Five on Friday: August 9

Top news every fortnight from the world of advertising, adtech, and emerging tech.

DOOH Mobile Charging Station 

JCDecaux has created Singapore's first out-of-home wireless charging stations located at bus shelters. It allows pedestrians to experience the Wireless PowerShare feature of the latest Samsung Electronics Galaxy S10+ flagship smartphone. The idea in theory, is great, however the execution poor - surely few people could stand with their phone against a screen for the time it takes to charge? Link NYC's charging ports offer a more compelling option. 

Football vs DOOH

New data from Route confirms that while 68% of the population see a digital screen each week, 83% of people in towns with Scottish Premier League teams are exposed, a higher proportion than any of the main football leagues – even without a presence in London.

In a recent open letter to the outdoor industry, ISBA Media Leaders expressed concern at the distribution of digital screens. The worry being that they are too clustered; stifling brands’ ability to achieve mass market audiences when using the medium. This is exacerbated by screens replacing traditional poster sites. This is part of a bigger trend of both advertisers and city planners questioning the value of DOOH (and add on services) in public spaces.

Uber Fires 400 Marketers 


Uber laid off more than 400 marketing employees late last month, a third of its marketing team and the largest layoffs at Uber since its 2009 founding. 

In an email to staff chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi wrote: “We are not making these changes because marketing has become less important to Uber. The exact opposite is true: we are making these changes because presenting a powerful, unified, and dynamic vision to the world has never been more important.

Many of our teams are too big, which creates overlapping work, makes for unclear decision owners, and can lead to mediocre results. As a company, we can do more to keep the bar high, and expect more of ourselves and each other.”

Uber posted losses of $1 billion on revenue of $3.1 billion for the first quarter of 2019. This the company’s first earnings report as a public company.

One of those laid off created a spread sheet that went viral on social media, detailing those who had lost their jobs, their previous experience and resumes. It's a great example of the sector supporting their own! 

Microsoft Acquires Another Advertising Startup

Microsoft this week announced it's acquisition of retail advertising start-up, Promote IQ. PromoteIQ's technology is focused on retailers' e-commerce and advertising businesses. Clients include Kroger, Kohl's and Overstock.com.

It's not their first foray into the advertising space, Microsoft earlier this year decoupled the Bing brand from its online advertising business, which is now known as Microsoft Advertising.

McDonald's Fizzy PR Fail


McDonald's Japan has released a line of McFizz soft drinks. However they've attracted widespread attention: As the cup is transparent, when the colorful beverage is finished, it can look as if a boy on one side of the cup and a girl on the other are sharing a kiss on the lips. However, when the cups are tilted slightly, things look a little less innocent...


Predictably, the cups have become a hit on social media amongst younger folks in Japan, for not quite the intended reason. It could be PR fail of the week if it wasn't for EasyJet's backless chair social media fail:



Harris later tweeted to say the woman in the viral photograph "was moved to a spare seat once the flight was fully boarded."