Walmart’s ad push, WPP’s in-housing gamble, IgnitionOne faces accusations
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Walmart’s ad push
Go over to Walmart.com and you might notice ads from marketers like Starbuck’s. Retailers like Walmart and Target are trying to make a bigger play for advertising dollars to compete with Amazon’s large and growing ad business.
As Lauren Johnson reported, Walmart is set to roll out an API. The plan for the new tool signals that Walmart has big ambitions to grow its advertising business, which has relied on direct relationships with sales reps up until now.
“They have aspirations to push themselves to be as sophisticated as Amazon,” Kacie McKee, the director of e-commerce at Wavemaker, told Lauren.
Advertisers are eager to reduce their reliance on Amazon, but Amazon has a big advantage in size and e-commerce.
And as much as industries are blurring their lines, it’s hard to enter an entirely new business. As Patrick Coffee reported, a lawsuit WPP filed over its acquisition of media agency Triad reveals Walmart’s early struggles to build its ad arm. In the suit, the retailer’s ad business was described as being in “a bit of a free fall.”
Agencies battle in-housing
Meanwhile, the holding company model upheaval continues with marketers continuing to bring their advertising in-house. Two developments this past week reported by Patrick reflect the trend:
Best Buy, one of the pioneers of the in-housing trend, continued along this path, moving to do all its holiday ads internally, Patrick reported.
Holding company behemoth WPP consolidated more of its agencies and, bowing to the in-housing trend, said it would create another division to serve marketers trying to set up their own in-house units. History will tell if moves like this are genius attempts by agencies to hold on to as much of their business they can, or just furthering their own demise.
Elsewhere, adtech companies have struggled as many of them look the same and advertisers have cut the number of firms they work with. Even the most established firms aren’t immune to the pressures.
Case in point is IgnitionOne, which Lauren reported has been downsizing and shedding employees. It’s also facing mounting allegations of unpaid bills from an investment bank and other adtech firms.
Adtech company IgnitionOne further cuts head count as 2 more clients report unpaid bills
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