Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

NDA News Roundup: Doubleverify, Rankin Creative, ServiceNow, Wild Card and more

DoubleVerify (“DV”), a software platform for digital media measurement, data, and analytics, has announced the discovery of “FM Scam,” the latest audio fraud scheme to date that was identified and mitigated by DV’s Fraud Lab using a proprietary combination of AI-powered technology and human review. FM Scam represents the second significant global scheme targeting audio spending, emerging shortly after the DV Fraud Lab protected advertisers from BeatSting, the first major invalid traffic (IVT) scheme aimed at audio traffic. During the peak of both schemes, the combined financial impact on unprotected advertisers exceeded $1 million in spend monthly. FM Scam perpetrators falsify audio traffic using dedicated servers. They also spoof a wide range of devices typically used for playing audio content. This tactic enables fraudsters to blend their invalid traffic with legitimate traffic in attempts to remain undetected. DV estimates that the fraudsters behind the scheme spoofed over 500,000 devices, including mobile phones, tablets, connected TV (CTV) devices, audio players, smartwatches and, for the first time, even smart speakers. 

Creative agency, Rankin Creative, has rebranded to The Hunger, bringing together HUNGER magazine – also founded by world renowned photographer Rankin – and its post-production, entertainment and agency capabilities. The strategic repositioning reflects the agency’s focus on unlocking the power of brands to help drive social, commercial and cultural change through creativity. Fuelled by a hunger for cultural relevance and creative excellence, The Hunger will specialise in challenging conventions, disrupting norms, and rewriting the rules of advertising and brand building for its clients – which include Mercedes AMG, De Beers, Climeworks and Henkel. With a diverse team drawn from fashion, luxury, editorial, entertainment, brand consultancy and advertising backgrounds, the creative company will be led by CEO Richard Pinder, MD, Amy Claridge, Chief Strategy Officer & Head of Entertainment Development, Nimi Raja and Warren Beeby, Chief Creative Officer. The team are aligned on the urge to communicate and connect through delivering high-end, impactful creative work. This transformation supports Rankin’s original vision of putting people at the heart of everything, ensuring that The Hunger pioneers innovative approaches that resonate authentically with audiences.

ServiceNow’s annual customer and partner event, Knowledge 2024ServiceNow and Microsoft Corp. announced an expanded strategic alliance, combining their industry‑leading generative AI capabilities to enhance employee choice and flexibility. The new ServiceNow Now Assist and Microsoft Copilot integration brings the power of two generative AI assistants into one seamless enterprise experience, making it easier than ever to create value for enterprise workers and for employees to unlock new productivity avenues. Now Assist and Microsoft Copilot will intuitively interact to meet employees where they are so they can execute common productivity tasks. This is made possible by integrating the intelligence of Now Assist with ServiceNow’s AI‑powered workflows with Microsoft Copilot to create a more holistic, connected experience, allowing employees to get the help they need from the most relevant generative AI assistant, regardless of which platform they are in.

Daikin UK, a specialist in heating, cooling, ventilation, clean air and refrigeration technologies, has appointed Wild Card as its retained communications partner for its residential division following a competitive pitch process. The twelve-month contract will see the London-based consultancy raise Daikin’s brand profile across earned, owned and paid media. This will include simplifying and clarifying the narrative around heat pumps to drive category awareness and position Daikin as a trusted voice in sustainable climate solutions. Wild Card will also be responsible for building the profile of Daikin’s Sustainable Home Network.

ShowHeroes, a global specialist in digital video content, tech, and advertising solutions, has unveiled ShowHeroes MAX: a new powerhouse platform designed to produce and monetize online video content using advanced cookieless tech. MAX offers publishers and advertisers worldwide access to a vast library of over 150,000 premium videos in 14 languages. These can be used to maximize revenue using SemanticHero, ShowHeroes’ cutting-edge contextual targeting tool, for a privacy-first and brand-safe approach to consumer targeting. One of the Max solution’s first adopters is Berliner Verlag, an innovative partner alongside ShowHeroes for many years with its wide-reaching titles and MAX showcases the newly rebuilt predecessors, ShowHeroes Play – the company’s content management and online video player (OVP) – and its advertising platform, ShowHeroes Monetize, together with various dynamic new features. These include a Live Chat support hub and SiteLoop, a content unit featuring slideshows of the publisher’s article recommendations to enhance audience engagement.

HEINEKEN UK’s apple cider Inch’s, and food and drink social media publication Twisted by Jungle Creations have launched Local Gems, a tasty new campaign seeing leading UK foodie creators Big Has, Alfie Cooks  & Hey Renu and chefs from the Twisted Kitchen rustle up scrumptious fusion dishes, using local ingredients from across the UK. All recipes featuring Inch’s cider as the star ingredient. At the heart of the partnership Twisted, Inch’s and creators all champion sustainability, local businesses and the key message, local tastes better. Twisted chefs will be challenged to create a meal using locally sourced ingredients, hand-picked within a 40-mile radius, shining a light on the fact that Inch’s sources its 100% British apples, from within 40 miles of its Hereford mill. Inch’s cider will be used as the key ingredient to elevate the flavour of the dish, as well as being the perfect tipple to enjoy alongside it. To transport the world of the Inch’s social feed to the physical plate, the final apple cider-infused dishes will be made available to enjoy in local Twisted restaurants, including locations like The GPO Food market in Liverpool (largest food market in Liverpool) and local pubs like The Royal Standard in Deptford, as well as ordering to your home via UberEats, Deliveroo and Just Eat. To add even more buzz to the Local Gems adventure, all creator videos will be filmed independently, with each episode uncovering a new location the creator feels personally connected to.

Freepik, the global tech company and largest design platform with audio-visual resources and generative AI tools, announces its acquisition of Magnific, the most advanced AI image upscaler, enhancer and transformer tool in the market. The strategic acquisition is Freepik’s biggest to date – it acquired EyeEm (Germany) last year, and Videvo (UK), Original Mockups (Colombia), and Iconfinder (Denmark) in 2022. With Magnific, it brings together dedicated AI pioneers, bolstering Freepik’s AI ambitions and reinforcing the company’s global expansion. Through this operation, Freepik will enrich its AI offering with Magnific’s best-of-breed AI technology. The founders of Magnific, Javi López and Emilio Nicolás, will continue to focus on their own AI innovation, testing and developing new ideas. Although Magnific will operate as an independent business – a subsidiary of Freepik, its new parent company, both co-founders will join Freepik to work alongside Omar Pera, the VP of Freepik Labs (Freepik’s AI innovation team) who is leading Freepik’s endeavour to roll out groundbreaking solutions for users.

Tech protection and support company, Likewize, has announced the opening of the Likewize Innovation Labs in Bristol. The purpose-built space will be used to harness cutting-edge technologies such as AI, Machine Learning, Augmented Reality and Natural Language Understanding to deliver superior customer experience (CX) services for its partners including leading network operators, retailers, and banks. The lab will place Likewize at the forefront of CX innovation, with the space being used to develop unique and ground-breaking ways for its clients to provide unparalleled services to their customers. Likewize will use this space to develop the technologies that will move its customers beyond existing digital channels – opening up new possibilities with services such as Virtual Presenters, using industry-leading innovations like AI Avatars and Augmented Reality. 

Müller milkshake brand FRijj launches its first new ad campaign in eight years, created by Müller’s creative agency of record VCCP London, marking Müller’s move to continue to significantly invest in a major brand refresh. The campaign aims to dramatise what happens when the nation feels ‘the URjj’, playing FRijj’s distinctive tagline ‘Feel the URjj’ – a line that has been in place for nearly 10 years. A series of distinctive special-build OOH billboards sit at the heart of the campaign, each aims to bring to life the power of ‘the URjj’. This campaign follows on from the success of the award-winning Müller Corner out of home builds in 2022, where billboards across the UK were seen to ‘bend’ in the corner.  Each OOH site has a FRijj bottle-shaped hole in the centre, to give the illusion that someone has risked it all and embraced ‘the URjj’: grabbing the bottle from the poster. The special-build OOH sites each come with a cautionary disclaimer: ‘Warning: contains thick and creamy milkshake’. The special-build billboards can be seen in four locations across London and Birmingham. Additional OOH sites across the country will display posters which feature the recognisable cow print pattern and advises caution due to FRijj’s delicious taste: ‘Warning: this ad may cause the URjj’. The campaign will also run across radio and social. Across both formats, executions dramatise the moment when ‘the URjj strikes’ – often when you least expect it. In radio, there are two  different comical scenarios in which ‘the URjj’ has struck at an inopportune time: one of which is during a first date, the other during a wedding. In the social executions, disclaimers advising caution and pixelated visuals are used to demonstrate the irresistible power of the URjj.

GumGum, a contextual-first, global digital advertising platform, has announced an impressive 38% reduction in bidstream carbon emissions in 2023 through its partnership with Assertive Yield (AY), a pioneer in AI-driven traffic shaping solution for supply-side platforms (SSPs) and publishers. The collaboration between GumGum and AY aims to assist platforms and publishers with more efficient bidstreams, resulting in decarbonization and sustainability. Through AY’s Traffic Shaping technology, a cutting-edge solution designed for demand path optimization, GumGum optimised relationships with demand-side platforms (DSP) partners by applying Query Per Second (QPS) thresholds tailored to each partner’s specific needs.