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March 25, 2019

Publishing News

Q&A: Launch of the International Magazine Centre
WNIP interviews Nikki Simpson, an ex-PPA Scotland employee and magazine enthusiast who founded The International Magazine Centre, a hub for the international magazine community and its affiliated industries of marketing, advertising, design, photography, journalism, data, events, illustration and more. "Globally unique, the Centre will connect international publishers, sharing expertise, creating jobs, supporting internationalization, nurturing talent, promoting magazine innovation, inspiring consumers and celebrating the eclectic world of magazines"...

Bittman Has to Change Name of His Online Food Mag Launch
Daily Beast: "Mark Bittman, a former food writer for The New York Times, has been accused of copying the logo and name of a volunteer-run publication devoted to women, trans, and non-binary people to launch a new online food magazine. Just hours after The New York Times wrote about the debut of Bittman’s new publication, called “Salty,” the food writer was called out on social media by the creators of another publication called Salty, which posted images side by side of its own logo and that of Bittman’s magazine. Both feature the word “Salty” in a thick, dark pink font set against a light pink background. Salty, which describes itself as a “feminist, sex, dating, and relationship newsletter” called out Bittman and Medium, which hosts his new publication, saying its logo and name had been ripped off. 'When Medium and Bittman invest in and launch “a ‘new’ platform called Salty,' the group wrote, 'with an eerily similar logo and led by an old white dude no less, and which is ALSO exhalted [sic] with a profile in the NYT.. we think ‘HMMMMM. Something is awry here.” Bittman acknowledged the “mistake” on Instagram and promised to resolve the issue. 'This was a mistake (stupid, but honest), and we’re working on changing our name and logo right now,' he wrote.

U.S. Advertisers Still Eager to Target at Scale Via the Duopoly
eMarketer: "In September 2018, we thought the duopoly was already losing share of the U.S. digital ad market, with its portion of revenues set to shrink by 1.5 points to 57.7%. That was based on our forecast that Google’s share of the digital ad market would decline by about 2 points in 2018, while Facebook’s would rise by less than 1 point. Based on full-year data from both companies and the rest of our analysis of the U.S. ad market, we now estimate that Google’s share dropped less than we anticipated (1.4 points), and Facebook’s share grew more than we predicted (2 points). That adds up to the duopoly accounting for just more than 60% of digital ad spending in the U.S. Facebook and Google's appeal hasn’t changed much, despite scrutiny of their market dominance and data and privacy practices. Massive reach and targeting at scale—combined with easy-to-use buying platforms and widespread familiarity among marketers—have secured the duopoly's place in digital budgets."

Zenith Upgrades Global Ad Forecast
MediaPost: "Thanks largely to incremental ad spending on the internet, global ad spending will expand by more than $82B through 2021, predicts Publicis Media's Zenith unit in an update to its quarterly advertising forecasts. 'Stronger-than-expected internet advertising will drive 4.7% growth in total global ad spend in 2019,' Zenith Head of Forecasting and Director of Global Intelligence Jonathan Barnard said in a statement released with the report, adding: 'That’s substantially ahead of the 4% forecast made in the previous edition of the report, published in December 2018. Zenith forecasts 4.6% growth in both 2020 and 2021, ahead of previous forecasts of 4.2% and 4.1% growth respectively.' While all non-print media are projected to expand, most of the growth will come from internet display, followed by paid search and internet classified advertising. As a result, the internet's share of global ad spending will expand by 7.1 percentage points to 49.4%, overtaking TV's dominance. TV's share of global ad spend will erode by 3.4 percentage points to 28.5%. 'We have upgraded our forecasts after internet ad spend markedly exceeded our expectations in 2018," Barnard explained, adding, "We now estimate that internet advertising grew 16% last year, up from our previous forecast of 12%.'"

Google, Facebook Scammed for $100M in Fake Invoices
MediaPost: "A Lithuanian man and associates developed an email phishing scheme that would eventually lead Google and Facebook to pay out about $120M in two years. The breakdown netted $23M from Google in 2013 and $98M from Facebook in 2015, according to Bloomberg. Evaldas Rimasauskas, who led the phishing attack, sent fake invoices via emails to employees of Google and Facebook, pretending to represent Taiwanese hardware maker Quanta Computer. The emails from the scammers told Facebook and Google workers that the companies owed Quanta money, and then instructed them to make payments to a bank account controlled by them. The U.S. extradited Rimasauskas from Lithuania in August 2017. In a New York court, he pled guilty to one count of wire fraud under an agreement with prosecutors, and will forfeit $49.7M... Rimasauskas is scheduled to be sentenced in July and could face up to 30 years in prison."

FTC Plans To Investigate Big Tech Over Privacy
MediaPost: "Facebook, Google and other tech giants may soon have to disclose otherwise secret details of their data handling practices to the Federal Trade Commission, Chairman Joseph Simons recently told the Senate. 'I agree with you that the FTC’s section 6(b) authority could be used to provide some much needed transparency to consumers about the data practices of large technology companies,' Simons said in a recent letter to Sen. John Thune (R-South Dakota), referring to a provision in the FTC Act that allows the agency to subpoena private business information. 'We are developing plans to issue 6(b) orders in the technology area.' The advocacy group Public Knowledge quickly cheered news of the planned investigation, adding that the results could shape new laws.“A study is no substitute for strong enforcement, but a 6(b) study, which allows the agency to compel production of documents, can lead to enforcement and can build a record for new legislation if needed,” Charlotte Slaiman, policy counsel at Public Knowledge, stated. “We hope the agency will focus on the ways that data practices can further entrench incumbent firms and make it more difficult for newer or smaller firms to compete effectively'"...


Retail News

Aldi Tests Smaller, Urban Concept Store
RetailWire: "Aldi is testing a smaller concept, Aldi Local, in southwest London that’s designed to be a grocer for city dwellers, even as some see it as potential competition to convenience stores.The store, measuring 6,400 square feet, is somewhat more than half the size of a typical Aldi. It has no parking lot and stocks 300 fewer products than the 1,800 found in the chain’s average store. Aldi has eliminated many items from the mix that would be hard for city dwellers to carry. The “treasure-hunt” general merchandise aisle in traditional Aldi stores is also gone. Additional manned checkouts help process a larger number of shoppers with smaller basket sizes. In a statement released to media outlets, the discount grocer said the “Local” name aims to “help shoppers distinguish between smaller city stores in London and the conventional-sized Aldis.' The statement added, 'This is not a move into convenience retailing. The main difference is that it doesn’t sell bulkier items that shoppers would have difficulty transporting without a car.' Aldi also noted that Local is larger than typical convenience stores. If successful, the concept will be introduced to four other scaled-down locations that have opened in London over the past several years.“This concept should do well for Aldi: getting smaller will be an enabler for growth in city centers,” wrote Bryan Roberts, global insight director at TCC Global, in a favorable review. The trial comes as Lidl tests stores around London and as traditional competitors like Tesco and Sainsbury’s roll out small-format stores. In the U.S., Target, Dollar General and others have been opening smaller locations to serve growing urban populations. Still, some saw the test as Aldi’s possible entry into the c-store channel to compete with Tesco Express and Sainsbury’s Local stores, as well as the soon-expected Amazon Go. Thomas Brereton, an analyst at GlobalData, noted that Aldi’s grocery store openings are increasingly cannibalizing sales at existing stores at the same time that c-stores are growing at a faster rate. 'Convenience growth remains largely driven by an increase in the number of consumers doing high frequency, low value food shops, particularly prevalent amid the 25-34 age group,” said Brereton in a statement."

Amazon Struggling With Whole Foods Deliveries
WSJ reports that Amazon is struggling with taking over delivery of groceries ordered online from Whole Foods, with Prime members reporting "bizarre" product substitutions in the 60+ markets it's delivering in, for example. "Amazon’s struggles aren’t unique," writes WSJ. As supermarkets increasingly offer online grocery delivery to keep customers loyal, most services that fill orders from stores are struggling with execution, company officials and consultants say"... Article discusses specifics of how delivery services are being improved.

Target Remodeling 14 Minnesota Stores
Minn. Star-Tribune: "The hammers are starting to fly at more Target stores across America as the Minneapolis-based retailer pushes toward its multiyear effort to overhaul more than 1,000 locations by the end of 2020.Out of about 300 stores slated for an end-to-end makeover in the year ahead, 14 of them are in Minnesota. The retailer will spend $50 million to redo nine in the Twin Cities.Most of the heavy lifting in the state happened in 2018, when the retail chain spent $250 million to update 28 stores in Minneapolis and surrounding suburbs. While Target Corp. puts considerable effort into making sure customers aren’t frustrated when the peanut butter aisle gets moved, the remodels aim to achieve more than a cosmetic update.As part of Target’s $7B strategy, stores have been structurally redesigned to serve expectations of today’s consumer — who shops online and in stores, and who values convenience, immediacy and free shipping 'Some customers remain perfectly happy never setting foot in a store,' said Steve Dennis, a former retail executive at Neiman Marcus who now runs his own strategy firm, SageBerry Consulting. 'Different segments of the population need different ways to shop. It adds cost and complexity and significant technology investments. But it gives you competitive power compared to Amazon.' Remodeled stores have reliably provided a sales lift of 2 to 4% within six to eight months, Target CEO Brian Cornell said. People shop more often and spend more while there. But the remodels also service the company’s stores-as-hubs strategy. Beginning in earnest in 2017, the retailer began turning its backrooms into packaging-and-shipping centers so employees can get merchandise out the door faster and at a lower cost. An entire cadre of Target “pickers” now spend their days plucking items off store shelves so customers can have them delivered directly to their cars via drive-up service or bagged and waiting for them at the pickup counter inside the store. Using stores to ship out products to nearby homes is 50 percent cheaper than relying on a warehouse distribution center, according to Target. And it’s 90% cheaper when customers come pick up the items themselves. Demand for in-store pick up has tripled in the past two years.... No two remodels look exactly alike, said Mark Schindele, Target Corp.’s SVP of properties, as the stores strive to reflect neighborhood characteristics. Urban stores have more concrete and steel, for instance. But certain design rules apply. The updated stores have a more neutral color palette and are lit with circular lights and pendants filled with energy-saving LEDs. Shelves are lowered so shoppers can see where they are going. Apparel and home-decor items are showcased with accessories and displays that highlight Target’s growing roster of store brands and exclusive national labels. The beauty department gets redesigned to feel like a specialty store, with specially trained staff to answer product questions. An average-size store costs about $5M to update, while a SuperTarget costs about double... This year the concept is a key strategy as the retailer embarks on another 300 or so remodels... This year, the retailer is making sizable remodel investments in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Denver and Houston, a spokeswoman said."

Kantar Data Reveals Behavior Of Amazon, Google Smart Speaker Owners
MediaPost: "Voice search and purchases have been linked to smart speakers, but new data from Kantar Worldpanel analyzes how those who own either an Amazon Echo or a Google Home device use the smart speaker and how their behavior has changed since their purchase.Owners of Google Home are more likely to order items such as takeout food and groceries. In fact, 15.6% of Google Home owners order takeout food, vs. just 6.2% of Amazon Echo owners. Similarly, 12.6% of Google Home owners order groceries, compared with just 4.6% of Amazon Echo owners. Overall, Google Home owners do more things with their smart speaker. Some 58.4% of Google owners check the weather, vs. 53.7% of Amazon owners. Some 52.8% on Google ask general knowledge questions compared with 40.8% on Amazon, and 50.8% on Google check the news, vs. 37.9% on Amazon.To understand the behavioral changes, Kantar analysts considered how the devices are being used. Owners of either device stream music, check the weather forecast, ask general questions, check the news. They also set alarms or timers and use their smart speaker to control other devices in the home. Owners also typically own Bluetooth wireless speakers; have smart heating, lighting and security system in their home; and own a TV steaming device. Again, the percentage points are a bit higher for those who own a Google Home, rather than an Amazon Echo device.The most interesting part of the study results is the change in behavior post-purchase of either a Google Home or Amazon Echo. Google users have made the most changes.For those who own a Google Home, 31.4% listen to more music than before, 16.2% switched from free to paid music streaming service, 14% ensure that new electronic devices are compatible, 13.5 use a table or smartphone less, 15.8% use a laptop or PC less, and 4.5% shop more with retailers through a virtual assistant.For those who own an Amazon Echo, 27.3% listen to more music than before, 12.2% switched from free to paid music streaming service, 11.5% ensure that new electronic devices are compatible, 10.2% use a table or smartphone less, 8.2% use a laptop or PC less, and 2.3% shop more with retailers through a virtual assistant."

Walmart Confirms 8 Store Closures
Business Insider: "Walmart is closing at least eight US stores across eight states.The closing stores include one Walmart supercenter in Lafayette, Louisiana, and seven Walmart Neighborhood Market stores in Arizona, California, Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington. The closing date for most of the affected stores is April 19, according to employees of those stores, who confirmed the closings to Business Insider. Walmart representatives had previously confirmed the closings to various local media outlets but did not immediately return Business Insider's request for comment... Walmart said last month that it plans to open fewer than 10 new stores over the next year. The company did not provide guidance on closings at the time. Walmart has more than 4,700 stores in the US, including 3,570 supercenters and nearly 700 Neighborhood Markets." Article includes list of all locations being closed.

Amazon Worker Says He Was Fired for Unionization Activities
WaPo: "Amazon’s clashes with employees over workers’ rights and unionization now include a Staten Island warehouse worker who says his criticism of the company led to his firing.A retail workers union filed a complaint Wednesday with the National Labor Relations Board, saying Amazon violated federal law when it fired Rashad Long in February. Long says he was fired after he protested having an Amazon headquarters in New York and advocated for safer working conditions and unionization.Amazon says Long violated a safety regulation at the warehouse. The company maintains it already offers benefits that are advocated by unions, including high wages, in addition to 'a safe, modern work environment... At Amazon, these benefits and opportunities come with the job, as does the ability to communicate directly with the leadership of the company,' Amazon said"...


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