Hyundai Motor Co. entered into a four-year sponsorship agreement with the NFL even as it continues to look for a new marketing chief after the departure of Steve Shannon last year. The automaker's agency, Innocean, recently replaced its U.S. leadership as well, reportedly following dealer disappointment with the quality of advertising.
Time Warner Cable's improving financial condition means it "controls its own destiny" when it comes to accepting overtures from potential suitor Charter Communications or pursuing other deals, said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Paul Sweeney. Charter is reportedly in the early stages of organizing a debt package to fund a deal, and Greg Maffei, CEO of Liberty Broadband, said any potential Time Warner Cable merger would be a "friendly transaction."
Starcom MediaVest Group has committed to buying Microsoft inventory on properties such as Skype and Xbox as part of a new deal that also give SMG a "first look" at Microsoft research. The deal is "complicated" by Microsoft's current consolidation review, Alexandra Bruell writes, as SMG is the incumbent on the tech giant's media account. "The partnership could give SMG leverage with Microsoft at a time when its client business is vulnerable," Bruell writes.
Microsoft's decision to turn on "Do Not Track" by default in Internet Explorer 10 had online advertisers up in arms -- but now the browser has launched and the privacy setting's effect "seems muted, if not moot," writes Kate Kaye. Many websites and ad firms have already said they'll ignore the browser's privacy flag because it was made a default setting for users, rather than a choice they had to opt into.
Politicians are embracing Twitter -- but as they become more tech-savvy, they're also learning to insulate themselves from their followers. Accounts are increasingly maintained by staff rather than by politicians themselves, and many now offer little more than bland public relations messages. "Few subjects will ever come truly close to their sovereigns. But the impression of doing so remains tantalizing," notes The Economist.