Hello! It’s been a busy week on the advertising front here. The weekly Advertising & Media Insider newsletter will take a break until January 8. Before we pause for the holidays, here’s a rundown of what’s occupied us this past week.
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We’re fascinated by Juul Labs, the $15 billion vaping startup that formed on the premise of helping adults kick the cigarette habit and is now facing federal investigations and lawsuits accusing it of trying to get kids hooked on nicotine. Juul is regrouping with a new CEO and executive bench as it plots its next steps.
Tanya Dua, who has been tracking the company’s moves, has rounded up a list of who’s running Juul now, and it’s a who’s who of former regulators, tobacco and alcohol executives, and crisis communications experts — just the kind of people a company like Juul needs to fix its tarnished image.
These are the 23 key people at Juul Labs who are charged with navigating the company through regulatory scrutiny and federal investigations
Here’s Tanya’s earlier coverage of Juul’s layoffs:
Juul just laid off 650 workers after federal investigations rocked the company. Workers who were affected describe how it was handled and what they saw leading up to it.
Next, Lauren Johnson brought us the definitive read on IgnitionOne, a pioneering digital ad firm that ended up selling in a fire sale. Here are the main takeaways from her reporting:
- The company relied too much on one client, Publicis Media.
- Management was too personally invested in the company, limiting its ability to adapt to changing market demands. “It was a culture of fear that was driven by the personal fear of losing money,” a former sales exec said.
- The company’s collapse left vendors holding the bag — underscoring how advertisers and publishers need to make sure their adtech partners are solid.
The cautionary tale of IgnitionOne, a onetime digital marketing pioneer that ended up selling in a fire sale
Netflix routinely ranks in surveys as one of most attractive places to work in tech. My colleague Ashley Rodriguez asked former employees for tips for getting referrals and using them to land an interview with Netflix. Here’s what they told her:
- Employee referrals are one of the tools in Netflix’s arsenal for finding rockstar recruits.
- A recommendation isn’t enough to guarantee a job there, though.
- Applicants will still have to showcase their skills and how they fit into Netflix’s culture to get hired.
How to get a job interview at Netflix with the help of employee referrals — and what to avoid doing, according to company insiders
It’s year-end prediction time. We’ve been talking to investors about what they’re most excited about and where they’re placing their bets.
- Investors from 5 top VC firms predict a strong market for subscription-based services even as more streaming players crowd the market and that text-based advertising is poised to take off as marketers seek alternatives to Facebook.
- David Jones, CEO of You & Mr. Jones, who’s invested in 21 companies include “Pokémon Go” maker Niantic and ad agency Oliver, reveals the four questions he asks in evaluating each investment decision.
- Comcast Ventures, an investor in unicorns like Away and buzzy media companies The Athletic and Vox Media, revealed the three media themes and related companies they’re most bullish on heading into 2020.
And a fun thing: Patrick Coffee profiled Mekanism, the San Francisco ad agency that had not one but two controversial ads this month, from Peloton and Zola.
Meet the agency behind two of this year’s controversial ads for Peloton and Zola
Here are other great stories from media, marketing, and advertising. (You can read most of the articles here by subscribing to BI Prime; use promo code AD2PRIME2018 for a free month.)
NBCU and Comcast’s new streaming service Peacock just isn’t bold enough and they may lose the streaming wars. Here’s what they should do instead.
A London startup uses artificial intelligence to insert ads into videos, and it just signed an exclusive deal with publisher Condé Nast
The founders of buzzy media company theSkimm explain why they’re betting on personal finance as they look for its next growth engine
Facebook built an entire ‘Game of Thrones’-themed kingdom for its employee holiday party, complete with White Walkers, swords and archery
A YouTube influencer explains how he made $97,000 from a single video
The CEO of Imax breaks down the theatrical release of Kanye West’s ‘Jesus Is King’ short movie: ‘It kind of worked’
That’s it from me until Jan. 8! Enjoy the holidays and have a happy New Year, and keep the ideas and tips coming to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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