The WIR: TF1 Rolls Out Programmatic Addressable Ads, Roku Launches Linear Dynamic Ad Insertion, and French Court Upholds €150 Million Google Fine

Tim Cross 08 April, 2022 

In this week’s Week in Review: TF1 launches its programmatic offering for addressable TV ads, Roku begins running targeted ads on linear TV, and a French court upholds a €150 million antitrust fine against Google.

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TF1 Rolls Out Programmatic Addressable TV Ads
French broadcaster TF1 today announced it has begun selling addressable TV ads programmatically, through partnerships with FreeWheel and The Trade Desk.

TF1 began selling addressable ads on linear TV last year, after French laws prohibiting addressable TV ads were removed. But so far these ads have only been available through direct buys. Programmatic sales were always on the agenda though, and TF1 started trialling addressable ads with GroupM, Publicis Media, Dentsu, and Havas Programmatic Hub earlier this year.

Philippe Boscher, head of digital marketing, data, research, addressable TV and innovation at TF1, told VideoWeek back in January that programmatic sales will be key for increasing investment from big brands and agencies. Since segmented campaigns have smaller budgets than regular TV campaigns, it’s particularly crucial that they’re quick and easy to set up.

Roku Introduces Dynamic Linear Ad Insertion
Roku is bringing dynamic linear ad insertion to its TV platform, allowing the service to replace traditional linear ads with targeted ads in real time. So far, AMC Networks, Crown Media, Paramount and Discovery have signed up to the beta program.

The company acquired Nielsen’s advanced video advertising business last year, which included dynamic ad insertion (DAI) technologies, facilitating Roku’s intention of integrating Nielsen products into the platform and ultimately launching an end-to-end DAI solution.

“From an advertiser perspective, the ability to do targeted ads on linear TV commercials is something that’s not possible on linear TV by and large today,” Louqman Parampath, VP of Product Management – Advertising at Roku, told Adweek. “This is a way for them to actually look at getting higher return on ad investment for their media budgets.”

French Court Upholds €150 Million Google Antitrust Fine
Google has lost its appeal against a €150 million fine levied against it by France’s antitrust watchdog, after a court upheld the original decision earlier this week.

France’s Autorité de la concurrence issued the fine in 2019, accusing Google of abusing its dominant market position in its treatment of advertisers, saying that its rules for advertisers were opaque, and Google changed them at will.

Two orders issued by the antitrust body have been overturned by the court – namely requirements for Google to create a tool for French consumers to issue complaints, and for Google to issue an annual report detailing cases where Google Ads accounts were suspended. But the fine remains – marking the first time l’Autorité has fined the tech giant.

The Week in Tech

TV Analytics Firm EDO Raises $80 Million
TV measurement firm EDO secured an $80 million investment on Wednesday from Los Angeles-based Shamrock Capital. The investment is expected to enhance the company’s Ad EnGage Convergent TV analytics platform, which helps advertisers measure real-time actions and responses to traditional or streaming TV adverts. Read the full story on VideoWeek.

IAB Europe Submits Transparency & Consent Framework Action Plan
The Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe (IAB Europe) has submitted an action plan for implementing the Transparency & Consent Framework (TCF). The plan outlines the steps IAB Europe will take to deliver on the orders laid down in the Belgian Data Protection Authority (APD) decision on the TCF, drawn up to support publishers, technology vendors and advertisers in managing GDPR compliance.

7M Trials TV Insights Platform
Broadcast data company 7th Minute (7M) released a new TV insights platform, inviting brands, agencies and broadcasters to trial a free preview version of the tool. 7M Discovery uses content recognition technology to identify every word spoken on TV, enabling users to search for any mention of relevant terms and analyse the material that influences consumer activity.

Finecast Debuts in India for Addressable TV Advertising
WPP’s media arm GroupM has introduced Finecast in India, offering advertisers the ability to target households with relevant TV ads via pay-TV channels and set-top boxes, as well as OTT services, VOD and games consoles. The solution employs intelligent audience segmentation models to show different adverts to different households watching the same programme.

German Watchdog Sues Google Over Cookie Banners
German consumer organisation North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) is suing Google over its use of cookie banners, which it claims are designed to make rejecting cookies “considerably more onerous” than consenting to them. Google said it intends to change the banners to bring them in line with German and EU regulations.

Russia Accuses Google of “Spreading Fakes”
Russian communications service Roskomnadzor has banned Google adverts in retaliation for the company’s alleged violations of Russian law. After YouTube enacted a global ban on Russian state-funded media, the federal agency accused the platform of “spreading fakes about the course of special military operation on the territory of Ukraine, discrediting the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.”

YouGov Expands Advertising Offering with Global Profiles
Polling company YouGov continued its push into the advertising sphere this week with the launch of ‘Global Profiles’, a new offering aimed at brands and agencies. YouGov described Global Profiles as “the world’s largest globally consistent audience dataset”. It’s essentially an evolution of YouGov’s existing Profiles product, which aims to help brands and advertisers better understand their audiences, using YouGov’s first-party polling data. Read the full story on VideoWeek.

The Week in TV

UK Government Pushes Ahead with Channel 4 Privatisation
The UK’s culture secretary Nadine Dorries has confirmed the government’s plans to privatise Channel 4, in the face of strong criticism from the broadcast and advertising industries. Dorries took to Twitter on Monday to argue that government ownership impedes the broadcaster from competing against streaming giants and that new ownership “will give Channel 4 the tools and freedom to flourish and thrive as a public service broadcaster long into the future.” Read the full story on VideoWeek.

AMC Unveils Shoppable Ad Suite
AMC Networks unveiled a shoppable ad suite called “Technology Enabled, Audience Led” (TEAL), built to help advertising partners access the company’s digital ad products, including interactive overlays and integrated post-production tools. The first deployment sees the AMC original series ‘Show Me More: Killing Eve’ given a “shoppable experience” in partnership with Coco De Mer and Hunter Boots.

Nine WarnerMedia Execs Quit Amid Discovery Merger
Nine WarnerMedia executives have resigned their positions ahead of the company’s merger with Discovery. WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar, Warner Bros. CEO Ann Sarnoff and HBO Max General Manager Andy Forssell reportedly resigned on Tuesday, with another six execs exiting their posts the next day. The merger could be finalised as soon as next week, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

NENT Group Publishes Sustainability Report
Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT Group) published its 2021 Annual & Sustainability Report. As well as reflecting on its annual financial and environmental performance, the report sets out the group’s business and sustainability strategy for the next five years. “We made substantial progress towards our 2025 targets and also raised those targets,” said Anders Jensen, President and CEO of NENT Group.

Plex Adds CTV Search Engine to Ease Streaming Frustration
Streaming service Plex this week announced it has added an aggregation section to its platform, allowing viewers to search across all their subscriptions on the same app. The Discover function collates titles from the likes of Netflix, Disney+ and HBO Max, as well as personal media libraries, enabling users to view and access all the content available to them without having to jump between platforms. Read the full story on VideoWeek.

Viaplay to open Barcelona Tech Hub
Viaplay will open a tech hub in Barcelona in June 2022 to support ongoing expansion in Europe. “Our state-of-the-art hub will allow Viaplay to tap into a new global talent pool,” said Kaj af Kleen, Chief Technology and Product Officer at NENT Group. “We will become even more competitive as an employer and be able to innovate even faster.” 

Channel 4 Rolls Out Media for Equity Deal with Cannabis Company
Channel 4’s venture arm has invested in cannabis company Cannaray, leveraging its advertising inventory for equity in the startup. As the lead investor in a funding round that raised £10 million for the UK-based cannabis group, C4 Ventures will give Cannaray’s CBD brand access to the broadcaster’s “high-reach upmarket TV audience.”

Belgian Media Companies Purchase RTL Belgium
RTL Group has confirmed its sale of RTL Belgium to DPG Media and Groupe Rossel. The €250 million deal forms part of the group’s strategy to drive consolidation in the European market to “build national cross-media champions.” The transaction was approved by the Belgian competition authority on 29th March 2022.

beIN Scores Victory Against Canal+ in Ligue 1 Rights Dispute
The Versailles Court of Appeal has ruled against Canal+ in a dispute with beIN Sports over airing Ligue 1 matches. The court ordered the French pay-TV broadcaster to pay for the matches after Mediapro dropped out of a deal with the French football league (LFP), and to resume the broadcast schedule as set out in the original contract with beIN. 

DCMS Closes Film & TV Production Restart Scheme
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) is closing the Film & TV Production Restart Scheme as planned, leaving brokers and insurers to “work with the film and TV industry to manage risk so productions can go ahead without the taxpayer needing to step in.” The scheme supported 95,000 jobs in the sector during the pandemic.

The Week for Publishers

Coalition of Media Companies Calls on for Progress on Digital Markets Unit
A coalition of major companies across the UK media sector including Channel 4, ITN and the BBC, this week issued a joint call for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to take “urgent action to tackle the harmful impact” of the tech platforms on British media and publishing. In a letter to the Prime Minister, the signatories called for Johnson to push forward legislation to put the Digital Markets Unit on a statutory footing early in the next Parliamentary session. The Digital Markets Unit, a regulator regime focused on tech companies, does already exist, but has not been enshrined by law, meaning it has no specific legal powers.

Canada Unveils Media Bargaining Code
The Canadian government has introduced a new bill to force tech companies to negotiate with publishers over payments for their content, following a similar model to that used in Australia. The bill put Canada’s telecoms regulator in charge of deciding which platforms and news publishers the law applies to.

YouTube Tests a Dedicated Podcast Homepage
YouTube is testing a dedicated hub for podcasts, according to Podnews, as it seeks to capitalise further on the popular format, and take a bigger slice of audio ad spend.

A slide from a YouTube presentation pitched at Podcast publishers. Source: Podnews

Pinterest Bans False and Misleading Climate Claims
Social sharing platform Pinterest this week announced a new climate misinformation policy, claiming to be the first social platform to have clearly defined guidelines barring climate misinformation. From now on, Pinterest will remove:

  • Content that denies the existence or impacts of climate change, the human influence on climate change, or that climate change is backed by scientific consensus.
  • False or misleading content about climate change solutions that contradict well-established scientific consensus.
  • Content that misrepresents scientific data, including by omission or cherry-picking, in order to erode trust in climate science and experts.
  • Harmful false or misleading content about public safety emergencies including natural disasters and extreme weather events

Elon Musk Joins Twitter Board After Acquiring Major Stake
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has joined Twitter’s board of directors, after buying a 9.2 percent stake in the company. Musk had previously openly discussed starting a rival social platform, in response to what he sees as overreach in Twitter’s part in removing users who breach its terms of service.

LinkedIn Hires 80 Journalists in Editorial Push
LinkedIn is hiring around 80 new journalists worldwide as the professional networking site looks to expand its editorial output. The new hires would take its total count of editorial roles to over 200, making it comparable to some major news organisations, according to Press Gazette.

DailyMailTV Set to Wind Down
The Daily Mail is closing down its US syndicated TV show, DailyMailTV, five years after it launched. The daily hour-long show won multiple Daytime Emmy Award nominations over its tenure – no specific reason was given for why the show is being shut down.

Le Monde Expands Overseas in Hunt for Subscribers
French news daily Le Monde is expanding overseas and will begin publishing around 70 English language articles per day, alongside a daily English newsletter. Le Monde is specifically targeting subscribers in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Belgium, and Luxembourg, seeking to pass one million paying subscribers by 2025.

The Week For Agencies

IPG Tests New Currencies with WarnerMedia
Interpublic Group and WarnerMedia are testing a range of alternative currencies ahead of this year’s upfronts, the two announced this week. Comscore, iSpot.TV and VideoAmp are all being considered as alternatives to Nielsen, in the run up to WarnerMedia’s upfronts pitch.

IPA Research Shows Consumers Support Brand Responses to Ukraine
Research commissioned by the IPA found that 85 percent of British consumers are in favour of brands making some sort of response to the war in Ukraine. However only thirty percent of those surveyed said they want brands to publicly state their position on the war, and just 31 percent want brands to play a role in preventing the spread of disinformation relating to the war.

UK to Ban Gambling Ads Featuring Sports and Reality TV Stars
The UK plans to ban gambling ads from featuring sports stars and influencers from reality TV shows, in a move designed to protect vulnerable young people. The Committee of Advertising Practice said these types of celebrity endorsements are particularly likely to appeal to under-18s, contravening guidelines that gambling ads shouldn’t appeal to minors.

GroupM Predicts that 90 Percent of Advertising will be AI-Enabled in Ten Years
GroupM this week released a new report ‘The Next 10 | Artificial Intelligence‘, which predicts the impact of AI on advertising over the next ten years. The report forecasts that 90 percent of advertising will be AI-enabled in 2032, up from 45 percent currently.

Publicis Wins PepsiCo Media Duties in China
Publicis Groupe has been awarded PepsiCo’s media business in China, according to AdAge, beating out incumbent WPP to win the account.

Stagwell Wins Major Slice of Lenovo Media Account
Stagwell-owned agency Assembly has won media duties for Lenovo in EMEA, North America, and Latin America, following a media review in which the tech brand split its media account. Denstu meanwhile will handle APAC markets, while Publicis Media’s Performics retains Lenovo’s China and global ecommerce business.

WFA Issues Guidelines for Brands’ Environmental Claims
The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) has issued guidance for brands on how to make sure any environmental claims made in their marketing campaigns are credible. The Global Guidance on Environmental Claims identifies six key principles which the WFA says marketers need to follow to make sure they are seen as trustworthy, and to avoid their brands being accused of greenwashing.

US Ad Agency Employment Hits All-Time High
Ad agency employment in the US has hit an all-time high, according to AdAge’s analysis of data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Employment in advertising, public relations and related services rose by 3,200 jobs in March, according to the data, up by 37,400 year-on-year.

Hires of the Week

Sir Ian Cheshire Appointed Channel 4 Chair
Sir Ian Cheshire has been named the new chair of Channel 4 and will take over from interim chair Dawn Airey on 11th April, Ofcom confirmed on Monday.

DAZN Hires Alice Mascia as DACH CEO
DAZN Group this week announced that Alice Mascia has been appointed to lead its operations in DACH. She will take up the role on May 1st. Mascia has previously held senior roles at Foxtel Group and Sky Deutschland.

Global Appoints Mia Mulch as Programmatic and Data Director for DAX
Global this week announced Mia Mulch as its new programmatic and data director for DAX, the company’s data-driven advertising platform that operates in the UK, the U.S. and Canada. Mulch most recently worked as managing director for Omnicom Media Group’s programmatic division in the UK.

ITV Picks David Coughtrie as Director of Distribution Partnerships for Pay TV
ITV this week announced that David Coughtrie has been appointed director of distribution partnerships (pay TV), and managing director of SDN, which is the multiplex operator owned by ITV. Coughtrie will lead on the execution of ITV’s distribution strategy for specified pay platforms.

This Week on VideoWeek

Privatisation Looms as Sir Ian Cheshire Appointed Channel 4 Chair, read on VideoWeek

How is Amazon’s Advertising Business Shaping Up? read on VideoWeek

YouGov Expands Advertising Offering with Global Profiles, read on VideoWeek

UK Government Pushes Ahead with Channel 4 Privatisation, read on VideoWeek

Plex Adds CTV Search Engine to Ease Streaming Frustration, read on VideoWeek

TV Analytics Firm EDO Raises $80 Million, read on VideoWeek

How the AI Revolution will Shape TV Advertising, read on VideoWeek

Ad of the Week

Duolingo, Lawyer Fights Duolingo Owl

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About the Author:

Tim Cross is Assistant Editor at VideoWeek.
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