Publishers brace for a potential Facebook traffic crash after Australia ban

Hi and welcome to Insider Advertising for February 19. I’m senior advertising reporter Lauren Johnson, and here’s what’s going on:

  • Publishers react to Facebook news block.
  • WarnerMedia axes agencies.
  • “Reply All” backlash.

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Tips, comments, suggestions? Drop me a line at [email protected] or on Twitter at @LaurenJohnson.

Nick Wass/Associated Press

Facebook’s news ban has crushed traffic for Australian publishers, and news execs elsewhere are bracing for wider global fallout

  • Lara O’Reilly and Steven Perlberg report that media execs are weighing the potential international fallout of Facebook’s Australia news ban.
  • Web traffic to Australian news sites began to drop significantly just hours after the ban.
  • Australia could serve as a testing ground for tussles elsewhere between regulators and Big Tech.

Read the story.

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in “Wonder Woman 1984.”Clay Enos/DC Comics/Warner Bros.

WarnerMedia cuts thousands of ad agencies as it tries to save $1.5 billion

  • WarnerMedia has cut the number of ad agencies it uses from more than 3,000 to a few dozen, reports Patrick Coffee.
  • The development is part of the AT&T company’s effort to save $1.5 billion by 2022.
  • It’s also pushing its properties like HBO Max and DC Comics to use a handful of agencies.

Read the story.

Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The ‘Reply All’ podcast is facing a reckoning after claims of anti-union bullying surfaced amid its Bon Appétit miniseries

  • A former Gimlet Media employee accused “Reply All” podcast hosts of creating a “toxic” environment, Rachel Greenspan reports.
  • The allegation came in response to a “Reply All” miniseries about the work environment at Bon Appétit.
  • “Reply All” co-host PJ Vogt says he is stepping away from the podcast. 

Read the story.

More stories we’re reading:

  • Advertising is Amazon’s fastest-growing business and brought in $21 billion in 2020. Here are the 21 top insiders leading the charge. (Business Insider)
  • Heineken is debuting a Dos Equis hard seltzer. Its CMO lays out new markets and strategies the company is pursuing in the crowded beverage category. (Business Insider)
  • Con Edison is dropping its ad agency Havas as it looks for a new agency to promote its clean energy mission (Business Insider)
  • Unsealed court document claims Facebook ‘knew for years’ that a metric was inflated and ignored an employee warning to avoid a revenue hit (Business Insider)
  • Burger King’s nostalgic rebrand was a huge hit. 2 designers explain why it was a success.(Business Insider)
  • ‘I’m afraid of repercussions’: Publishing industry members question Google’s motives in paying off News Corp (Digiday)
  • The Trade Desk to hand control of Unified ID 2.0 to Prebid (Adweek)
  • Tech industry challenges Maryland online ad tax (Wall Street Journal)

Thanks for reading and see you on Monday! You can reach me in the meantime at [email protected] and subscribe to this daily email here.

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