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Upfront Digital: Politics, Weather Mashup | Bing Cans Strategists | A “Pinterest for Fashion Brands”

Published on March 26, 2012
  • Political ads alongside weather forecasts? Where better to find local reach for political ads? Cox Digital Solutions has reached an exclusive ad sales agreement with The Weather Channel, reports Media Post. Cox Digital is now the exclusive seller of political advertising across The Weather Channel’s weather.com. Media Post calls the contract part of a larger digital strategy for Cox Digital, similar to one it struck with Yahoo. Beth Lawrence, EVP of ad sales and media solutions for The Weather Channel, explained the attraction by saying that “Local reach is The Weather Channel’s sweet spot [while] political advertising is Cox Digital Solutions’ area of expertise.”
  • Microsoft's's Bing may have “Tempered Its Ad Strategy” with two “High-Profile Firings,” reports AdAge Digital. Microsoft last week dismissed two consumer-marketing executives, General Manager Eric Hadley and Director Sean Carver, both of marketing communications. Microsoft cited violations of company policies related to mismanagement of company assets and vendor procurement. These violations included using non-Microsoft-approved vendors, mismanagement surrounding Microsoft’s “Bing Bar” at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and unauthorized first-class flights. Ad Age called Hadley and Carver the “bold-face names associated with some of Microsoft's most high-profile marketing,” such as contracts with Jay-Z and LeBron James. Hadley was honored as an Ad Age Media Maven and inducted into the American Advertising Federation (AAF) Hall of Achievement.
  • CBS, in an attempt to “boost its share of the nearly billion-dollar fantasy-sports business,” has opened up its CBS Sports website to outside developers for creating fantasy sports apps, reports the Wall Street Journal. Fantasy sports enables participants to assemble teams of pro athletes, then compete based on the players' real-life performance. Most fantasy leagues are hosted by a small group of websites, which includes Yahoo Sports, ESPN.com and CBSSports.com; but has faced growing third-party competition by “mom-and-pop fantasy operators.” CBS Sports executives hope to create a hub for those operators, by enabling them to build products on the CBSSports.com platform; the site will offer both free and paid apps, with CBSSports.com keeping a 30% share of sales.
  • Belvedere Vodka on Friday kicked up a Facebook firestorm, reports Adweek, and has since apologized. The company usually runs elegant-looking ads promoting a smooth-vodka lifestyle. Friday’s ad may have depicted a woman falling into some guy’s lap, or may have depicted some guy restraining a woman who was trying to get away (which is how the websphere took it). Adweek reports that Belvedere’s Facebook and Twitter pages were “immediately inundated with howling protests” and the ad disappeared. Saturday at 1:35 ET, Belvedere President Charles Gibb issued a statement on the Facebook page that he personally apologized for the “offensive post,” that he was “investigating the matter to determine how this happened,” and that the company would make a donation to the anti-sexual violence organization RAINN. RAINN’s immediate response (at 1:56 PM Saturday), also on Facebook, was “Nice to see a company that not only undoes its mistake but looks for a way to do good afterwards.”
  • Pinterest does not yet take advertisers, but Trendabl may be the answer for brands. Trendable is a new iPhone app, similar to Instagram and Twitter, but tailored to fashion, reports Women’s Wear Daily. Trendabl is a photo-sharing platform on which users either take pictures or upload images from their libraries, and tag by label, price, retail availability. Already on board: Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen, Barneys New York, Diane von Furstenberg, Michael Kors, Current/Elliott, Harley Viera-Newton and Brad Goreski. 
  • Business-to-business publishers use Apple platforms more commonly than Android platforms for digital magazines, reports B2B Online. The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) conducted a survey finding that 68% of respondents currently publish for the iPad and 58% for the iPhone: but just 35% of respondents are currently publishing on Android-based tablets and 38% for Android-based phones. The online survey was conducted in February, with 85 publishing executives participating.