Welcome to a Friday update of Unmade.
Today, the curious case of the missing complaints about advertising; another big brand joins the lineup for humAIn, our conference on the rise of AI in marketing processes; and more Unmade Index companies hit lows.
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ANZ futurist Kate Young joins humAIn’s AI lineup
Cat McGinn, curator of humAIn, writes:
The role of AI in shaping customer experience for brands is the next session to be announced for Unmade’s AI conference humAIn.
The session, AI x CX will explore the ways in which brands are starting to deliver greater personalisation with generative and predictive AI tools including using AI-powered chatbots to help consumers make transactions.
Speakers on the topic are Kate Young, head of customer centricity and capability at ANZ bank, and Con Frantzeskos, managing director of digital consultancy Penso.
Young’s remit for ANZ includes acting as a futurist and heading the marketer training program within the bank
As well as running Penso, Frantzeskos is also the Australian presenting partner of The Future Laboratory, a founding director of LaunchVic, and is on the advisory board of Swinburne University of Technology’s Innovation Precinct.
Other brands already announced to talk about what they are doing with AI include Afterpay, Optus and BRX revealing how they’re using AI for planning, campaign development and execution; and BoQ Group, Asahi, CMC Markets and Mutinex on the use of AI in allocating marketing spend.
Tickets for humAIn | human creativity x AI are on sale now. The event takes place on July 12 in Sydney.
2022: The year the public stopped complaining about ads
Tim Burrowes writes:
Ad Standards turns 25 this year. It’s one of the marketing industry’s great success stories, having kept statutory advertising regulation mostly at bay. Funded by a 0.05% levy on paid advertising, Ad Standards (or the Ad Standards Board as it used to be known) has been the industry’s strongest argument that self-regulation can work.
And yet, there was a concerning number contained in yesterday’s annual review. The public has stopped complaining. Counterintuitively, that’s probably not a good thing.
In the five years that data is available on, 2022 was by far the least complained-about year.
From 6,696 complaints received in 2018, the ASB inbox received just 2,601 complaints last year, a fall of almost two-thirds in the five-year span.
For those of an excessively Polyannish disposition, this might look like good news. Fewer complaints is a good thing, right?
That argument only holds if one genuinely believes that over the last five years, brands have got three times better at following the rules.
More likely is that the public have simply stopped coming to Ad Standards in such numbers.
If so, that’s a problem for the whole marketing industry. Self regulation only works if it has social licence behind it.
Maybe it’s an awareness problem - perhaps the public doesn’t know where to go with a complaint.
That’s better than the alternative: that the public has such low expectations of advertising that they’re becoming increasingly apathetic when they see rules being broken.
Increasingly, the sports betting issue feels like a test case: The public became increasingly exasperated by the sheer quantity of messages normalising gambling, and the ad industry as a whole - addicted to the $1.2bn per year being spent - failed to come together to stop it.
As a result, there will likely be much more stringent regulation.
To keep control, brands need to act together to set standards that the public can believe in.
In the review, Ad Standards offers up some not entirely plausible theories about the fall in complaints.
Could it be that last year’s Federal election was a distraction? Hmm.
Could it have been there was less controversial advertising? Hmmmm.
Could it be that targeting is improving consumers’ experience? Hmmmmmmmm.
Could it be that the profile of Ad Standards has fallen? Actually that’s a fair question.
In an imperfect world, Ad Standards has been the least-bad answer.
It’s an odd sentiment, but more complaints in 2023 would be no bad thing.
Low spots on the Unmade Index
Seja Al Zaidi writes:
Yesterday was a poor one for most of the players on the Unmade Index, our measurement of how ASX-listed media and marketing stocks are performing.
Several stocks on the index are hovering on their lowest share price in a couple of years, while the Index as a whole fell 1.62% to land at 624 points.
Enero Group - which saw the biggest fall yesterday - experienced its lowest share price since 2020. The communications agency holding group dropped 3.26% in value on the market yesterday, dropping to a market capitalisation of $150m.
The Market Herald is also stuck on its lowest points in more than two years, with a market capitalisation of $109m.
Although Southern Cross Austereo improved a little yesterday, by 1.33%, the company is still close to its all time low.
Other declines yesterday were seen by Nine (2.05%), Ooh Media (2%), and ARN Media (1.90%).
The Craig Hutchison-led Sports Entertainment Group saw a recovery of 12.20% in its share price.
We’ll be back with more tomorrow, with Best of the Week.
Have a great Friday.
Publisher - Unmade
Bullet point five - COVID reduced the number of tourists, which reduced the number of complaints about Wicked Campervans as their vehicles were not on the road as much. This situation is expected to resolve itself as tourist traffic increases again.