THE STORIES THAT LIT UP OUR MEDIA WORLD THIS MONTH

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While British MPs have been making waves with their move to restrict the advertisement of junk food on television, Stockholm’s City Council has made sexism the target of their most recent bylaws. This month they voted to ban all advertisements displayed in public spaces that portray women or men as ‘sex objects’, in stereotypical gender roles or in any other way that is ‘obviously sexually discriminatory’. The bylaw echoes the Mayor of London Sadiq Kahn’s 2016 ban on body-shaming adverts across Transport for London. The growing momentum of government action suggests that advertisers slow to adapt to consumer values could soon be forcibly brought in line by public authorities.

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After several years of negotiation, News UK, The Telegraph and The Guardian have announced The Ozone Project. A one-stop shop for digital inventory and audience data for more than 39.4 million unique users, the initiative will allow them to offer the scale needed to rival the likes of Facebook. While some advertisers heralded it optimistically as a cleaner supply chain and simpler buying option, others have called it out for lacking the total commitment required to make it a success. Each publisher will maintain their individual digital and print sales teams, effectively working as competitors to The Ozone Project. And each will require individual targeting lines, meaning that The Ozone Project will be a centralised buying hub rather than a true multi-media platform. Considering how much online ad revenue Facebook and its ilk are increasingly eating up, bolder integration might be worth the risk.

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The largest internet retailer in the world is expanding their already growing online media inventory. Amazon have now acquired the exclusive rights to live stream 20 premier league matches in the next 2018/19 football season. This is a seismic move for the online service considering the history of the premier league, broadcast on Sky Sports for the last 16 years, then split between Sky Sports and BT Sport for the past 6 of those years. The news is in line with the current trend of digital outlets competing with traditional broadcasters. Sky and BT will nevertheless remain in good stead taking the rest of the rights packages between them, with BT securing 52 live games and Sky 128.

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Instagram has finally unveiled the introduction of shoppable stories, in a move to monetise the increasingly popular format. Influencers and brands will now be able to tag their stories with the specific products featured within them. When a tag is clicked it will the bring up detail on the products, followed by a path to purchase directly from the brand and without ever leaving the app. This is a strong move by Instagram to grow its ecosystem, and seems likely to entice brands to invest more time and money into the creation of content for the app; if shoppable stories can be turned directly into incremental sales, bridging the gap between an aspirational lifestyle and a consumer’s next purchase.

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