June and pitches are scheduled for July with a winner being announced in the same month. The appointed agency will be responsible for a multichannel campaign, with a focus on mobile -- ahead of the new Premier League football season in August. It will also integrate Betfred's Web sites and stores.
FIFA is clamping down on Twitter users illegally using the World Cup 2014 logo. Football's governing body has asked Twitter to issue takedown notices to six accounts. Twitter has not commented on the request, but four of the six have so far complied. Twitter has clear rules on trademark violations deemed to "mislead" the public. FIFA is reported to have several measures in place to prevent ambush marketing, including a ban on players wearing headphones not from official sponsor Sony.
We Are Social has hired the duo responsible for the latest Monarch Airlines campaign featuring Oculus Rift technology. Art Director, Tom Bellamy and copywriter, Alena Miklasova jointly commented on joining the agency. "The world is becoming increasingly social, with people sharing and talking more than ever before, but it's no longer enough to talk 'at' people. It's about creating ideas that people want to be a part of -- ideas that open up conversations and add something to people's lives."
Rocket Fuel has reacted angrily to a story in the "Financial Times" that more bots than humans saw its recent Mercedes-Benz campaign. It claims that, in fact, that only 6% of views were questionable, and then delivered those views to humans before sending the client a bill. "Bots are a real problem, but less so than sensational headlines on top of non-news," the company told The Drum. Rocket Fuel also pointed out that its bot screening technology rejects 40% of ad space daily.
Budget airline Flybe has called a review of its estimated GBP7m advertising account. The company has invited agencies to pitch in a process that is being handled by its general manager of marketing and franchises, Simon Lilley. The account is currently handled by the leisure specialist agency, Souk Advertising. Like many budget airline rivals, it is understood that Flybe is poised to shift its focus from regional press and sponsorship of local ITV weather forecasts to a tv campaign.