Insider Advertising: Supply-chain crisis rocks advertisers' Q4 plans

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Hello and welcome back to Insider Advertising, your weekly look at the biggest stories and trends affecting Madison Avenue and beyond. I'm Lara O'Reilly, Insider's media and advertising editor. If this was forwarded to you, sign up here.

Have you binged your way through "Squid Game" yet? If not, you're probably in the minority. Netflix said this week that the dystopian Korean-language horror series had become its biggest-ever series launch, with 111 million member households having watched it so far. You can already buy merch from Walmart (bafflingly, no green tracksuits yet), and no doubt we're in for a bunch of awkward memes from brand social-media accounts come Halloween. Red light!

Green light! Let's quickly dive into this week's big advertising news before we get eliminated.


I'm in the middle of a chain reaction

Supply chain stock shortagesThe supply-chain crisis is wreaking havoc on all sorts of industries, not least advertising.

Lindsay Rittenhouse, an Insider senior reporter, found that some advertisers were slashing their fourth-quarter budgets by up to 50% — cuts that could carry over into 2022. Some marketers are also scrambling to change their messaging in light of stock shortages.

Every agency staffer I've spoken with this week has told me that planning and forecasting have never been harder.

The holiday ad season is likely to look very different from typical years, Mindshare UK CEO Jem Lloyd-Williams told me.

"Supply-chain issues may mean you have fewer people advertising — who haven't got stuff on the shelves, or don't think it's the right thing to do — it may be less cacophonous," he said.

Still, he added, for many advertisers, such as automakers, there's an opportunity to double down on advertising designed to build brand awareness and preference, rather than promoting specific products.

"When everyone else is pulling out of the market, you get a higher share of voice," Lloyd-Williams said.


Shawty got low, low, low, low, low, low, low, Lowe's

lowe's employeeContinuing the trend that every business becomes an ads business eventually, the home retailer Lowe's is the latest retailer to get in on the act, Insider's Tanya Dua reports.

Its new advertising arm, Lowe's One Roof Media Network, offers ads across its website and app. Lowe's is also offering its first-party data for advertisers to target their digital ads outside its properties.

Access to lucrative first-party shopping data in a destination where people are just about to make a purchase is key to all the latest retail-media plays.

Take DoorDash, which this week formally launched an ad business, Insider's Lauren Johnson and Nancy Luna reported.

DoorDash is pitching advertisers on data about its 20 million monthly users like what restaurants people order from and whether they are a first-time or repeat DoorDash user. One interesting aspect to the offer: A small-business owner can pay less to advertise to a consumer who prefers buying from such small businesses, while chains will pay more to reach the same person.


Hanging on the telephone

women using smartphone"Mobile is eating the world," the former Andreessen Horowitz analyst Benedict Evans presciently said many moons ago.

The sentiment continues into 2021. Mobile adtech companies have been among the most active advertising dealmakers this year amid the continued growth in mobile-ad spending as well as Apple's recent privacy changes that limit tracking.

The latest such deal: InMobi on Wednesday said it was acquiring the European mobile-analytics company Appsumer, Insider's Ryan Joe reported. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

"Local advertising" — ads specifically targeting local and regional markets — is also going mobile. BIA Advisory Services forecasts that local mobile ad spending will surpass direct mail for the first time in 2022.

Here's how BIA predicts the US local ad market will stack up next year:

  1. Mobile — $34 billion (+21%)
  2. Direct mail — $33.4 billion (+20.7%)
  3. PC or laptop — $27.5 billion (+17.1%)
  4. Local TV — $21 billion (+13%)
  5. Local radio — $12.7 billion (+7.9%)

The 90-second slot

In this semiregular corner of the newsletter, we bring you a rapid-fire, 90-second interview with the industry's most influential executives in this week's advertising news.

This week, I spoke with Christian Broughton, the managing director of The Independent. The digital-news title this week pledged to increase its climate coverage and set a 2030 net-zero emissions goal. The UK publisher also announced a new petitions website and is piloting an advertising tool that makes use of data clean rooms.

The Independent Managing Director Christian Broughton profile photo

How is The Independent seeking to differentiate itself internationally?

We've just given a presentation to mark our 35th anniversary, the theme of which is "Making change happen."

The Independent has always been a very purposeful, change-minded news brand, based on the independence of our journalists and crucially the independent-minded readers that we attract.

When you look at the climate agenda and you look at the number of brands out there that are presenting themselves as people encouraging and looking for an inclusive way to bring everyone along on climate progress, there is something 100% of The Independent about that. I really do feel that The Independent's time has come.

Back in the day, when great journalists like Michael McCarthy and Steve Connor were blazing a trail in climate journalism, other news brands were mocking us for it. But it turns out that they were absolutely right. It makes me very excited to see how many other mainstream brands, from furniture to food, are now looking for a climate purpose.

If there was one key marketing objective that you want to achieve next year, what would be your biggest priority?

To define ourselves as positive change makers.

For example, in the next year we're going to be launching a petitions website called Yourpetitions.com. For years as editor it was the most thrilling moment when readers backed our campaigns, and now we're going to be giving readers the opportunity for us to back their campaigns by allowing them to start their petitions.


Recommended reading

The ad giant WPP has suspended three staffers at its Finecast agency amid an investigation after a whistleblower complaint — Insider

Facebook has promoted its EMEA vice president, Nicola Mendelsohn, to lead the company's global business group. She replaces Carolyn Everson, who left the company in June to join Instacart. — Campaign

TikTok music marketers are using satisfying hydraulic-press videos and DIY slime posts to amp up engagement with their artists' tracks — Insider

A look inside the "multibillion-dollar dogfight" in the pet-healthcare market — Wall Street Journal

Reuters says it reviewed thousands of pages of internal documents that show Amazon copied products and rigged its search results to promote its own brands. (In a statement, Amazon sought to cast doubt on the claims but said it had not been provided the documents to review their authenticity.) — Reuters

Publicis Groupe posted an 11% increase in organic revenue growth for its third quarter and raised its full-year guidance. The company credited strong performances from its US Epsilon and Publicis Sapient divisions — Ad Age

Heading to Advertising Week New York next week? Make sure to check out all the sessions hosted by the Insider team.

That's all for now. See you next week - Lara

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