Digital ad transparency, Valentine's Day & 50 under 30: The Drum editor's overview

Brands react - or don't - over unwitting 'funding' of terrorism claims

Stephen Lepitak

Over the last few days the Times has run a series of news stories relating to the 'funding' of terrorism by the ad industry with a number of major advertisers seeing their ads appear alongside extremist video content.

This demonstrates one of the major serious issues the industry still faces when it comes to programmatic advertising. However what has been interesting is the reaction - or lack of - to such a story running on the front page of arguably the UK's most respected newspaper.

It's not a new problem - The Drum has written about this before in recent years, with government spend even being distributed in similar fashion. However the expected ground swell for brands to stand up and say they wouldn't spend on digital until the situation was resolved hasn't yet materialized. Only Jaguar Land Rover has recoiled at the time of writing while Mercedes Benz launched 'a review' of its media platforms.

Last week I talked about P&G's Marc Pritchard who is also reviewing the company's brands as well having talked about the need for more transparency from its media supply chain.

I am amazed that other brands such as McDonalds, Argos and Waitrose have not also reacted with more vigour having been mentioned within the Times report as being at risk. It's very odd not to do so!

The return of 50 under 30

Here at The Drum, we take pride in how much we have written and covered in our support for a growth in diversity within this industry over the years. Last week we started an irregular interview series with successful professionals with a BAME background to highlight the potential others with similar backgrounds can hope to emulate by joining the marketing services industry. Our annual 50 Women in Digital Under 30 series - which always proved popular - will also begin today (13 February) and run for the following four days online. We'll also be dedicating much of the next issue of The Drum magazine to it as well.

A big thank you to this year's judging panel as well for their help in deciding who made it on the final list.

Valentine's Day Creative Works & LGBT adverts

With love in the air in marketing this week we are calling on creatives to re-imagine classic creative work featuring an LGBT spin which we'll then show off on the day itself. Meanwhile a Valentine's Day special of Creative Works featuring a round up of Valentine's Day work will also go live on 14 February too.

Katie Melua interviewed

A short mention to say thanks to the guys working with Katie Melua who made this interview possible for The Drum's Grammy's magazine that we issued last week. We're very honoured to have her feature in our humble little publication.

Elsewhere at The Drum…

The Drum Marketing Awards deadline looms with the deadline for entry falling on 17 February with Alan McGarrie, head of UK brand marketing for Tennent Caledonian Breweries/C&C Brands, Kerry Chilvers, brands director of Direct Line Group, Leah Davis, head of marketing for Team GB and Stephen Vowles, the former marketing director for Argos among the legion of marketers judging this year.

Meanwhile, the line-up for the forthcoming Agency Acceleration Day, which aims to help agency directors further their businesses, is all but confirmed now. Taking place in London on 30 March, some of the highlights for this year include a talk from Mark Iremonger, UK CEO of iCrossing, a management workshop from Judy Goldberg, founder of Wondershift, a panel discussion on expanding businesses into Asia and a conversation with Ben Bilboul from Karmarama and Joy Bhattacharya, managing director of Accenture Interactive on the recent acquisition deal and their view on the future of ad agencies (led by me!) More details on that event can be found here.

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Stephen Lepitak

Stephen Lepitak is editor of The Drum, with responsibility for overseeing the day-to-day running of the content produced for the various platforms run by the publication. Over the years he has interviewed agency network bosses such as Sir Martin Sorrell, Maurice Lévy and Arthur Sadoun, as well as Cindy Gallop, Kim Kardashian, film directors James Cameron, Spike Jonze, Richard Curtis and Lord David Puttnam. With a keen interest in media and breaking news, Lepitak has been with The Drum since 2005 and is based across its UK, US and Asia operations.

All by Stephen