Morning Update: Airbnb backs down on tax ads; Bond throttles back product placement; Pandora shares dive after earnings fall

airbnb san francisco tax ads

Adweek: Airbnb Backs Down in Its Passive-Aggressive San Francisco Ad Campaign

It didn’t take long for Airbnb to take down its tax-hating ads around San Francisco after many people criticized the short-term housing rental startup for publicly complaining about fulfilling its civic duty. The digital-based company told SF Weekly late on Wednesday that it was taking the promos down because of the backlash.

Yesterday, ads started popping up on bus stops and billboards around the city, offering not-so-subtle hints that the company was unhappy having to pay $12 million in hotel taxes. Earlier this year, the company paid millions of dollars in back taxes to the city after failing to pay the 14 percent hotel tax.

The Guardian: James Bond fans need not fear Spectre of product placement

Spectre, the longest, most expensive Bond yet, wouldn’t have been made without product placement. There is always a hoo-ha about this sort of thing. The sanctity of Ian Fleming’s character suddenly becomes paramount. His watch is wrong! His car is wrong! He’s also stopped hitting women. He might, one day, be black.

Good news for those peeved by 007 drinking a beer in Skyfall, Spectre is subtle in its product placement. Three brands are mentioned by name – two car manufacturers and a gunmaker – and only one is an official sponsor. Bond drinks a vodka martini, but doesn’t ask for it by brand. He doles out champagne, but the label’s left hidden. The close-ups we get of logos are of a restaurant where M (Ralph Fiennes) is eating alone and a scene where he is reading in a newspaper about an escapade in Mexico that’s gone awry. That’s a shot of a copy of the Guardian, on to which M slaps a copy of the Times. Advertising is at play; still, we are a long way from the grand-scale product flog of “Buy Another Day”.

Creativity: In Explosive Under Armour Film, Stephen Curry Changes the Game

Droga5 New York’s explosive new film for Under Armour celebrates basketball sensation Stephen Curry, demonstrating how his lightning-fast shot has changed the game forever.

Narrated by actor Jamie Foxx, the 60-second spot is set on a darkened basketball court, lit only by Curry and his famous 0.4 second shot — the quickest ever measured — which is accompanied by fireworks every time he plays it. Foxx muses, “Change takes time. In the universe it takes eons. In this game it only takes a second. Or less.”

Starting today, its search bar is now capable of retrieving every public post ever made — that’s 2 trillion of them. It’s a major step in making Facebook’s search tool relevant when finding breaking news and trending topics, two areas dominated by Google and Twitter.

Previously, searching on Facebook would return Pages a user liked or friended. Now it will return basically everything, but displayed in a more organized manner.

After the market closed Thursday, online music streaming service Pandora reported a third quarter loss of $85.9 million.

The company lost 40 cents per share. Pandora met street estimates and posted an adjusted profit of 10 cents per share. Its revenue of $311.6 million narrowly missed estimates of $313 million.

Shares were down 15% in after hours trading following Pandora’s performance.

Pandora continues to face stiff competition in the crowded music streaming sector from Spotify, Google and Apple. Today’s report was the first to show the impact of Apple’s fledgling streaming service, which launched in late June, on Pandora.

The Drum: The Guardian tells brands it can drive their business goals further with ‘fewer but better’ ads

The Guardian claims its future commercial model will be powered by “fewer, better” ads across all of its platforms, telling advertisers it can “do more with less” to achieve their long-term business goals.

The Guardian tells brands it can drive their business goals further with ‘fewer but better’ ads
The Guardian tells brands it can drive their business goals further with ‘fewer but better’ ads

Like its peers, the publisher is struggling to monetise mobile traffic fast enough, and used its Digital Upfront last night (21 October) to reveal how it will bridge the gap between those readers and revenue. To do this, the publisher wants to attract more brand building budgets instead of performance-driven spend, with the plan being to pitch its smaller inventory as the premium alternative in a “world of unlimited inventory” that commercial director Nick Hewat said is “undervalued” because the industry chooses to “measure the crap out of everything”.

“We’re nowhere near the success we could be digitally because we haven’t translated what’s brilliant about old school or un-measurable media into our digital world,” he added, before explaining how discussions between the Guardian’s commercial teams and advertisers now focus on the attention, context and how to gain maximum impact for ads. “This isn’t about interrupting readers and asking them to take a quiz before they read an article. Of course we need advertising, but it can’t be about advertising at any cost,” said Hewat.


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