What you need to know in advertising today

Tadashi Ishii Dentsu president

Advertising agencies are under intense pressure to make sure their marketing clients’ budgets are being spent safely, efficiently, and effectively. So they’re cutting out the middleman.

The ad agency holding company Dentsu Aegis Network, through its digital subsidiary Accordant Media, is looking to buy more ads directly from web publishers, cutting out several layers of ad-tech companies that have traditionally acted as a go-between in digital ad deals.

The company is pushing for a level of preferred access to ad space on several top media companies’ websites, and promising its clients that these arrangements will reduce fees paid out to ad-tech middlemen, particularly a collection of companies known as SSPs, or supply-side platforms.

To read more about how agencies are shoving ad-tech companies under the bus, click here.

In other news:

Sunday’s Oscars TV ratings crashed 19% from last year to an all-time low. It follows many big-time live events, which too have seen ratings drops recently (the Super Bowl was down 7% this year, for instance), as consumption patterns continue to migrate away from live TV.

ESPN has named Disney exec James Pitaro as its new president. Pitaro had been the chairman of Disney consumer products and interactive media since 2016.

Amazon is reportedly in talks with big banks, including JPMorgan Chase, about a checking-account-like product for those without bank accounts. The product would be primarily targeted at a younger audience.

Bumble is removing all the photos of people with guns in its dating app. It is joining the list of companies that have distanced themselves from the promotion of guns in the wake of the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Fox wants to reduce commercial time across the broadcast network to two minutes an hour by 2020, the Wall Street Journal reports. Fox Networks Group’s ad sales chief Joe Marchese made the statement about a week after NBCUniversal said it was experimenting with cutting ad time by 10% during its original prime-time programming, 

30 AND UNDER: Rising stars in NY tech who find hot startup deals and manage millions of dollars. We’ve rounded up a list of those ahead of the curve.

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