MediAvataar's News Desk

MediAvataar's News Desk

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Following a competitive pitch, the alcoholic beverages company Distell has selected WPP as its global partner agency.

Distell produces, markets and distributes a diverse portfolio of award-winning global and multi-country brands within the ready-to-drink (RTD), cider, wine and spirits categories and is acknowledged as the second largest cider producer in the world.

WPP will be responsible for Distell’s Tier 1 brands, including Savanna, Hunter’s, Hunter’s Edge, Viceroy, Amarula Cream, Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky and Scottish Leader.

Delivered by Team Liquid – WPP’s bespoke and scalable agency solution for Distell – the portfolio will cover strategy, creative, digital, social, media, PR, influencer and in-store.

Led by Paul Jackson, CEO of Team Liquid, the team will be based in Johannesburg and draw on expertise from across WPP’s global network as Distell continues to build its international consumer base.

Donovan Hegland, Distell Global Marketing Director, said: “We have world-class, award-winning brands with ambitions to expand globally and are extremely excited to be partnering with WPP on this new journey. This was a rigorous process and the quality was of an incredibly high standard, but ultimately we were unanimous in appointing WPP, who approached the brief with a great deal of creativity, expertise and passion.”

Mark Read, CEO of WPP, said: “We are delighted to have been appointed Distell’s lead creative partner in Africa and key international markets as they look to reshape their marketing strategy. Ideally placed to deliver on Distell’s global growth ambitions, WPP’s Team Liquid is an integrated, bespoke solution that brings together the very best talent from across our agencies, markets and disciplines.”

Analysts to Discuss AI Use Cases and Best Practices at Gartner Data & Analytics Summit, March 4-6, 2019 in London, U.K.

IT and business leaders are often confused about what artificial intelligence (AI) can do for their organizations and are challenged by several AI misconceptions. Gartner, Inc. said IT and business leaders developing AI projects must separate reality from myths to devise their future strategies.

“With AI technology making its way into the organization, it is crucial that business and IT leaders fully understand how AI can create value for their business and where its limitations lie,” said Alexander Linden, research vice president at Gartner. “AI technologies can only deliver value if they are part of the organization’s strategy and used in the right way.”

Gartner has identified five common myths and misconceptions about AI.

Myth No.1: AI Works in the Same Way the Human Brain Does

AI is a computer engineering discipline. In its current state, it consists of software tools aimed at solving problems. While some forms of AI might give the impression of being clever, it would be unrealistic to think that current AI is similar or equivalent to human intelligence.

“Some forms of machine learning (ML) – a category of AI - may have been inspired by the human brain, but they are not equivalent,” Mr. Linden said. “Image recognition technology, for example, is more accurate than most humans, but is of no use when it comes to solving a math problem. The rule with AI today is that it solves one task exceedingly well, but if the conditions of the task change only a bit, it fails.”

Myth No. 2: Intelligent Machines Learn on Their Own

Human intervention is required to develop an AI-based machine or system. The involvement may come from experienced human data scientists who are executing tasks such as framing the problem, preparing the data, determining appropriate datasets, removing potential bias in the training data (see myth No. 3) and – most importantly- continually updating the software to enable the integration of new knowledge and data into the next learning cycle.

Myth No. 3: AI Can Be Free of Bias

Every AI technology is based on data, rules and other kinds of input from human experts. Similar to humans, AI is also intrinsically biased in one way or the other. “Today, there is no way to completely banish bias, however, we have to try to reduce it to a minimum,” Mr. Linden said. “In addition to technological solutions, such as diverse datasets, it is also crucial to ensure diversity in the teams working with the AI, and have team members review each other’s work. This simple process can significantly reduce selection and confirmation bias.”

Myth No. 4: AI Will Only Replace Repetitive Jobs That Don’t Require Advanced Degrees

AI enables businesses to make more accurate decisions via predictions, classifications and clustering. These abilities have allowed AI-based solutions to replace mundane tasks, but also augment remaining complex tasks.

An example is the use of imaging AI in healthcare. A chest X-ray application based on AI can detect diseases faster than radiologists. In the financial and insurance industry, roboadvisors are being used for wealth management or fraud detection. Those capabilities don’t eliminate human involvement in those tasks but will rather have humans deal with unusual cases. With the advancement of AI in the workplace, business and IT leaders should adjust job profiles and capacity planning as well as offer retraining options for existing staff.

Myth No. 5: Not Every Business Needs an AI Strategy

Every organization should consider the potential impact of AI on its strategy and investigate how this technology can be applied to the organization’s business problems. In many ways, avoiding AI exploitation is the same as giving up the next phase of automation, which ultimately could place organizations at a competitive disadvantage.

“Even if the current strategy is ‘no AI’, this should be a conscious decision based on research and consideration. And – as every other strategy- it should be periodically revisited and changed according to the organization’s needs. AI might be needed sooner than expected,” Mr. Linden concluded.

In view of the terror attack in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir, WION is withdrawing its invitation to all the speakers from Pakistan who were to participate in the Global Summit: South Asia Edition that is scheduled to take place in Dubai on February 20.

We believe this heinous attack has vitiated the atmosphere and any deliberation on collective prosperity with Pakistan is untenable.

Among those who will not be joining us now is Mr Fawad Chaudhry, Minister of Information and Broadcasting in the Govt of Pakistan, whose statements on the Pulwama attack we unequivocally condemn.

General Pervez Musharraf, former President and Army Chief of Pakistan, Mr Abdul Basit, former High Commissioner of Pakistan to India and Mr Salman Bashir, former Foreign Secretary of Pakistan will also not be part of the Summit now.

However, the other sessions of the Global Summit on unleashing the collective potential of South Asia, the strategic balances and alliances in the region, the India-Maldives partnership, sustainable growth, the role of women in nation building and the changing face of media will be held as scheduled.

WION remains committed to presenting India’s perspective to the world, and that includes taking a stand against entities and individuals trying to hurt India.

We salute the martyrs of Pulwama. Our thoughts and prayers remain with their families.

Digital media have empowered people worldwide but also enabled the spread of disinformation and demagoguery and undermined the funding of professional journalism as we know it.

People increasingly rely on search engines, social media, and messaging applications, which help them access, discuss, and share news, but also risk exposing them to false or misleading information and malicious manipulation.

Recent elections in countries as diverse as Brazil, Italy, and the United States have demonstrated the continued relevance of journalism and how digital technologies empower people, but have also revealed weaknesses in our media environment, and shown how foreign and some domestic political actors seek to exploit them. Upcoming elections in the European Union, India, and elsewhere are at risk as many of the problems we face seem to evolve faster than the solutions.

In this situation, independent professional journalism will be more important than ever in helping people understand the major challenges and opportunities facing us, from day-to-day local events to global issues. But as the business of news changes, journalism also risks becoming less robust, and ultimately incapable of helping the public make sense of our times or holding power to account.

Reporters without Borders noted that 2018 was ‘the worst year on record’ for violence against journalists, and according to Freedom House, 45% of the world’s population live in countries where the media are not free.

This report identifes fve things everybody needs to know about the future of journalism from research done at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford. These fve trends will impact the work of professional reporters as well as everybody who works with them and relies on them, from the general public to politicians, NGOs, and private enterprise.

Precise developments difer from country to country, depending on the economic, political, and social context, especially as much of the world’s population is still ofine and many governments do not ensure freedom of the press, but these fve trends are global and cut across many of these diferences.

1. First, we have moved from a world where media organisations were gatekeepers to a world where media still create the news agenda, but platform companies control access to audiences.

The global move to digital, mobile, and platform-operated media means that journalism is more accessible than it has ever been. In high-income countries, more than half of all media use is now digital. More than half of digital media use is in turn mobile. And much of the time we spend with digital and mobile media is spent using products and services from platform companies like Facebook and Google. This means anyone with a smartphone and an internet connection has access to a diversity of news almost unimaginable only a few years ago. It also means that the platform companies that people rely on when navigating digital and mobile media are increasingly important for how we access and engage with news and public life.

In this ever-more competitive battle for attention, speaking is not the same as being heard, and far from the death of gatekeepers, we have seen the move to two sets of gatekeepers, where news media organisations still create the news agenda, but platform companies increasingly control access to audiences.

2. Second, this move to digital media generally does not generate flter bubbles. Instead, automated serendipity and incidental exposure drive people to more and more diverse sources of information.

While echo chambers exist, where highly motivated minorities self-select into insular news diets and like-minded communities, fears of algorithmically generated flter bubbles currently seem misplaced. While our own choices and preferences sometimes lead us to narrow information diets, technology seems to point in the opposite direction. There are opportunities here for journalists and publishers to pursue.

Empirical research thus consistently fnds that search engines and a wide range of diferent social media including both Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube demonstrably drive people to use more diferent sources of news, including more diverse sources and sources they do not seek out of their own volition (Newman et al., 2018). In practice, most people only go directly to a few news sources on a routine basis, rarely more than three or four.

For most people, digital media use is thus associated with more diverse news use, but information inequality is a real risk, as is political polarisation – risks that are fundamentally rooted in political and social factors but can be amplifed by technology.

3 .Third, journalism is ofen losing the battle for people’s attention and, in some countries, for the public’s trust.

Digital media give us access to more and more diverse information than ever before, and in this ever more intense competition for attention, journalism is at risk of losing out. While a small minority of news lovers are extremely interested in news and access news several times a day, a clear majority of the population is much less interested, and a far greater number of people access news less than once day. Segmented on the basis of interest in news and frequency of access, we can see that news lovers make up only 17% of the public, daily briefers about half (48%) and casual users, who access news less frequently than once a day, 35%. For many people, news is only a small part of their media use. In the United States, for example, data from comScore suggests only about three percent of the time we spend online is spent with news, and just half a percent with local news.

People turn of the news because it feels irrelevant and depressing and does not help them live their lives; they ofen turn to entertainment or social media instead (Tof and Nielsen, 2018). These diferences are not only a function of competition for attention. They also refect that much of the public is questioning whether journalism is in fact helping them in their lives, and that people in many countries doubt whether they can trust the news.

4. Fourth, the business models that fund news are challenged, weakening professional journalism and leaving news media more vulnerable to commercial and political pressures.

The majority of professional journalism is still funded by newspapers (Nielsen, 2016). An estimated 90% of publishers’ revenues worldwide still come from print, digital revenues are in many cases growing only slowly, and, where they exist, public service media are under considerable pressure (WAN-IFRA, 2018; see also Cornia et al., 2016; Sehl et al., 2016). Most of these existing forms of funding for professional journalism will decline as we continue to move to a more digital media environment, leading to further job cuts in newsrooms.

Historically, media organisations’ control of both content and channels meant they could count on advertising revenues being a large share of the business of news. As we have moved to a more digital, mobile, and platform-operated environment, advertisers are increasingly following audiences and spending their money elsewhere, especially with large technology companies ofering low rates, high reach, and sophisticated targeting.

We are already seeing governments across the world strategically using state advertising to infuence news media, just as some private interests are subsidising, or sometimes acquiring, news media to advance their commercial or ideological agenda (Schifrin, 2017). As independent, professional journalism provides a public good, and the market alone seems unlikely to deliver this in many cases, in countries where this could be done without giving politicians or government ofcials direct sway over news, policy intervention could be called for to address market failures (the Nordic countries provide examples of how this could be done).

5. Fifth, news is more diverse than ever, and the best journalism in many cases better than ever, taking on everyone from the most powerful politicians to the biggest private companies.

It is clear that cost-cutting, increased pressure to produce more stories across more channels/formats, and a 24/7 news cycle has led to a large volume of more superfcial journalism. But the best is better than ever. While some organisations have focused their resources and retained a commitment to accurate reporting and in-depth investigations, and recent years have seen several reminders of the power of journalistic revelations, many reporters have to produce many stories with little time, and some are lef churning out clickbait from press releases and the like (Rusbridger, 2018). Worryingly, even as many professionals working in complex organisations across business, government, and the non-proft sector specialise and know more and more about less and less, journalists are ofen forced to operate as generalists, and many know less and less about more and more.

There are more examples of inspiring innovation around the world than we can cover here, but it is worth highlighting how central digital media are to many impressive new initiatives in journalism, from the German newspaper Die Zeit’s ‘Deutschland Sprichts’, which matches readers with diferent political views for one-to-one ofine discussions, and collaborative initiatives to combat disinformation through joint fact-checking and source verifcation like the First Draf News coordinated Crosscheck in France to cross-country international investigative journalism like the ICIJ-led Panama Papers investigation (Sambrook, 2018). None of these projects would have been possible without digital media.

Journalism is facing stif competition for attention and its connection with the public is threatened by news avoidance, low trust, and the perception that news does not help people live the lives they want to live. But in many ways, the best journalism today is better than ever – more accessible, more timely, more informative, more interactive, more engaged with its audience. And the role of journalistic revelations in many diferent cases, in the #MeToo movement, in confronting corruption amongst public ofcials in countries including India, South Africa, and elsewhere, and in fuelling public debate around platform companies’ power and privacy practices and other issues in the private sector, underline the continued importance of investigative reporting.

These five trends are global and important for journalists, but also for the public that relies on journalism, and for everybody who works with journalists, from politicians and NGOs to private enterprise.

They will help defne the future of journalism – more accessible as new platform products and services from augmented reality to voice assistants grow in importance to supplement search engines and social media; less robust as old business models built in twentieth-century media environments erode in twenty-frst-century environments; more important than ever as we face complex global problems and the risks of unaccountable exercise of public or private power.

To ensure this, journalists and news media need to continue to adapt to the digital media that people all around the world are eagerly embracing at the expense of print and broadcast, and build a profession and a business ft for the future. And we need collectively to protect journalists’ right to report and freedom of the media, in recognition that, at its best, independent professional journalism creates public value, and serves the public.


Authored by Rasmus Kleis Nielsen,Director of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism and Professor of Political Communication at the University of Oxford and  Meera Selva, Director of the Journalist Fellowship Programme at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford.

Source: Reuters Institute

Friday, 15 February 2019 00:00

OOH to grow at a rate of 12-15% in 2019

In unison with the seismic changes that the industry is witnessing across the media, marketing and communications community, out-of-home is also transforming at pace and is presenting many new and exciting opportunities. Consequently, 2019 is expected to be another important and exciting year for OOH in India. The expected growth rate stands to be anywhere between 12-15%.

Posterscope India, one of world’s leading location-based marketing specialist - from the house of Dentsu Aegis Network, expects disruptive growth this year which is full of events that have historically boosted advertising. These include the upcoming General Elections, the Cricket World Cup, and of course, the Indian Premier league among other marquee events.

Digital out-of-home (DOOH) inventory will continue to increase and reach the levels of respectability it deserves while its share of revenue will see a significant rise. New categories of advertisers will come to the fore and dislodge some traditionally strong advertising categories. Meanwhile, newer infrastructure will provide varied and interesting advertising options.

Below are some of the key developments that Posterscope believes will continue to drive OOH’s rapid evolution:


Campaigns will be driven using data that go beyond demographics to online behaviour, card transactions, app usage and location analytics to decide where the OOH ads should appear.


ROI will be the driving force in the next 12 months. Posterscope India expects to see boundaries in OOH being pushed through digitisation, automation, scientific planning tools, machine learning and cross-media collaborations to drive and achieve returns that are in line with other media offerings.


With DOOH inventory increasing, advertisers can now unlock at scale the flexible capabilities of DOOH by running creative bespoke to key triggers such as time, audience and weather. Posterscope’s ROOH digital OOH exchange is pioneering efforts in this space.


The year being a particularly busy one in terms of large ticket events from sports, entertainment and even elections, we believe there will be a surge of investments from a varied base of advertisers.


As locations-based marketing specialists, Posterscope India believes in its ability to act as a common thread to tie multiple data sets together to create a clear OOH story about what’s changing the way out-of-home is being offered.


A new area of urban development is upon most major cities globally, and in India, this is coined under the ever-ambiguous term and scope of ‘Smart Cities’. The way in which technology will redefine everyday tasks, transport and logistic services is now becoming a reality. Via partnerships with leading smart city development organisations, The Digit Group and DG Cities, Posterscope India is creating opportunities and encouraging brands to lean in, learn and redefine how this investment can last a lifetime.


Consumers are now always connected with more than 90% of OOH consumers using their phone whilst OOH in each week. In addition, we spend over two hours every day on social and messaging platforms sharing the things we stumble across and catch our eye in the OOH space. Now more than ever, disruptive innovations can deliver attention and engagement far beyond where it stands in the real-world through digital sharing.

Says Fabian Cowan, Director, Posterscope India, “In a fast paced ever changing out-of-home ecosystem, having informed intelligence of what are going to be the drivers of change is critical to our offerings and client associations. We firmly believe that we have the leading technology platform, the best planning tools, the strongest data and analytics capabilities, the most advanced automation programme, the broadest and most diversified view of the out-of-home channel and, most importantly, the best people to manifest and deliver the best ooh solutions.”

Haresh Nayak, Group MD, Posterscope – South Asia adds, “As industry leaders we are driving change across the medium. Our predictions are not only based on year-long research and a close watch on trends but also based on our understanding of how cities and consumers transform with advancements in technology, access to data, infrastructural developments and evolved travel patterns. 2019 is poised to be a very exciting year for OOH and our predictions depict that amply.” 

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