Google parent Alphabet hit by traffic costs, man boobs beat nipple ban...and more

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Google's results were just below expectations
Google's results were just below expectations

Google parent Alphabet hit by traffic costs 

Google's parent Alphabet just missed expectations for first-quarter profit and revenue as it spent more money to build traffic for its mobile ad services.

Alphabet's consolidated revenue rose to $20.3bn from $17.3bn, slightly below the $20.4bn analyst consensus.

Chief financial officer Ruth Porat told investors that payments to other web sites, known as traffic acquisition costs, totalled $3.8bn and accounted for 21% of advertising revenues. The percentage of ad revenues spent on TAC grew 13% year-on-year.

It reflected the ongoing shift to mobile advertising and the growing importance of programmatic advertising.

Porat said spending on traffic acquisition is expected to keep increasing as the shift to mobile continues.

Losses increased at Alphabet’s ‘Other Bets’ business, which includes home automation business Nest, self-driving cars and research division project X.

The loss widened to $802m, up from $633m the previous year, while revenue doubled to $166m from $80m.

Wieser said losses in other bets were "too small to matter" at the moment. She added: "If you're an optimist you can look to [other bets] and say it can eventually support long term growth."

Source: Reuters

Man boobs defeat nipple ban

Argentinian breast cancer charity Movimiento Ayuda Cáncer de Mama has got round the social media ban on women's nipples by using a pair of hairy man boobs to show women how to check themselves.

The video explains the three steps towards reducing the risk of breast cancer or catching it early, which include auto-examination, regular checks, and yearly mammography examinations after the age of 40.

The campaign was created by Argentine ad agency David.

Instagram and Facebook banning pictures featuring women’s nipples has been a long-running controversy and has led to a ‘free the nipple’ campaign. 

Source: Daily Mirror

Amazon shuts Myhabit.com flash sale site

Amazon is streamlining its efforts to become a bigger player in fashion by shutting its member-based flash sale site myhabit.com.

The website’s New York employees have been told that the site would close by the end of May.

In a statement to WWD, Amazon said: "Fashion is one of Amazon’s fastest-growing categories. As we continue to increase our breadth of selection and improve the customer experience on Amazon.com, we have decided to simplify our offering and will be closing MyHabit at the end of May. 

"Our customers can now shop from Amazon Fashion’s incredible assortment of brands across clothing, shoes and accessories — backed by award-winning service, free shipping and returns, and exclusive benefits for Prime members. We are committed to assisting MyHabit employees in finding new roles within Amazon, including but not limited to, résumé-building, interview assistance and relocation assistance for internal job opportunities."

Amazon launched its flash sale site in 2011 as that ecommerce model was taking off.

Source: WWD

Catch up with some of our longer reads...

Creativity is a serious business: from shape-shifting cars to creating compelling content

As Marketing explores creativity and design in its April issue, editor Rachel Barnes discusses what creativity means in the digital age and why we should all embrace these "disruptive, messy, exciting and sometimes uncomfortable and challenging" times.

Mary Portas: creativity is about finding a brand's essence and expressing it in a powerful way

The queen of the high street discusses how advertising was the last thing on her mind when designing the retail experience.

Have a listen to the Marketing Mind podcast...

Domino's head of digital Nick Dutch, and Iris' head of planning Ben Essen join the podcast to talk about their experiences at SXSW, discussing everything from capitalism as a valid economic model to whether marketers can ever ethically use brainwave-reading headsets.

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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).

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