What you need to know in advertising today

XaxisBrian Lesser is CEO of AT&T’s advertising and analytics.

AT&T Inc. is in talks to buy digital ad firm AppNexus, which would likely signal the company’s plans to challenge advertising titans Alphabet Inc. and Facebook Inc., Cheddar reported.

AppNexus is privately held and has raised an estimated $US344 million, according to FactSet.

Click here to read more about AT&T’s reported ad-tech deal.

In other news:

Exclusive: Snap held talks to buy Blippar just before the AR startup left Silicon Valley in urgent bid to cut costs. Blippar’s CEO Ambarish Mitra boasted of an acquisition offer in internal meetings, two sources told Business Insider, but said he ultimately turned the deal down.

The CMO of HP Inc is calling time on the traditional ad agency model: ‘The disruption is real’. Consulting firms like Accenture, Deloitte, and IBM are out in force at Cannes and offering brands capabilities that traditional ad agencies lack.

‘It’s crazy’: Ad industry execs are getting into screaming matches over whether blockchain will actually have any effect on the industry. The digital ad community is divided into two camps: those who believe blockchain will revolutionise the industry and those who see the tech as overhyped and barely having an effect.

‘We have no trouble walking away’: The New York Times says it’s not beholden to Facebook and Google. The New York Times plans to double digital revenue to $US800 million by 2020, which means it must often rely on partners like Google and Facebook, but it does not hesitate to walk away when its partners aren’t serving its interests.

‘We knew we needed to completely rebuild brand trust’: Samsung CMO Marc Mathieu on Samsung’s biggest ever brand crisis. In an interview with Business Insider’s Tanya Dua, Mathieu said he drew from a similar situation he’d dealt with in his career in the past, when he worked at Coca-Cola.

‘Everyone thought we could ride this out’: Inside the final months of Cambridge Analytica. Two Cambridge Analytica insiders that Business Insider spoke to describe the final months at the firm before it filed for bankruptcy.

YouTube has blocked MIT’s educational video clips for 4 days because of updated ‘partner agreements’ and it’s left the university frustrated. Late last week, videos from MIT OpenCourseWare posted to YouTube mysteriously became inaccessible on the Google-owned site.

Check out Business Insider’s annual list of The 25 most innovative CMOs in the world in 2018.

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