THINGS TO KNOW IN MEDIA THIS WEEK: August 30, 2019

Annoying Free Vacations
If there’s one thing both sides of the aisle can agree upon, it’s that robocalls are super annoying. In fact, attorneys general from every single state and Washington DC, as well as a dozen phone companies, this week announced a concerted effort to end unscrupulous robocalling. In June, the FCC voted to make it easier for telecom companies to block scam calls. In May, the Senate passed a bill increasing penalties and fines against scammers and encouraged telecom companies to get involved. Nevertheless, the robocalls persisted. In 2018, Americans received 26.3 billion robocalls, up 46% YOY. And many of those calls are spoofed, disguised as a company you know. But you know what’s worse than robocalls? The number of actual calls the FCC and FTC have received from ticked consumers – 3.9 million complaints. Why the FTC? Because they’re responsible for the “Do Not Call” list, which is a “Does Not Work” mechanism in this uber digital age of spoofed identities. Law enforcement cannot keep up with technology savvy scammers. It’s really a shame, since telemarketing was invented in the 1970s, and, for a time, was a successful marketing touchpoint – when there was a human voice, attached to a real person, relaying authentic empathy and salesmanship. At a recent summit on the issue, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai commented: “Amazing how many free Marriott vacations I’ve won. I’m a very lucky person.” Ouch. That can’t be good for Marriott or the industry.
Friday Freebie
Mobile marketing platforms are run by brands with a robust mobile strategy. Brands would use a platform for both push and pull communications. “Mobile marketing platforms exploit a range of mobile-specific tactics, including mobile websites, mobile applications, messaging (including SMS messaging and devoted applications), push notifications (in-app and off websites), location-triggered interactions and mobile wallet cards,” writes Gartner in its 2019 Magic Quadrant Report. Some of the more well-known martech platforms performed surprisingly low, reinforcing my suspicion that it’s really hard to find a single-truth martech source. Download Gartner Inc’s 2019 Magic Quadrant for Mobile Marketing platforms here
Viacom Gets Creative with MTV Awards
This week was the MTV Video Music Awards. In the spirit of “an ad isn’t an ad like you think anymore,” Viacom featured in-show integrations, experiential pop-ups and other innovations. Toyota and Pepsi had more than six minutes of branded content. In fact, it was the most branded content in any Viacom single telecast.ever. Pepsi created short-form tributes for Missy Ellott. Pepsi also created an Insta-worthy pop-up in Soho where fans could take photos with Elliott’s iconic music video scenes. And, boy, did Miss Missy deliver.
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