Investor Funded Content Firms are Eating Ad Agencies' Lunch

Content, content, content! It's a familiar refrain. One that we've all heard quite a bit over the last couple of years. From rough starts (think The Atlantic) to full blown implementations (think BuzzFeed and, well, everyone else), the road to native advertising nirvana has been a busy one. And investors are getting in on the action too. In September, Vice Media took $500 million to fuel its thriving news and entertainment enterprise. In August, BuzzFeed took $50 million from Andreessen Horowitz to help grow its content offering beyond its usual fare of "Top 12 Reasons Caterpillars Make the Best Pets" crap. And now, Vox Media, wizards behind The Verge, SB Nation and Vox has taken $46.5 million from General Atlantic to further boost its content creation with a focus on video. And in addition, extend the reach of that content, video and the ads that accompany them beyond the brand's own 7 editorial properties. And that's not all. Vox Media plans to build out its in-house agency, Vox Creative, to further service the needs of brands engaging in native advertising and content marketing. Can your average ad agency compete with this sort of approach? No wonder Martin Sorrell is paranoid!

So every holiday season, every agency across the globe amps up its creative department to pump out all manner of holiday hilarity. First it was straight-up videos. Then it was games. Now it's apps. A Social Media Agency (yeah, that's the agency's name)  is out with SocialSanta, a web app that scours your Twitter feed for nice versus naughty based on the number of swear words it finds. To use the app, one simply logs in via Twitter. The app then returns your score. Of the endeavor, A Social Media Agency Account Manager Iona St. Joseph said: "We’re normally creating social campaigns for clients, but we came up with the Social Santa idea and thought it was too good not to do, so we just put it together ourselves! It turns out that people love finding out how potty mouthed they have been on Twitter.” Are you naughty or nice? Give it a try.

Wait, what? Does Deutsch LA even realize it broke the law last week when it ran afoul of FTC guidelines during a Sony PlayStation Vita promotion on Twitter? After reading this quote from the agency, it appears not. “In the proposed order, Deutsch LA Inc. did not admit to any violation of the law and sought to resolve all open issues to avoid protracted legal proceedings. Deutsch LA Inc. appreciates the FTC’s staff’s cooperation in bringing this matter to resolution.” Oh, like the FTC was doing you a favor to give you a head's up on the fact that using employee Twitter accounts to promote paying clients without disclosure is a bad thing?



Next story loading loading..