Business_news Barton F. Graf’s ripple effect over Madison Avenue, Instagram’s privacy practices, and Foursquare pitch deck


Barton F. Graf founder Gerry Graf

Welcome to the Advertising and Media Insider newsletter, where we round up the most interesting stories we covered this past week, ICYMI. I’m Lauren Johnson, a senior advertising reporter filling in for Lucia while she’s on vacation this week. If you got this email forwarded, sign up for your own here. Got a tip or feedback? Email me at

First off, this is the last week to submit nominations for business Insider’s inaugural list of CMOs to watch. Please submit your ideas by Friday here.

On to the news. My colleague Tanya Dua looked at what the news about independent ad agency Barton F. Graf shutting down means for the advertising industry.

Among the big changes happening to agencies’ business models is a drop in independent agencies. According to data from Forrester Research and SoDa, the percentage of independent agencies dropped from 51% to 39% between 2016 and 2018.

But as more pressure is put on the holding company model, some independent agencies may have a new opportunity to win back clients.

“Smaller agencies usually have lighter operational models, less legacy overhead, and more nimble ways of delivering content at speed, which is what larger agencies can often lack,” said Claire Telling, co-CEO of Grace Blue. “They just have to set up a financial structure that allows for the company to stay afloat during potential dry spells.”

Over on business Insider’s tech desk, news editor Rob Price broke the big story about Instagram kicking marketing firm HYp3R off of its platform after it was discovered that the startup had been scraping location data.

Instagram’s lax privacy practices let a trusted partner track millions of users’ physical locations, secretly save their stories, and flout its rules

After business Insider contacted Instagram about HYp3R’s practices, Instagram sent the firm a cease-and-desist letter, and HYp3R shut down its platform. The startup claims that its practices do not break Instagram’s rules.

Facebook also emailed some of its other Marketing Partners to explain how it handles data on its platform.

Meanwhile, I looked into what Foursquare’s acquisition of Placed means for marketers. Foursquare acquired the location-based measurement firm from Snap as part of a $150 million round of funding in May.

We got the pitch deck Foursquare is using to sell advertisers location data — even as regulation and privacy concerns mount

Placed founder and new Foursquare president David Shim sat down with me to go over Foursquare’s pitch deck that the company is presenting to advertisers.

Location-based firms have struggled to stay afloat with privacy regulations like Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act, but Foursquare says that it’s an outlier in the industry because its data is collected from consumers who have opted in to sharing their location.

Shim said the goal of the combined Foursquare and Placed company is to give marketers a one-stop shop for location data to do everything from planning, buying, and measuring campaigns.

Here are other great stories from media, marketing, and advertising. (You can read most of the articles here by subscribing to BI Prime; use promo code AD2PRIME2018 for a free month.)

‘Angst about more layoffs and consolidation’: Viacom insiders react to the CBS merger and predict what will happen next

Walmart is under increasing pressure as it remains a major seller of firearms. The company could easily rein in gun sales without hurting its business, some branding experts say.

A new advertising pitch deck from Disney shows its plan to change how media buyers approach live TV

Facebook is building a news tab and keeps referencing Apple News in private talks with publishers

Ad agencies are building brands around everything from yoga equipment and cookware to CBD-infused drinks to crack the direct-to-consumer market

The financial adviser to the world’s top-earning YouTube star shares the biggest pieces of advice he gives his clients on growing their businesses

The Trade Desk CEO talked up a new advertising partnership with Amazon but also downplayed the e-commerce giant’s own growing ad business