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Advertising and Media

  • Chelsea Manning: WikiLeaks whistleblower to be released in May

    US President Barack Obama has commuted military whistleblower and Wikileaks source Chelsea Manning's prison sentence, marking the most notable commutation of his administration. Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison after exposing potential war crimes and human rights abuses in the USA's war with Iraq. Arguably the most high-profile leak was 'Collateral Murder', being video footage of US Apache helicopter pilots gunning down war correspondents and other civilians. Manning's appellate lawyers Nancy Hollander and Vince Ward welcomed the news of her commutation. "Ms Manning is the longest serving whistleblower in the history of the United States," the two said in a statement...

  • Instagram Stories will soon get full-screen video ads

    If you're one of the 150-million people who use Instagram's Stories feature, you're in for a new surprise this year. Thanks to the feature's popularity, the company will soon feed advertising shorts into various users' Stories. These won't link to any site or app, but will also be easily skippable thanks to a close button in the clip's top right corner. The ads will span between five and 15 seconds in length. The company explained that now seems to be the perfect time to monetise the feature, as around "70% of Instagrammers" follow a business on the network. Users will soon see...

  • Webfluential: influencer firm to shutter agency operations

    Influencer marketing company Webfluential has confirmed that it will be shutting down its local agency operations, Memeburn has learnt. The news comes after Webfluential announced that it would be "increasing its local partnerships" in 2017. The company said that it would be offering a self-service platform for brands to manage campaigns. It added that for more complex campaigns, it has recruited "strategic partners". Webfluential also said that its existing account managers would be working from within these partners. However, a source has contacted Memeburn to dispute the claims. "As for their account managers that will be 'working from within the partners', they have told their whole...

  • Real-time interaction management: how can it benefit you?

    The ability to interact with consumers in real time was once the stuff of science fiction. Having the capability to see what customers are doing on a site or in an app at any given moment, or having a timestamp on when an email was opened (or deleted), is fairly technical but fascinating stuff. The technology to reach out and actually connect in real-time with consumers offers an even greater opportunity above and beyond delayed analytics for effective sales. This real-time interaction has the power to make a sale where one may have been abandoned in the past. So what is...

  • The one thing digital marketers don’t use enough

    There's a lot of room for interpretation in digital marketing, but there's one thing you absolutely cannot and should not leave out of your strategy: A/B split testing. A/B testing is the answer to all of your marketing woes and can quickly and effectively transform everything from content creation to web design. The Value of A/B Testing While you've certainly heard the term dozens of times, don't be ashamed if you find yourself asking, "What is A/B testing?". If you've never done split testing on your own, then you may be intimidated by the idea. However, with the right tools and understanding the...

  • Pornhub’s ‘Horny Little Christmas’ ad is more SFW than expected

    We've written quite a bit about Pornhub in the past, but not because of the actual site's content. Its Insights blog sheds some gloriously detailed analytics and statistics for the wider internet to gawk at. But when the site isn't curating numbers or building graphs, it's making hilarious advertisements for YouTube. This particular gem is a bit of a misleading one. It tells the story of a group of ordinary people scattered throughout a town all seemingly set to spend Christmas night alone, when suddenly Santa appears. What happens next is, well... surprisingly safe for work. The ad is ultimately punting the...

  • BS Detector: an add-on to detect fake news websites

    Fake news websites have enjoyed a surge in popularity thanks to social media, but truly exploded thanks to the US election. But how do you avoid being duped by them? Well, aside from following our tips and avoiding these websites, you can try using a browser add-on dubbed BS Detector. The extension, available on Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Safari and Microsoft Edge, simply alerts users to unreliable news sources. And it works across most webpages, such as Facebook or a general news/opinion article. "A browser extension for both Chrome and Mozilla-based browsers, BS Detector searches links on a given webpage for references...

  • After Trump win, internet to get Canadian mirror (kind of)

    The US election has forced tech companies and other entities to look closely at their operations, owing to the imminent Trump administration coming into power. At least one pivotal entity, the non-profit Internet Archive, has taken to creating an insurance policy in Canada, in the form of a mirror. The Internet Archive is behind the landmark Wayback Machine, a service which charts the internet's history and has already saved billions of URLs. The Wayback Machine sees between 300 million and 750 million webpages being saved every week, capturing old articles and forgotten websites. In other words, creating a mirror won't be a trivial task...

  • Digital publishing and the world’s largest education company

    As an arm of a 172-year- old publishing company, Pearson Education has experienced the digital revolution first-hand. Many saw the seismic shift toward digital as a klaxon sounding the imminent death of the publishing industry, but Pearson has managed to adapt and has remoulded itself into as much a digital publisher as a print publisher. Subsequently, it is the largest education company in the world. Stacy Treco is VP and director of digital strategy at Pearson Education, as the latest role in a three-decade career at the company. Her focus has been on the pursuit of innovative excellence. This characteristic helped...

  • Reddit’s Joel Meek on challenges facing digital publishing

    Joel Meek has been VP of Operations at Reddit for over a year. In his role, Joel oversees Reddit’s Community, Trust and Safety, Finance, Media Partnerships, and Business Development teams. Previously, he managed the Community and Partnership teams at Pinterest, supporting and growing the company's communities and helping small- to mid-sized businesses advertise on the platform. Joel also worked on building the Sales and Support teams for Google Apps. Ahead of his presentation at the Digital Publishing Innovation Summit this December 5-6 in San Francisco, we sat down with Joel to talk all things digital publishing. What are the key challenges posed by having user-generated...

  • Google wants to make annoying mobile interstitials a thing of the past

    Google has announced that it will soon revamp its mobile search functionality to better aid users on their journey through the web. This improvement comes in two major forms. Firstly, the company announced that it will shed its "mobile-friendly" label from websites altogether, thanks to the steady growth of mobile web traffic. The company notes that it found "85% of all pages in the mobile search results now meet this criteria". The removal of the label serves to reduce clutter, but will remain as a ranking signal. Secondly, and perhaps the change with the the biggest update, is its treatment of websites...

  • Axl Rose sends legal letter to Memeburn over ‘fat’ pics [Update]

    Update 2: Legal representatives for Memeburn have called on the site's hosting provider, Hetzner, to back down. "Use of the images of Axl Rose in the news article at URL http://memeburn.com/2016/06/axl-rose- tries-remove-unflattering-photo-web/ is considered fair dealing as contemplated in section 12(1)(c) read with section 15(4) of the Copyright Act 98 of 1978 in that the images were reproduced '...for the purpose of reporting current events in a newspaper, magazine or similar periodical...'" read an excerpt of the email to Hetzner. "The article in question examined the actions of Axl Rose in attempting to prevent publication of the images in question, with particular...

  • Fake news in South Africa: 5 websites you should definitely avoid

    Whether it's to simply hoodwink people or to generate ad revenue, fake news websites have received mainstream attention in recent months. Now, we've already written a guide to spotting fake news, but what about the websites themselves? Here are five websites you should be avoiding. T1mesLive "Before you read our disclaimer, we wish to state that, we are not connected to or  linked to 'TIMES LIVE' in any way. Take note of the number '1' in our 'T1MESLIVE'. Please do not be deceived! Leave the website immediately if you have found yourself in the wrong place," reads the disclaimer. The website hides behind...

  • Kansas City Diaries: the 3 new rules for social video

    Kansas City Diaries is an exclusive article series by Natalie Pool as she goes undercover at VML’s global agency headquarters in Kansas City, USA, to find out how organic search, Snapchat and other technologies are changing the advertising and marketing industry. Just when you get comfortable with social video, the rules change. Here are three that aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Don’t sacrifice quality for speed “There is an expectation of the quality of work a brand puts out,” says Director of Integrated Production, Scott Stone, who heads up VML’s internal production team, Vault. “Regardless of the channel it goes on, video should...

  • South Africa’s Quirk rebrands as Mirum

    One of South Africa's largest digital agencies, WPP-owned Quirk, has today announced that it is rebranding to Mirum. The move comes after the company joined the New York-based J. Walter Thompson Company chain, alongside Lebanese agency Cleartag and UK agency HeathWallace. These three companies will form the base of Mirum's Middle East and African operations. The rebrand also sees a shuffle in management. Quirk founder and long-term CEO Rob Stokes -- who Memeburn understands resigned from Quirk two months ago* -- takes on a role as chairperson in the newly-branded agency. Current Quirk MD James McKay will operate as Mirum's local CEO,...