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The Best Marketing Stories of the Week, Nov. 11-15

Sarah Steimer

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In this week’s roundup, we’re following Nielsen’s decision to spin off its Global Connect business, new plans for influencers as Instagram “likes” disappear and new research that shows how hackers could target phones running 5G networks.

Nielsen’s Split Expected to Help Marketers

Nielsen Holdings will spin off its Global Connect business, which offers shopping data and tools to packaged-goods manufacturers and retailers. But Nielsen Chief Executive David Kenny noted that such companies comprise just 9% of advertisers. He says the media group’s independence will make it easier to pursue that work for more types of clients. “It’s just clarifying that there’s no category that’s more important than another—it’s just what our agency clients need,” Kenny said. Kenny will become chief executive of Nielsen’s media business after the separation is complete, which the company expects will take nine to 12 months. 

Read more: The Wall Street Journal

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Bibbity Bobbity … Broken?

The Disney+ streaming service debuted on Tuesday—but it could have used a little help from a fairy godmother (or IT). Users of the service were greeted with error messages hours after the launch, the company said. “The demand for Disney+ has exceeded our highest expectations,” the company said. “We are so pleased you’re excited to watch all your favorites and we are working quickly to resolve any current issues. We appreciate your patience.” A company spokeswoman declined to say how many users experienced problems and how many successfully streamed content.

Read more: The Washington Post

Influencers Uninterrupted

BuzzFeed News spoke with some of the biggest social media influencers about Instagram’s decision to hide likes. “I do think that engagement as a whole will go down, but it will be everyone’s engagement, not just a few,” lifestyle blogger Grace Atwood, aka the Stripe, told BuzzFeed. “So brands will start to value other metrics, [such as] saves, comments, shares, etc.” Other influencers who were interviewed agreed that they didn’t expect it to impact their work much. Vogue Business reports that brands are looking more to performance data from Instagram Stories. Lexie Carbone, marketing campaign lead at Later Media, told Vogue that savvy marketers have begun asking influencers for more meaningful data, including demographic data such as location, age and gender, along with weekly impressions and the number of accounts reached.

Read more: BuzzFeed News and Vogue Business

High Speed, High Surveillance

Marketers might be preparing for 5G cellular technology to become widely available, but they may want to proceed with caution given newly discovered concerns. According to new research out of the University of Iowa and Purdue University, hackers could potentially target phones running 5G networks and collect a user’s location, push fake emergency notifications or shut service off entirely. Telecoms agency The GSM Association has been alerted to these possibilities and claims that they’re not too concerned, as they don’t believe hackers could have much of an impact in practice. But these findings are yet another reason why it’s worth letting the market vet 5G technology before jumping in.

Read more: Fast Company

Car Before the Horse

The Mustang insignia for Mach-E.

The electric car industry continues to grow, and Ford is making its hoof print in that space by electrifying its iconic muscle car: A Ford Mustang electric crossover vehicle will become available next fall. The introduction of this new car is part of Ford’s plan to release 40 electric and hybrid vehicles by 2020 to keep up with the current electrical car champion, Tesla. This marks the first time that Ford has expanded the Mustang brand since its inception 55 years ago. The brand positioning of the Mustang sits between luxury manufacturers such as Jaguar and lower-priced options like Hyundai—both extremes struggle to remain relevant to consumers, as the cost of an electric vehicle exceeds that of a regular model by a significant margin.

Read more: Bloomberg

Sarah Steimer is managing editor of Marketing News. She may be reached at ssteimer@ama.org or on Twitter at @sarah_steimer.