Publicis Media has launched Commerce as its global practice dedicated to spearheading a comprehensive capability spanning commerce strategy, media and marketplace investment, as well as content and merchandising.
Publicis goes global with Commerce
Publicis Media has launched Commerce as its global practice dedicated to spearheading a comprehensive capability spanning commerce strategy, media and marketplace investment, as well as content and merchandising. Ali Nehme, the 10 year Publicis Groupe veteran and commerce expert, will lead and accelerate efforts of the division. He will report into Digitas Global brand president Michael Kahn, who will also serve as executive sponsor of the Commerce practice. Prior to this, Nehme was president of commerce and innovation for Publicis Media EMEA, where he drove the advancement of the commerce capability across the region with Starcom and Zenith, and for key global accounts such as L’Oréal, Nestlé, P&G and Samsung.
Nehme will lead a team of regional commerce leads in the US, EMEA and APAC regions while also deploying an agency-embedded talent model with commerce leads directly managing client strategy and implementation. In the new role, Nehme will be responsible for accelerating Commerce capability and talent, and unlocking new client opportunities, according to the official statement.
Commerce will essentially focus on three areas: strategy and acceleration — understanding of the shopper needs and journey to identify and drive the areas of growth to help clients manage the complexity of their direct-to-consumers (D2C) sites and e-retailers; media and investment — planning and linking media to commerce, allowing investment recommendation and management between brands, D2C sites and e-retailers; content and merchandising — managing and elevating the product presence on e-commerce sites through content design, production and optimisation to improve brand visibility and consumer experience.
The capability will be part of the end-to-end solution within Publicis Groupe including Publicis.Sapient and Publicis Communications to bring together technology infrastructure, media and creative into a single offering.
The UK sees low sales over Easter weekend
The long Easter weekend could not uplift retail sales, all thanks to heavy rain that dampened the turnout of shoppers in the UK. According to Springboard’s assessment, the number of shoppers on the UK high streets fell by 9.6% on Good Friday, when compared with 2017.
The shopper turnout on Saturday was a little better, with footfall down 6.9% year-on-year. On Easter Sunday morning, footfall slumped by over 12% in the morning before the weather took a turn for good and shoppers finally spent some money. But while Sunday’s total footfall ended 1.9% higher, another bout of rain on Monday morning deterred shoppers, with high street visitor numbers on Easter Monday down 13.9% by noon. However, the weekend did see retail parks and shopping centres enjoying better turnout compared to last year.
“Notwithstanding the rain impacting high street footfall, the results for shopping centres and retail parks will be a fillip for multiple retailers following the recent tough trading conditions. In overall terms, however, footfall is still down compared with Easter last year,” said Diane Wehrle, insights director, Springboard.
She further noted that Easter is becoming less important as a key retail trading period since the footfall during the previous two years also witnessed a decline.
Retailers in the UK are witnessing a huge slump in their profits due to rising inflation and weak wage growth. H&M had earlier said that its price cuts and cold weather were to blame for a slump in profits at the start of the year, while Carpetright might shut down about a quarter of its 409 stores in the country. Other retailers like Next, Ted Baker, Moss Bros, B&Q, Mothercare and New Look have also been facing tough times.
Henry Rollins takes on Tough Conversations
Mercedes-Benz Vans has roped in ex-lead singer of Black Flag, Henry Rollins to woo Australians with its new X-Class. Road tripping in Australia from Shepparton and Castlemaine to Moree and Dubbo, and Toowoomba to Mt Isa, Rollins will have conversations with people on what toughness means to them in the documentary titled Tough Conversations.
Entering a market, means spending a lot of advertising dollars to create an impact. However, The Royals from Australia created this content-driven campaign. “To launch the X-Class in a mature ute market like Australia, we knew we needed to do something different to get Australians to understand that the X-Class stands for something more than the stereotypical toughness,” said Diane Tarr, CEO and managing director of Mercedes-Benz Vans Australia and New Zealand. The Royals have been working with Mercedes-Benz Vans since 2016. The one-hour documentary series, apart from airing on One Network in Australia from April 18, will also be available for streaming as a podcast and on other online platforms.
“Rollins has had incarnations as a TV and radio host, comedian, Spoken Word artist, activist and actor. Despite his muscular appearance and punk-rock background, Henry Rollins has always been one to defy conventions…Like Rollins, the Mercedes-Benz X-Class embodies a new kind of tough. Managing to be both robust and stylish, the X-Class combines masculine boldness with the sleek lines of traditional Mercedes-Benz design. A broad track-width, agile handling, and multi-link rear-axle suspension hold steady on most terrain,” says the company.
It features interviews with surfer Mick Fanning, Lord Mayor of the City of Sydney Clover Moore, indigenous comedian and rapper Adam Briggs, and ordinary Australian citizens. Tarr further added that Tough Conversations was an opportunity to celebrate a modern kind of toughness.
Facebook to offer Custom Audiences certification tool
After the Cambridge Analytica controversy brought bad press to the social media giant, Facebook has decided to build a certification tool as part of its Custom Audiences program. According to this new tool, advertisers on the platform will be required to represent and warrant that proper consent has been obtained for the use of any data uploaded. This step will ensure that marketers are only sending ads to email addresses that were rightfully obtained with user consent.
FB forms custom audiences from a list made up of a brand’s existing customers. Brands can target ads to the audience they have created on Facebook, Instagram and audience networks. Once the brand has uploaded, copied and pasted or imported their hashed customer list, FB uses the hashed data from it to match the people on their list to people on Facebook. Brands can also create a lookalike audience from the hashed custom audience as well.
In lieu of so-called platform abuse, FB’s blog had recently stated: “We will investigate all apps that had access to large amounts of information before we changed our platform in 2014 to reduce data access, and we will conduct a full audit of any app with suspicious activity. If we find developers that misused personally identifiable information, we will ban them from our platform.”
— Compiled by Ananya Saha