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Snapchat opens its advertising API to everyone

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Snapchat is going all in on automation.

More than a year after Snapchat’s parent company Snap officially launched its advertising API for approved developers to build software to programmatically buy ads on Snapchat, the company is opening up the automated ad-buying toolkit to all advertisers, agencies and third-party developers, Snap announced on Tuesday.

Through Snap’s Marketing API, companies can develop their own programs to buy and target Snapchat’s vertical video Snap Ads and Sponsored Filters. They can access the API — which is no different from the one previously only available to approved ad tech firms — and its corresponding documentation on Snap’s developers site.

“We’ve been listening closely to third-party developers as we transition Snapchat ad products onto our self-serve platform. Today we’re opening up our Marketing API to give every developer tools to build the Snapchat ad solutions that perform best for them and their customers,” said Snap’s director of revenue programs, James Borow, in an emailed statement.

For advertisers, the Marketing API removes the need to go through Snap’s direct sales team, pay for third-party software or manually place each ad buy using Snap’s self-serve ad-buying tool, Ad Manager. For agencies, it can reduce the reliance on outside vendors to manage clients’ Snapchat campaigns and increase their flexibility and control over those campaigns. And for developers, it can enable them to erect new ad-buying dashboards to serve more niche needs than what may be satisfied by larger, more general ad tech firms.

And for Snap, the Marketing API could further fuel its advertising revenue. Over the past year, the company’s ad revenue has grown in tandem with advertisers’ growing adoption of Snap’s programmatic tools to buy its ads. To that end, the recent loss of its global ad sales boss may not be such a hit to Snap’s business because of his focus on direct sales and the company’s growing emphasis on programmatic sales.

Last week, Snap said that 90 percent of the Snap Ads sold in the fourth quarter of 2017 were bought programmatically through its ad API or self-serve Ad Manager. The company is expected to double down on programmatic this year by making more of its premium ad formats available through its automated ad auction, Snap execs said during last week’s earnings call.

“The engine that drove the growth in the fourth quarter and will continue to drive our growth really is the auction platform. That’s really where things are heading,” Snap CFO Drew Vollero said last week.

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Kantar Media names Louise Ainsworth as EMEA CEO

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Kantar Media has announced that Louise Ainsworth has been appointed chief executive of EMEA, effective June 25.

Joining directly from her present role as chief executive of Kantar Millward Brown, Ainsworth brings a wealth of experience in digital media, audience measurement, brand management and communications in tow.

Andy Brown, global chief executive and chairman of Kantar Media said: "I am thrilled to welcome Louise to Kantar Media.

"Her rich experience in digital and the changing media ecosystem is widely recognised across the industry and will be a considerable asset for Kantar Media and our clients alike.”

Ainsworth added: "Our clients are facing more change and disruption than ever before – Kantar Media’s unique scale and breadth of high quality data sets are well-placed to help our EMEA clients convert the challenges they face into valuable opportunities.”

Upon arrival Ainsworth will sit on the Kantar Media executive committee, reporting directly to chief executive and chairman Andy Brown.

Ainsworth previously served as chief executive of WARC.

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Unilever taps WPP agencies to educate its startups as part of in-house collaboration

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Unilever has announced a partnership with WPP that will see the network's agencies work with the startups under the FMCG’s giant's Foundry programme in Singapore.

Unilever hopes the collaboration will lay the foundations for the marketing services ecosystem of the future and bring key external marketing expertise, in-house.

David Porter, Unilever’s vice-president of media for Asia, Africa and Russia said the partnership was an "in-sourcing" model, adding that the group was "looking at a number of was to bring external marketing services closer" to Unilever staff.

​The move from Unilever to work with WPP comes amid ongoing agency cuts in the FMCG space. Last year alone, Unilever was able to invest an additional €250m into media buying and in-store advertising after slashing the number of agencies it worked with and bringing certain elements of its marketing mix in-house.

The fresh collaboration will now see the likes of Ogilvy, Mindshare and Wunderman, work alongside startups, such like Celtra, Unruly and Viddsee at Unilever’s Level3 co-working space in Singapore.

It will be led by Sudipto Roy, managing director for media and data, and Team Unilever for Asia, Africa, Russia.

“We have taken a fresh approach to the ‘Team WPP’ design. Instead of designing around the brand or the category, we have designed around capabilities and intelligence in order to solve business problem,” explained Roy.

“We have access to cutting edge technology and new products across every pillar of the Unilever marketing framework through the startup community in Unilever Foundry. We look forward to collaborating with them to deliver breakthrough models, communications and consumer connections products.”

Unilever Foundry also unveiled a new advisory board for Level3 in April, naming the likes of Rajan Anandan, vice-president of Southeast Asia and India at Google, Daryl Arnold, chairman of Newton Circus, Maximillian Bittner, founder and advisor of Lazada as new board members.

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After #MeToo, C4’s £1m Diversity in Advertising award to focus on ‘portrayal of women’

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Channel 4’s ‘Diversity in Advertising’ competition has returned for the third year, this time asking advertisers to focus on how women are portrayed.

The initiative offers £1m of free airtime to any advertiser who best responds to a brief set by the broadcaster. In 2016 it was the representation of disability, won by Mars, and then non-visible disabilities which was won by Lloyds Bank in 2017.

In light of the #MeToo movement, the centenary of the right to vote and the focus on gender pay gaps, Channel 4 said it wanted ad creatives to create campaigns which would “challenge engrained stereotypes, objectification and sexualisation of women”.

A recent study found that there are twice as many male characters in adverts than female characters and that when women do appear, they are most likely to be younger (in their 20s, compared to men who are in their 20s, 30s and 40s).

“There are campaigns already on our screens which represent women in a positive and appropriate manner – but sadly there just aren’t enough of them,” said Channel 4’s head of agency and client sales and commercial marketing Matt Salmon.

“This year we’re looking for an ad that really stands out even from the positive ads we’ve seen before. We want a campaign that’s a beacon for the issue, an idea that calls out the challenges and makes a really positive statement to our audiences.

“The winning ad shouldn’t be representative of what the future ‘norm’ should be, it should act as a catalyst for the change in mindset we’d like to see within the industry.”

The deadline for this year’s entries is 9 July 2018. A shortlist will be announced on 17 July before the winner is announced in September and the campaign will be on air in early 2019.

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