Amisha Gandhi, head of influencer marketing at the software giant SAP, wanted to inject more value into the company's Leonardo Live event centered on digital innovation and transformation. She invited five top influencers to participate in the two-day conference, which took place earlier this summer in Frankfurt, Germany, and attracted 1,500 attendees, including C-level and senior digital executives.  By Matthew Schwartz

comScore published its Top Ten Burning Issues in Digital report.

Bill Duggan penned a piece in last week continuing the ANA's attack on ad agencies -- this time over production transparency, which is the code name for unethical and possibly illegal bid-rigging activities conducted by some agencies to secure production contracts at favorable rates.  A previous transparency issue, media transparency, was investigated by ANA in 2016, and it confirmed instances of media agencies enriching themselves at client expense through rebates, kickbacks and other "non-transparent" practices, many of them not forbidden by existing contracts.  Duggan summarized ANA's view about these two transparency issues: "The advertising industry continues to suffer from a transparency crisis, which has broken down trust between advertisers and agencies ... the ad agency community now needs to acknowledge and address these issues rather than continuing to issue denials …"  By Michael Farmer

Many aspects of the digital world are dominated by a single giant: Google dominates search, Facebook dominates social, and of course, Amazon dominates e-commerce. For the vast majority of brands, walking away from the giants simply isn’t an option … so digital success means dancing with these giants more effectively.

A year ago, the advertising industry was stirred by the ANA-commissioned report "An Independent Study of Media Transparency in the U.S. Advertising Industry" from K2 Intelligence.  The key finding of that report was that non-transparent business practices, including cash rebates to media agencies, are pervasive in the U.S. media ad buying ecosystem.  By Bill Duggan

Over the past four decades, the U.S. Census has documented the growth trajectory of our Hispanic population.  While the numbers alone tell a powerful story of the value of the Hispanic market to brands, to fully understand the opportunity we have to dig deeper.  The Hispanic market is uniquely relative to past immigrant groups.  Hispanics represent a unique movement due to a combination of factors including language, duality and tenacity.

New research by the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) has found that global brands have made major changes or are planning to make extensive changes to their media governance practices across a wide range of areas.

From the rise of online shopping channels to ad campaigns created for an audience of one, consumer marketing has changed more in the past ten years than it did in the previous 30. Despite that level of change and disruption, if you had put a few typical marketers from the 1980s into a time machine and sent them into the marketing departments of today, they would probably feel right at home. There might be a new IT department and a few other changes, but the job titles, structures, approach to performance management—even the vocabulary—would be remarkably familiar.  By Raphael Buck, Biljana Cvetanovski, Alex Harper, and Björn Timelin

In recent years, most consumer goods companies have exponentially grown their digital agendas, typically resulting in higher costs of time, energy and money. Yet for many, top-line growth remains elusive and profits are under pressure.

Social media is deeply embedded in our culture and has emerged as a leading indicator of overall media consumption.  Its burgeoning power can be vividly seen when assessing the consumption patterns, habits and trends of Gen-Z.   By Graeme Hutton

Bob Liodice, the President and CEO of the ANA, once said (and I'm paraphrasing here) that client CMOs are not sufficiently in charge of the activities of their agencies.  He wasn't chastising them but merely sending a word of caution that if clients expect more from their agencies, particularly in areas of transparency, they have to be more intimately involved in what they do and how they do it.  By Mike Drexler

Brand marketers are always developing strategies that influence purchase intent. For the last decade or so, these marketers assumed that social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram are driving consumers to engage with brands and make purchase decisions.

nfluencers are driving engagement with brands on Instagram at levels well beyond those seen by companies’ own posts on the Facebook-owned social media platform.

The agency holding companies continue to find themselves the pariahs of the industry, implicated in dubious media-buying practices, non-transparent digital media processes — and now by murky advertising production practices as well.

The debate over the power of purpose flared up again at Cannes, largely fueled by the fact that Fearless Girl won the Titanium Grand Prix and more. Many acknowledged that the Wall Street statue was on message, but questioned whether it was on brand after struggling to remember which company sponsored it.  by Nigel Hollis