What you need to know in advertising today


Federal prosecutors investigating media-buying practices in the ad industry have begun issuing subpoenas as part of the probe, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The investigation, which was first reported by trade magazine Campaign in June, involves the FBI examining the ad industry’s media-buying practices including agencies receiving rebates from media outlets.

To read more about the investigation and the agencies involved,click here.

In other news:

‘The vision is far ahead of practicality and reality:’ AT&T’s plan to reinvent TV advertising is massively ambitious – and still very much unproven. The telecom giant unveiled newly-named Xandr, its advertising and analytics division, at the AT&T Relevance conference this past week.

Facebook is going right after the $US70 billion TV ad market – by adopting some of the TV industry’s sales techniques for Watch. Facebook is testing upfront buying for advertisers with packages of genre-based video ads that they can buy across Watch and newsfeed video – similar to YouTube’s Google Preferred program.

Facebook’s targeting users with ads using data they provided for security reasons – and it shows why the company still can’t be trusted on privacy. Facebook is using contact information collected about users in surreptitious ways to target them with ads, according to a new research paper.

HBO is ‘pivoting away’ from professional boxing, 45 years after broadcasting its first match.“Our audience research informs us that boxing is no longer a determinant factor for subscribing to HBO,” Peter Nelson, the executive vice president of HBO Sports, told The New York Times.

‘We think there’s a need for a more focused publication:’ Skift wants to expand from travel and dining into wellness. Revenue is expected to increase 45% this year across advertising, events and subscriptions.

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