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Samsung is negotiating a deal with Alphabet that would give Google products more prominence on its smartphones, Bloomberg reports. The Google Android operating system is already the default OS for Samsung Galaxy phones, but this deal would put Google’s digital assistant and the Play Store on those devices, according to someone briefed on the deal. Samsung would essentially be capitulating on its AI assistant, Bixby. But Bixby hasn’t broken through like Google, Siri or Alexa, and Google would pay handsomely for the licensing arrangement. Potential terms with Samsung were not disclosed, but Google’s deal to be the de facto search service for Safari and iPhone queries is worth billions of dollars per year.
P&G Takes The Upfront
Procter & Gamble is taking in-housing to a new level, by negotiating upfront deals directly with TV networks, Ad Age reports. Chief Brand Officer Mark Pritchard has been vocal about moving the upfront off its traditional sales cycle to align it with the calendar year, which better lines up with the brand’s overall corporate budgeting process. Pritchard has also called the upfront out of date, criticizing it for driving inflation and insufficient transparency. “While there are benefits to the upfront, it remains an antiquated business system that needs reform,” he said at a recent ANA conference.
The Great Reckoning
COVID-19 has forced agencies to rightsize a culture of flashy parties, bloated corporate structures and expensive, unattributable work, The New York Times reports. Facing declining ad spend and massive layoffs, holding companies are reckoning with weakening demand for their bread-and-butter services in TV production and media buying. And lucrative AOR relationships are deteriorating into quick-turn project work. Agencies will shed 50,000 jobs by 2021, half of which will get automated and not come back, predicts Forrester analyst Jay Pattisall. “This is an industry that is constantly talking about wanting to transform itself, but that is also constantly sticking to very traditional approaches,” said Marcelo Pascoa, VP for marketing at Coors. “Old habits die hard, but people are being forced out of necessity to adapt faster.”
But Wait, There’s More!