Media snippets of the week - Marcoms’ adoption of Gen-AI

The marketing services sector has been at the forefront of embracing Generative AI, leveraging its potential to enhance creativity and efficiency. WPP recently announced a strategic partnership with Nvidia, and now Omnicom has unveiled its collaboration with Microsoft. This collaboration has led to the development of an AI-tool called Omni Assist, designed to empower agency employees by leveraging data analytics for optimising the advertising process. S4 Capital is also set to showcase its AI capabilities in a virtual event next week. Meanwhile, all eyes in media are focused on the prestigious Cannes Lions event, currently taking place in Cannes. Ascential reported a 6% YoY increase in entries this year, with the introduction of a new gaming award, which has contributed to growth. On a different note, TikTok has launched a new shopping feature in the UK market, offering a range of products similar to popular online shopping apps such as Shein and Temu. Following charges by the EU and US DOJ regarding ad tech monopoly, US publisher Gannett has filed a lawsuit against Google, alleging abuse of its dominant position and a detrimental impact on publishers' revenue. Finally, Bloomberg has reported that Hearst is a key contender for Ascential's WGSN, with the potential value of the acquisition exceeding $1bn.


News of the week

Omnicom launches new Gen AI work tool

Omnicom announced its first generative AI tool, Omni Assist, in partnership with Microsoft. Omni Assist can help with various tasks across the advertising process, such as compiling audience insights and building media plans. It can answer questions and generate suggestions for ad agency employees, such as which consumers to target for a specific product, or which influencers to hire for a given budget. Omni Assist is based on OpenAI's GPT models through Microsoft Azure and uses the data from Omni platform established in 2018. Omnicom said it is still testing the tool before rolling it out more widely. It claims that the tool can bring data science to the desktop of non-technical people and help them get smarter answers in less time. The company expects generative AI to have a huge impact on digital marketing transformation in the next few years. WSJ


TikTok experiments with a new shopping feature

TikTok has started to sell its own products through a feature called Trendy Beat on its app. It already has a marketplace, TikTok Shop, where it charges a commission from vendors for every sale, which is similar to Amazon’s model. This existing feature has done well in South-East Asia, but was not well-received when launched in the UK two years ago. By contrast, the new feature aims to create an online retail business that leverages TikTok's insights into popular trends and viral items. It produces its own products based on these trends and markets them through the same platform. This new shopping feature is the fourth attempt by ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese parent company, to replicate the success of Shein and Temu; both sell cheaper items produced in China through social media promotion. FT


Gannett sues Google over online advertising monopoly

Gannett, which owns USA Today and hundreds of other newspapers, has filed a lawsuit against Google for its alleged online advertising monopoly. Gannett claims that Google's dominance of the ad buying and selling open market forces publishers to accept lower prices when selling ads to Google, which hurts the news industry and breaches antitrust laws. Google rejects the claims and argues that publishers have many choices for ad tech, and retain most of the revenue when they use Google's tools. The lawsuit is part of a series of legal challenges that Google faces over its control of the online ad market. Last week, the EU accused Google of being a monopoly and threatened it to sell part of its ad tech business, following a similar case launched by the US DOJ five months ago. Reuters


Cannes Lions 2023 entry numbers increased by 6% from last year

This week, Cannes Lions welcomes marketers, advertisers and creatives from around the world. The event, also known as the ‘Oscars of the advertising world’, celebrates the best in the industry. This year, entry numbers grew by 6% to close to 27k, boosted by the new gaming award. This indicates a continued recovery; however, the entry number is still below the pre-pandemic level, with 31K entries to compete for awards in 2019. Last year’s Cannes Lions was the first in-person festival since Covid. The 2021 event covered two years and was run virtually, which received 29K entries. Lions winners of awards across 30 categories were announced every evening throughout the festival this week. Campaign, Adage


Hearst is said to join WGSN bidding war, valuing it at c.$1bn

As part of its strategic review announced in January, Ascential has put WGSN, its consumer trend-forecasting unit up for sale. WGSN provides subscription and consultancy services to help businesses understand and anticipate customer trends across various sectors. In recent weeks, there have been rumours of high demand for the asset. Bloomberg reported this week that US media giant Hearst, is one of the top contenders and thaWGSN could be sold for more than $1bn. Other parties reportedly gunning for the asset include BC Partners and APAX. The winning bidder could be announced in the coming weeks. Bloomberg


Other news

  • WPP acquires 30% stake in the US creative agency Majority. The Times
  • Rightmove sees the first monthly asking price drop in year Rightmove
  • Vice could be sold to a Fortress Investment-led consortium for $225m.  Reuters
  • Meta is to remove news in Canada as the news bill passes. BBC