Mark Ritson’s review of Radiocentre and Ebiquity’s new report on the dichotomy between marketers’ perceptions of media channels and the data on effectiveness of those channels is fascinating but somewhat depressing. Ritson concludes that the evidence will not make any difference to where marketers spend their money.  by Nigel Hollis

Last week, I debated for the affirmative that ‘the future is female’ at the lively International Women’s Day Great Debate in Sydney, hosted by the Institute of Managers and Leaders. While at first glance it seemed the affirmative side (obviously the future is female!) would be the easier position to argue, I knew it was to be a tough gig on a day where there is inevitably a chorus of male voices asking, ‘when is International Men’s Day?’ or ‘what about the men?’.  By Anne Rayner - Global Director of Communications Research

With retail sales increasing 3.5 percent in 2017, compared to a gross domestic product growth rate of 2.3 percent the same year, the retail sector is showing signs of healthy growth thus the so-called ‘retail apocalypse’ is a myth, according to a new study from Deloitte. The study, “The great retail bifurcation: Why the retail “apocalypse” is really a renaissance,” found that the retail sector is healthy and shows strong signs of growth.

Last month at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Leadership Conference, IAB head Randall Rothenberg gave what may prove to be one of the most significant industry speeches in years, even more important than Proctor & Gamble CMO Marc Pritchard’s keynotes on viewability and cleaning up fraud.  Randy heralded the emergence of the direct-brand economy, explaining why the Dollar Shave Clubs, Caspers and Warby Parkers might take over the world, or at least put up a good fight against Amazon as it continues its relentless march to massive commerce power.

If we were on a guided tour of the advertising industry, here are the points of interest that ought to be on every sightseer's list. 

Adam Moser is an advertising operations veteran, having worked at MTVN, CBS and NBC.  For the past three years he has served as Head of Ad Tech & Platform Operations at Hulu.  He is responsible for overseeing the company's day-to-day advertising platform operations and strategic ad tech investments.  Since joining Hulu, Moser has been instrumental in maintaining a best-in-class advertising experience across the video platform.  His attention most recently has been on changing the conversation about brand safety within our industry, including clarification of the very term.  He recently spoke about these concerns.

Consumers today have access to an entire universe of content at their fingertips. Yet while the media landscape expands, the type of content consumers are spending time with has remained fairly consistent. Ad-supported content remains the medium that consumers gravitate toward the majority of the time in their viewing habits.

In the latest episode of “Behind the Numbers,” eMarketer’s Ross Benes talks with Dave Pond, Vox Media’s general manager of display and programmatic, about how to improve the ad creative of automated advertising.

Today’s Latina has undergone a major transformation. She’s doesn’t emulate her mother or grandmother (or even her cool tía). Instead, today’s millennial Latinas are embracing a generational, political and cultural shift that is changing the way they see themselves and the world around them. They are not conforming to cultural customs and gender roles as strictly as they once did, and they look to their Latino heritage to enhance their lives. Being Latino is viewed as an asset at home and at work.  By Frances Solá-Santiago

I have seen ‘brand’ referred to as if it were something to rank alongside production, supply chain and capital; a part of doing business rather than something reflective of how people remember their interaction with a brand. But to do so diverts attention from the importance to shaping and framing those memories to best effect.  by Nigel Hollis

Many global brands are facing the inescapable fact that it is a particularly tricky time to be in the consumer goods business. Following decades of solid and dependable growth, the future started getting hazy in 2012. That is when, despite steadily rising global demand, a series of events began taking a toll on large consumer products companies’ revenues and profits.  By Matthew Meacham, François Faelli, Eduardo Giménez and John Blasberg

Transparency is a big word for an important idea, but I’m curious if it will actually have an impact on the advertising business. If you casually peruse articles about advertising published in the last few years, you’ll see a steady increase in the volume of people talking about transparency, but if you dive one layer deeper, you’ll find it’s still just talk — not a business practice for most companies.

Sir Martin Sorrell, the industry's most prominent agency spokesman, now has the difficult job of explaining, on behalf of WPP and of the industry in general, why revenue growth has been so difficult to achieve and what can be done about it.  Since its peak in 2015, WPP shares have fallen 28% in value.  In the main, Sorrell points his finger at "major customers, who are holding back ad spending to cut costs, and the long-term impact of technological disruption and the short-term focus of zero-based budgeters, activist investors and private equity." By Michael Farmer

We’re moving from a time of scarcity to an era of abundance, experiencing megatrends that are changing commerce, transportation, and healthcare: connected consumers, on-demand services, internet-enabled connection and commerce.  So why do people wring their hands and get so worked up about the future of media? As it turns out, scarcity was perhaps the one thing that made media relevant, reliable, and even resilient.

The simultaneous use of second-screen devices—smartphones, tablets and desktops/laptops—while watching TV has increased year to year and will continue through at least 2019.  However, 2018 will be the first year in eMarketer’s forecast in which the use of desktops/laptops in this context declines.