Data Journalism’s Election Fail, Social Media’s Role in Election, Projected Drop in Ad Spend, Adobe’s Ad Tech Acquisition, InDesign CC Tip: Scalable Arrowheads

Welcome! At the close of a tumultuous week, we’d like to lead with positive thoughts today in remembering our veterans. This week, we’re sharing stories about why media outlets got election predictions so wrong, the influence social media had on 2016 political discourse, a projected post-election drop in ad spending, Adobe’s $540 million purchase of ad tech company TubeMogul, and more.


  • Among the big stories post-election was the epic fail of media data models heavily favoring Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. A Digiday post looked at the implications for data journalism going forward, noting that among other “growing pains” emerging data-driven journalism “suffers from a lack of good data or, worse, an inability to tell the difference.” Or, put another way, “Did we all believe Clinton would win because of bad data, or did we ignore bad data because we believed Clinton would win?” as The Atlantic asked. Despite the questions that surfaced, the Digiday report said most data-driven applications in the publishing industry—for example, analysis of test scores or government agency data—can be accurately tracked and are increasingly central to audience development and monetization strategies.
  • Meanwhile, a Nieman Lab post took aim squarely at Facebook as a primary force in the media’s election failure, calling it “a sewer of misinformation.” Plagued by fake news driven by economics (it’s cheap to make and spreads quickly), the social platform created a scenario in which political discourse was based on “two self-contained, never-overlapping sets of information,” it said, a view detailed by TechCrunch and numerous other news outlets. According to Nieman Lab, the election also raised several other issues around media’s future role in the political landscape, including how the loss of institutions like local newspapers will affect outcomes, the evolution of media products to reflect political divides among readership, and the impact of social media “filter bubbles.”
  • Media and advertising execs are worried there may be a slowdown in ad spending given uncertainty surrounding existing trade agreements, plans to deport illegal immigrants, and other moves by the incoming administration that could trigger an economic slowdown. “Any policy affecting the auto industry could have major ramifications since the sector is the largest driver of ad spending in the U.S.,” a Wall Street Journal report said, noting Trump has promised 35% tariffs on automobiles imported from Mexico. Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Levy said he believes marketers will take a “wait and see” approach, while GroupM CEO Kelly Clark said, “We do believe that investment decisions will be delayed.” That sentiment is a reversal of pre-election projections that ad spending would grow 3% to $183.9 billion next year, although the contraction isn’t expected to be long term, the report said.
  • And in non-election news, Adobe announced it’s buying ad tech company TubeMogul for $540 million, another step in its buildup of the “ad tech stack” in its Media Optimizer product, Business Insider said. TubeMogul, which will be integrated with Adobe’s Marketing Cloud business, provides a demand-side platform for advertisers to plan, buy, and measure video ads using a programmatic system, it said. “Video consumption is exploding across every device, and brands are following those eyeballs. With the acquisition of TubeMogul, Adobe will give customers a one-stop shop for video advertising, providing even more strategic value for our Adobe Marketing Cloud customers,” said Brad Rencher, executive vice president and general manager of Adobe’s digital marketing unit.

On the Technology for Publishing Blog

Photo: Digiday

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Posted by: Monica Sambataro

Monica Sambataro is a contributing editor and copyeditor for Technology for Publishing. Her publishing background includes work for leading technology- and business-related magazines and websites.