This week on PMW: why PayPal wants to buy Pinterest

Why is Paypal bidding $45billion for Pinterest? Why did P&G defy investors over marketing spend? And just why is a museum group opening an OnlyFans account? We look at the biggest (and weirdest) stories in performance marketing this week…

The changing marketing landscape: partnerships, mergers and rebrands

In a surprise move PayPal has offered to buy digital pinboard site Pinterest for $45biillion this week. If accepted, the combination could signal more financial technology and social media tie-ups in e-commerce. It would be the biggest acquisition of a social media company, surpassing Microsoft Corp's $26.2billion purchase of LinkedIn in 2016. Acquiring Pinterest would allow PayPal to capture more of that e-commerce and influencer marketing growth and diversify its income through advertising revenue. PayPal sees a lot of potential in Pinterest’s model, which has 454m monthly active users worldwide – meaning PayPal values each user at $100, when conversion rates to traditional wallet and financial products would traditionally be seen as quite low. 

Smart AdServer, an independent adtech platform, has struck a partnership with Publica, a CTV ad platform. The integration is a major step in Smart’s growing commitment to building a scaled, vertically integrated TV advertising platform for media buyers and sellers following its recent acquisition of the global premium CTV demand side platform, DynAdmic, in July 2021. By activating Smart as an SSP partner within Publica’s unified auction wrapper, publishers can capture unique and qualified global demand across surging CTV markets in Europe, the US, Latin America and Asia Pacific.

Product experience management firm Salsify has acquired SKUvantage, Australia’s leading provider of products and services to help retailers, distributors, and manufacturers deliver engaging digital products to buyers. This is the next step on the company expanding its global footprint, following the acquisition of Alekmics in May 2021.With this acquisition, Salsify expands its growing global footprint to this strategic market. According to IBISWorld, online grocery shopping growth in Australia has grown 90% over the last two years.

Business and tech consulting firm Avanade has agreed to acquire QUANTIQ, a Microsoft Business Applications-focused systems integrator in the UK. The acquisition will significantly extend Avanade’s Dynamics 365 capabilities and build on its existing cloud-based Microsoft Business Application offerings – a key strategy for Avanade. It will add approximately 300 new professionals to Avanade’s existing Business Applications team and, ultimately, help accelerate digital transformation for clients across all industry sectors, globally.

Data ad platform Audiencerate has partnered with MeritB2B, a leading provider of B2B data and performance marketing solutions. The partnership will allow more global clients to expand their footprint into the UK and EU markets. The partnership enables MeritB2B customers that use the company’s 180byTwo audience solutions to execute programmatic advertising campaigns against EU-based B2B audiences in a way that is streamlined with their current US operations. Audiencerate enables B2B audiences to be pushed through major programmatic exchanges including DV360 and AdForm, expanding the reach of MeritB2B’s programmatic offering. 

Power up: new tools for performance marketers

Cloud communications platform Twilio has launched a major new solution for marketers this week, designed to help marketers to deliver hyper-personalisation at greater speed and at B2C scale. Like the Netflixes and Amazons of the world, this will allow any business to use first-party data to their advantage. Twilio Engage offers the out-of-the-box functionality that marketers need, a Customer Data Platform (CDP) and a build-it-yourself solution. It allows marketers to use any combination of tools, data integrations, analytics, and messaging to deliver true one-to-one customer engagement at scale. 

For brands and marketers looking to capitalise on the biggest shopping day of the year, China’s biggest retailer is improving the way it deals with international commerce. Ahead of the 11.11 global shopping festival, AliExpress has introduced logistics solutions in partnership with Cainiao, Alibaba’s logistics arm, which will enable the Company to offer delivery guarantee and an enhanced service to millions of customers. The upgrades, consisting of China domestic selection warehouses, automated sorting centres, overseas warehouses, increased weekly chartered flights, as well as last mile self-pickup network, help create one of the world’s most robust cross-border e-commerce ecosystems. These new additions significantly speed up the dispatch time needed for shipments from China to overseas customers. Riding on this momentum and the triple digit growth in AliExpress’s key markets, Brazil, Spain and France in 2020, the Company plans to further increase its investment in innovative technology to support its global and local logistics.

Clubhouse has updated its app with an improved search function, as the audio social network looks to become more accessible as it grows in popularity and appeals to brands. A new Music Mode setting optimizes Clubhouse to broadcast creator’s music with high quality and stereo sound.  Meanwhile, the universal search has been moved to the top of the screen for easy access. Users can also wave at their friends directly from Search on iOS (and this will be coming to Android soon).

Predictive analytics innovator and marketing data creator AnalyticsIQ is making its B2C and B2B data available through the AWS Data Exchange. Through this integration, millions of Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers will have secure access to AnalyticsIQ’s wealth of B2B and B2C data, including individual-level data for niche audiences especially valuable for organizations in the auto, finance, health and wellness, and media industries.

Get inspired: latest campaigns and brand wins

The NSPCC has launched the 20th edition of its annual Letter From Santa campaign, in partnership with digital agency Kin + Carta. Aiming to drive donations for the charity during the winter season, the campaign encourages supporters to order a personalised letter from Santa for the little ones in their life. Available online for a suggested donation, Letter from Santa is an online experience and has been updated this year to be more inclusive. Throughout the promotional materials, there’s a larger focus on imagery of same-sex couples, children from different backgrounds, grandparents and, of course, a dog. Letter  from Santa is the NSPCC’s single largest source of income during the festive period. Last year, more than £1 million was raised across 97,000+ orders. 

Google Shopping specialist Bidnamic has won the Google Shopping accounts of Indian jewellery brand Candere, Leeds-based skate store Welcome Skate and ecommerce robe specialists Bidnamic won all three accounts through non-competitive pitches. Prior to Bidnamic, Candere, Welcome Skate and all used Google Shopping’s Smart Shopping platform to manage campaigns. While Smart Shopping can help retailers achieve initial success, the tool’s ability to generate long term growth is limited as brands can’t access customer data and decide where marketing budgets are spent. With Candere, in particular, having over 20,000 SKUs on Google Shopping, managing bids and understanding what keywords to put against products is essential to managing ad spend and improving the position of products on the platform’s carousel. 

FMCG giant Procter & Gamble has increased its marketing spend nearly to pre-pandemic levels, the company said on its fiscal Q1 2022 earnings call on Tuesday. Marketing volumes were running at approximately 33% of total spend pre-pandemic but they are now back up to approximately 30% of total spend, an increase of $130 million year over year.  P&G defended its position to spend more on marketing against skeptical investors questioning its efficiency. The company said it will increase pricing across nine out of 10 product categories, including beauty, baby products, skincare and grooming, to mitigate increased costs caused by supply chain issues, freight costs and continued pandemic impacts. 

A group of museums have set up an OnlyFans account to broadcast their finest works after their TikTok account was banned. The social media giant blocked the account owned by Italy's Albertina Museum for constantly showing nudity, even though it's from renowned artists from around the world. As a result, they've found a home in the X-rated site and they've launched a Vienna Laid Bare campaign. Subscribers logging on to Vienna’s OnlyFans page will subsequently receive admission to one of the featured museums where the “explicit art” can be seen in real life. While OnlyFans has issues of its own, the Vienna Tourism Board is hopeful their new account on the site will be able to attract art lovers from all over the world, and gain some useful audience insights via the highly personalised platform. 

Ones to watch: movers and shakers in performance marketing

Dentsu International has promoted Michael Komasinski to the role of Global CEO, Merkle and a member of the dentsu international executive team. Komasinski brings a wealth of experience having led Merkle across two of dentsu’s three regions. Joining Merkle seven years ago as chief operating officer of agency services, Komasinski went on to become president of Merkle’s Europe, Middle East, and Africa region (EMEA), leading a business of more than $400 million in net revenue; during his four years within the EMEA business, it experienced five times over growth. He currently serves as President of Merkle/CXM, Americas, and leader of the dentsu Customer Experience Management (CXM) Service Line in the Americas, overseeing all aspects of Merkle’s Americas regional operation. Komasinksi replaces Craig Dempster, who has been a member of the Merkle executive leadership team for nearly 15 years and joined dentsu during Merkle’s acquisition

Independent ad platform Adform has appointed of Anne-Sophie Zeller as Publisher Business Development Director for Western Europe. Zeller will collaborate with the Sales and Customer Success teams to grow Adform’s Publisher business in Western Europe. Reporting to Adform’s Director for Customer Success in Western and Southern Europe, Alexandra Jarry-Bourne, Zeller will be responsible for cultivating new and existing client relationships for Adform’s publisher solutions. Zeller has more than seven years’ experience in sell-side account management and business development roles. Prior to joining Adform, she held the position of Account Director at global video advertising platform, SpotX (acquired by Magnite) as well as Senior Business Development Manager for EMEA (Sell Side) at Integral Ad Science. Before this, Zeller oversaw a large publisher client portfolio for The Rubicon Project in France, Belgium, Spain, Greece and the UAE.

Stephen Allan, formerly worldwide chairman and CEO of MediaCom from 2008 - 2020, has been appointed to the board of AR pioneer Blippar. He joins having acted as an advisor to the company and its CEO, Faisal Galaria for the past year.  A 39-year media agency veteran, Allan was MediaCom's worldwide chairman and CEO from 2008 to 2020. Prior to this, he was CEO of GroupM UK, and before that spent many years as CEO of MediaCom UK. During his tenure, MediaCom saw tremendous global growth, becoming a top-four media agency worldwide. This follows the launch of Blippar's latest WebAR developer Toolkit, WebAR SDK, earlier this month - the next step in Blippar’s ongoing commitment to opening up AR creativity to everyone.

Toluna, a consumer insights provider and parent company of Harris Interactive and KuRunData, has announced the appointment of Kevin Daly to the newly created role of Chief Sales Officer. With 15 years’ experience working across a range of global market research and technology brands, Daly will be responsible for overseeing the company’s global sales teams and driving Toluna’s rapid growth.Daly brings exceptional understanding of enterprise sales for global clients needing high value, data-driven insights on demand, and has a broad background in all facets of Sales leadership. He will lead a team of seasoned global sales leaders to capitalise on Toluna’s rapid growth, maximize offerings to tech-forward clients, and accelerate sales growth across Toluna's suite of solutions.

TransferGo, a money transfer company, has announced the appointment of Povilas Čiuplys as its new Chief Customer Officer. Povilas takes on the position following two years in senior customer service roles at TransferGo, and brings over a decade of experience in driving positive customer experiences.Based in Vilnius, Lithuania, Povilas will be responsible for leading TransferGo’s exceptional customer support strategy, liaising with its product and marketing teams to ensure that customer experience is always at the heart of service and innovation.As a reflection of how much customers are valued at TransferGo, an 80-strong team of customer agents, located around Europe, are fluent in nine languages to help with queries.

Adnami is announcing two new key hires  in their UK sales team.Alex Barstow will be joining as Publisher Sales Director, UK, and Tom Carr as Agency Sales Director for Adnami. Both of them bring along an impressive experience working with top tier publishers. Tom spent over seven years at a mobile ad tech company, Ogury, where he rapidly rose through the ranks while Alex boasts over 15 years of experience working with top tier publishers at companies including AOL, Scoota and Exponential. These key hires will be responsible for building strong relationships within their respective roles and bolster Adnami's growth as the company continues its globe expansion as a leading player within rich media and high-impact advertising. 

Streetbees, a London based human intelligence platform, has made some senior strategic appointments as it continues to strengthen the team.Streetbees is one of the most formidable tech start-ups, using its proprietary AI and machine learning technology to reshape market research.Charlotte Forsyth is appointed VP People, and Anthony Brew is appointed VP Artificial Intelligence with immediate effect. This follows the appointment of Sean O’Connell as VP Product, formerly Chief Digital Officer of FTSE250: Ascential (ASCL), Chief Product and Marketing Officer, Paysafe Group and Product, Technology and Insight Director, Weve.