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In This Week's News, we brace ourselves for the unfamiliar switch from Verizon Media to Yahoo, prepare ourselves for the threat of ad fraud, and learn how The Sway Effect Index will shine a light on who and what is “holding sway”.

This Week's News: 2021/05/05

Hotspex Media Team

Verizon Media to be acquired by Apollo Funds

  • Verizon to maintain a minority stake in the new company to be known as Yahoo.
  • The transaction is expected to accelerate the growth of the Internet and digital media leader.

Funds managed by affiliates of Apollo (the “Apollo Funds”) agreed to acquire Verizon Media for $5 billion. Verizon will retain a 10% stake in the company, which will be known as Yahoo at the close of the transaction and continue to be led by CEO Guru Gowrappan. The corporate carveout will allow Verizon Media to aggressively pursue growth areas and stands to benefit its employees, advertisers, publishing partners and nearly 900 million monthly active users worldwide. Under the terms of the agreement, Verizon will receive $4.25 billion in cash, preferred interests of $750 million and retain a 10% stake in Verizon Media. The transaction includes the assets of Verizon Media, including its brands and businesses. The transaction is subject to satisfaction of certain closing conditions and is expected to close in the second half of 2021.

LionTree served as the lead financial advisor to and will invest alongside the Apollo Funds, bringing its global strategic relationships to Yahoo as the company continues to accelerate growth and pursue strategic investments in key verticals and product areas.

Survey: Consumers Care More About Product Quality Than Social Activism From Brands

  • New York-based marketing and communications agency The Sway Effect has launched a new monthly “pulse” survey to keep tabs on consumer sentiment about brands.
  • Top brands holding sway at the moment include Pfizer, Amazon, Zoom, Tik Tok, and Microsoft.
  • Brands that have lost luster include Fox News, Facebook, CNN, Royal Caribbean, and Twitter.

The Sway Effect Index will be an ongoing consumer sentiment survey that will take a pulse of who and what is “holding sway” (so to speak) at any given moment in time as well as identify brand winners and losers based on current developments. In their first survey, 69% of respondents claim activist brands do not influence their purchasing decisions. Instead, respondents indicated that how companies treat employees (58.6%) and the quality of products or services (57.9%) “swayed” their opinion of brands. Asked about recent developments that surprised them the most, respondents cited the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol (49.6%) and the COVID-19 vaccination progress (41.9%).

Survey results are based on a nationally representative sample of 1,500 respondents recruited from Facebook and Instagram via the survey platform Stickybeak. Fieldwork was conducted between March 29 and April 4.

Beware the bots: the threat of CTV ad fraud looms as viewership rates rise

  • Using spoofing tactics, bad actors can gain access to CTV servers, disguise bots as real viewers and even purport to run ads when no ads are present.

As television viewership rates continue to climb, the threat of ad fraud grows. While CTV ad inventory presents new, high-value opportunities for marketers, it offers comparably attractive opportunities for fraudsters and bad actors. Because the cost per impression (CPM) is relatively high on CTV compared to other formats like display advertising. It’s clear that ad fraud on smart TVs comes in a variety of forms, but it’s also becoming easier to commit, as CTV media buying increasingly shifts from manual to programmatic models. Buyers should be more scrupulous about the validity of their reports and about the reliability of sellers; meaning establishing stronger integrations between CTV providers and ad verification companies, buy CTV inventory from trusted partners with as few layers of intermediation as possible, opting into anti-fraud SDKs that can be included in CTV apps to improve visibility into what is happening, and comply with the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) set of standards on supply chain transparency. 

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