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Pencil announces free creative AI dashboard for brands to learn from their past Facebook ads


Creative AI company Pencil has today released a free creative AI dashboard and also an Instant Predictive Audit (IPA) which can analyse thousands of Facebook and Instagram ads to generate new ideas and predictions for ecommerce and SME advertisers. Pencil is the only automated system which generates unlimited video ads that then learn to improve and drive more sales over time. The new creative dashboard will be free forever, and automatically analyses a Facebook account, and then groups all of a brand’s previous ads into “winners” and “losers.” Winners are ads that are performing above a threshold (e.g. the average, top 10%, or top 25%) on a particular metric, and they can be used to generate new strong ideas, with a “More like this” feature. Losing ads can be switched out and improved in a few clicks using the “Replace” feature, and there’s also indicators to identify “Fatiguing” and “Scaling” ideas. “The new creative AI dashboard is going to significantly improve the way we build and run ads on Facebook and Instagram,” said Tye DeGrange, founder of Round Barn Labs. “We already know that creative quality and variety is driving more than 50% of our performance for us on Facebook, but identifying winners and losers with the speed and scale we want is often difficult. We estimate this tool will change the game for our team, improving our vision, speed, creativity, and results.” Pencil’s customers will be able to access the new IPA which will audit thousands of ads to provide “Day Zero” new ideas and predictions, enabling brands to use their best creative to make their next creative. Previously, users needed to run sufficient Pencil ads and media investment before gathering enough data to see any predictions, which might take several weeks. Now with the IPA, Pencil already knows on Day Zero what has worked before and what didn’t, and users get predictions built on all their past Facebook ad tests. Pencil also revealed that 3 out of 4 Pencil users successfully find ad “winners” which outperform their average performance benchmarks. On average these winning ads beat their baselines by 79% (ROAS, return on advertising spend) and 48% (CPA, cost per acquisition). The new data was published in the Q3’2021 edition of “Creative AI Works”, based on an analysis of over 650 Pencil ads that ran between November 2020 and July 2021. The report also found that teams which ran 10 or more Pencil ads were typically able to find “winners” that performed 100% higher than ROAS baselines and 50% lower than CPA baselines. The full report can be downloaded here. Will Hanschell, CEO and co-founder of Pencil commented: “These results and these new features mean that we and our users are already further ahead with Creative AI than where we expected to be during 2021. We didn’t want to just build a product, we wanted to create a whole new system, to help solve this $100 billion video advertising industry problem. We now have an effective, integrated SaaS system tested and launched, and a way for any small business to get started and get value immediately.” Finally, these new features would not be possible without the outstanding partnership and performance of CLIP. IPA utilizes OpenAI's CLIP neural network, which is trained across 400 million image-language data points to learn the presence of concepts in the images automatically. Earlier in the year, Pencil upgraded from OpenAI’s GPT-2 to GPT-3 to drive its ad copy generation, and saw its success rates jump from ~65% to over 95%. About Pencil Pencil is a Creative AI company on a mission to generate unexpected ideas that get results. Pencil generates ads that learn to drive sales, delivering the return on ad spend that helps brands scale their businesses. Pencil was founded in 2018 with a team from Google, Facebook and Uber and is backed by Sequoia Capital India, Wavemaker Partners, Singapore Innovate and Entrepreneur First. Further information visit: Contact Details Bilal Mahmood +44 7714 007257

September 02, 2021 09:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Pet Insurance and the Pandemic


A video accompanying this announcement is available at: Amid the pandemic last year, more than 2 million dogs and cats were adopted from shelters. Now, as employees across the U.S. anticipate a potential return to in-person work, pet parents have some concerns about how the transition may impact both their animals’ and their own well-being. In fact, MetLife’s new Pet Parent Pulse Survey found that three in four (74 percent) working pet parents are considering how pet care during this time may impact their finances, while nearly all (95 percent) anticipate that a possible transition back to the office will cause a change in their pet’s health or routine. If you are a working pet parent, what do you need to know and prepare for during this time? “It may be as simple as making some changes at home, like introducing a crate or a gate to keep your pet safe and healthy. Alternatively, maybe pet care or ‘doggy daycare’ services make sense for you,” said Katie Blakeley, vice president and head of pet insurance, MetLife. “Many pet parents are also leaning on their employers to help them navigate the return to office and how it may effect their furry family members. For example, introducing pet health insurance into a voluntary benefit plan is becoming a popular option for many working pet parents.” For more information visit: About MetLife: MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), through its subsidiaries and affiliates ("MetLife"), is one of the world's leading financial services companies, providing insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management to help its individual and institutional customers navigate their changing world. Founded in 1868, MetLife has operations in more than 40 countries and holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit YourUpdateTV: YourUpdateTV is a social media video portal for organizations to share their content. It includes separate channels for Health and Wellness, Lifestyle, Media and Entertainment, Money and Finance, Social Responsibility, Sports and Technology. Contact Details YourUpdateTV +1 212-736-2727

September 01, 2021 01:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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Spotlight Sports Group Acquires Alarm Sports Network, Leading US Fantasy Sports Operator

Spotlight Sports Group

Spotlight Sports Group announced today the acquisition of FA Media LLC (Alarm Sports Network), a leading fantasy sports technology and media company, in an all-cash transaction. Spotlight Sports Group is a world-leading technology, content and media company specializing in sports betting and fantasy sports. Alarm Sports Network provides white-label proprietary technology solutions and free-to-play contests for blue-chip media and sports content providers. It also develops engaging content for its popular consumer sports platforms: Fantasy Alarm, DFS Alarm and Wager Alarm. The addition of these services to Spotlight Sports Group creates an all-encompassing sports betting and fantasy sports offering. Spotlight Sports Group is recognized for its sports betting expertise on direct-to-consumer platforms like Pickswise, one of the fastest-growing sports betting content providers in North America, and Racing Post in the UK and Ireland. Spotlight Sports Group also supplies sports betting technology, tooling and actionable content to drive user engagement for the world’s leading sportsbooks and media owners. “This acquisition immediately accelerates our growth across North America with the addition of proprietary technology and authoritative, scalable content. We are delighted to be joining forces with a vastly experienced management team steeped in fantasy sports and sports betting expertise. ASN will also broaden our business-to-business footprint through partnerships with Yahoo, FTN Network, SiriusXM and others,” said Alan Byrne, CEO of Spotlight Sports Group. “This is a transformative deal for Spotlight Sports Group. It allows us to combine the skills and expertise which have fueled our digital growth in the UK and Ireland with the talent and flair of the team at ASN in order to have a significant impact on the all-important US market.” Key highlights from the deal include: Spotlight Sports Group will retain the expertise of the Alarm Sports Network team: co-founders Dan and Al Williams, former NBC executive and Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association Hall-Of-Famer Rick Wolf and former FOX Sports & EA Sports executive Ed Bunnell. Alarm Sports Network, who developed the technology to help drive user engagement and revenue at sports media companies like FTN Network, Yahoo, Bally Sports and The Nation Network, will fold into Spotlight Sports Group’s brand. ASN brands Fantasy Alarm, Wager Alarm, DFS Alarm and Fantasy Rundown join Pickwise in a new look direct-to-consumer brand roster for sports bettors and fantasy players across North America. Spotlight Sports Group will integrate the ASN team, growing the Group’s staff to more than 500 people. “This deal creates a powerhouse sports betting and fantasy sports business, proven to drive revenue with engagement-led solutions. Using our unique mix of product technology, expert content and authoritative brands, we will continue to deepen our relationships with our partners to help them grow and monetize their audiences,” said Rick Wolf, President Alarm Sports Network. “We are tremendously excited to become part of Spotlight Sports Group, working together to help solve challenges and drive innovation for our partners in the fast-evolving sports media and affiliate landscape,” added Dan Williams, Co-Founder. For more information on Spotlight Sports Group please visit: ABOUT SPOTLIGHT SPORTS GROUP Spotlight Sports Group (owned by Exponent Private Equity) is a leading technology, content and media business specializing in sports betting. Evolved from the Racing Post Group, Spotlight Sports Group engages millions of people directly through Racing Post, Pickswise, Free Super Tips and myracing. The company also has decades of experience in powering growth and conversion for the world’s biggest sportsbooks and media companies, delivering best-in-class technology and expert scalable content experiences in more than 70 languages. ABOUT THE ALARM SPORTS NETWORK Alarm Sports Network’s (ASN) mission is to create products, services and content that entertain and inform so that sports fans can learn, play and win whether it is fantasy sports or sports betting. This has been achieved through three digital platforms: Fantasy Alarm, Wager Alarm and DFS Alarm. ASN platforms cover all 10 major US sports (including Esports) offering a mix of free and premium content. The business-to-business division supplies media companies with a range of tools from data modelled projections for player performance to full turnkey white-label platforms and free-to-play contests. Contact Details Michael Adorno +1 212-931-6143 Company Website

September 01, 2021 08:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Channel Factory Continues EMEA Expansion with New Hires and Team Growth in Poland

Channel Factory

Channel Factory, the global brand suitability and ad performance platform for YouTube has expanded their team in Poland and appointed a new Sales Director as part of their commitment to growth in the European market. Szymon Szmigiel joins as Sales Director to develop, manage, and grow the company’s agency and brand relationships within the region, and to support Channel Factory’s continued expansion across the EMEA market. Szymon will continue to build the business alongside Sean Carey, Business Development Director, based out of the Warsaw offices which will enable the company to support clients on the ground and bring better brand suitability to the market. “This is an extremely exciting time to be joining Channel Factory,” said Syzmon Szmigiel. “Not only is the company growing exponentially across multiple markets, but the recent launch of The Conscious Project shows how determined the company is to drive our advertising industry forward towards a more conscientious future. I could not be more excited to join the team and look forward to helping the company continue on its growth trajectory.” Prior to joining Channel Factory, Syzmon has been co-creating an advertising office at CDA SA, one of the largest VOD platforms in Poland. In his three years at CDA SA, Syzmon was responsible for the business development and revenue growth, overseeing the sales team and building relationships with media houses and agency clients. Before his time at CDA, Szymon was the Director of Agency Sales at NetSprint, a martech leader in region, while also spending seven years at one of Poland’s biggest portal based businesses, Wirtualna Polska. As the Head of Sales here, he was responsible for the entire sales department, managing a team of 15 to drive profitable growth for the company. Szymon has spent several years in both startup and large sized companies and is an expert in strategic planning, operations, sales and marketing. He has managed and led large-scale projects covering marketing communication, sales and technology. “Szymon’s addition to our EMEA team is critical to our growth as a business in the European markets. We are very excited to have him on board, to lead and manage our business on the ground in Poland,” said Mattias Spetz, MD EMEA and APAC, Channel Factory. “Szymon brings in-depth market knowledge and relationships to Channel Factory, and with his industry expertise across video, programmatic, ad sales, and e-commerce, he will be a real asset to the wider EMEA team. His proven ability to develop agency and client relationships and to drive growth in region will help us to continue to expand our footprint in Europe and push the industry as a whole towards a more conscious advertising ecosystem.” Szymon will report into Mattias Spetz, helping to drive sales growth within the EMEA regions and demonstrating to clients the real commitment Channel Factory has across all regions. Szymon has previously served as a member of the management board for the IAB Polska. The appointment of Szymon follows a streak of new hires across the US, UK and Europe for Channel Factory. The company has recently announced the appointment of Fiona Alenda, its new MD for France, as well as three key new hires in the UK to continue to expand its footprint and support clients in these key markets. Channel Factory is dedicated to helping create a better advertising ecosystem, and works closely with its agency and brand clients to drive more conscientious, thought-through advertising campaigns aimed at eliminating inherent bias in advertising across video. About Channel Factory Channel Factory is a global technology and data platform that maximizes both performance efficiency and contextual suitability, turning YouTube’s 5 billion videos and 500 hours per minute of new content into brand-suitable, efficient advertising opportunities. Channel Factory’s mission is to create a suitable video ecosystem that connects creators, brands, and consumers - by enabling advertisers access to the most relevant videos, channels, and creators. Through their proprietary platform that harnesses the power of the deepest YouTube dataset in the industry, Channel Factory has enabled advanced brand suitability, customized content targeting, and maximum performance for the world’s biggest brands. Channel Factory’s algorithm ensures not only that advertisers run against content that aligns with their brand but also delivers outcomes by optimizing campaigns using active and historical campaign performance data. Channel Factory has offices across the USA and is present in over 30 countries worldwide including the United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Spain, Ukraine, Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Contact Details Kite Hill PR for Channel Factory

September 01, 2021 04:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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BEE Elevates Its Freemium with the Addition of Landing Page Design Capabilities


BEE, a business unit of Growens and leading digital content design platform, announced today that users will now have access to designing landing pages with its freemium product BEE Free. Since its inception in 2014, people have been able to click on ‘Start Designing’ in to immediately start creating emails from scratch or select ready-to-use professional templates. With over 30,000 unique users per month for BEE’s freemium design tool, it’s clear BEE is making progress to achieve its vision of democratizing content design for everyone. BEE”s free editor for email was intended to be easy-to-use as it does not require any HTML coding skills. Now, this same frictionless, no-code experience will be replicated for people that need to create landing pages. The move to unlock landing page design capabilities for BEE Free includes over 100 ready-to-use landing page templates as well as a start from scratch option. The use of these tools on is completely free. Users who want to experience more advanced design features can sign up for a 15-day trial of BEE Pro, the company's full feature, no-code design suite for email and landing pages. This comes as another meaningful achievement for the team at BEE as they recently announced 10K paid subscribers for its BEE Pro design suite. The addition of landing page design on means that now everyone can produce mobile-ready, high-converting, end-to-end campaigns — a sweet move to further support the company's vision to democratize content design. “Introducing landing pages to BEE Free changes the way users create their multi-content campaigns. Having combined communications composed of related emails and landing pages can be extremely effective and powerful for our customers’ strategy,” said Elena Loatelli, Product Marketing Specialist at BEE. “We are especially proud of this release because it aligns with our goal to democratize content design, and now all users can rely on the solid, fast and easy design tools with this new content in BEE Free.” About BEE BEE provides no-code design tools that empower everyone to quickly create content that resonates. BEE’s visual builders are used to design emails, landing pages, one-page sites, and more. They deliver fantastic design flexibility and a great user experience, combining granular control on design elements with handy features like editing content directly in mobile view. BEE is building on its vision to help democratize content design, with millions of monthly users in over 20 languages and from over 150 countries. BEE’s design tools are available online at and embedded in 600+ SaaS applications. Contact Details Jules Costa Company Website

August 30, 2021 09:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Comcast’s Internet Essentials Program Teams Up with Texas Education Agency to Connect Texas Students and Families with Internet Access at Home

Comcast Houston

Comcast’s Internet Essentials program and Region 4 Education Service Center (Region 4 ESC) have partnered with the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) Connect Texas Program to ensure students within TEA’s Texas footprint have access to reliable, commercially available home-based fixed broadband internet services free of charge. Comcast is one of the service providers stepping up to ensure Texas students can reliably engage in virtual learning with its Internet Essentials service. Internet Essentials is Comcast’s signature digital equity initiative and is available for $9.95 a month (plus applicable taxes and fees). “Quality internet connectivity at home is critical for academic success, and we are proud to partner with Region 4 ESC to help reduce learning gaps and provide increased opportunities for students to have in-home access to the internet,” said Ralph Martinez, Regional Senior Vice President, Comcast Houston. "Providing stable high-quality internet to the students of Texas at home is a critical component of any long-term solution for closing the digital divide for our state,” shared Gaby Rowe, Project Lead, Operation Connectivity. “The TEA Connect Texas program is designed to empower school districts and parents to do just that." With a goal of connecting 40 to 60,000 students, the TEA Connect Texas Program (TEACT) is designed to help close the digital divide for Texas school children in kindergarten through twelfth grade and provide access to at-home connectivity and digital devices. Additionally, TEACT will provide a strong implementation and customer support structure for school systems that want to participate in a broadband roll-out program but may not currently have the available personnel or resources to administer it. Families who participate in TEA’s Connect Texas program can take advantage of Comcast’s Internet Essentials service, the nation’s largest, most comprehensive, and most successful high-speed internet adoption program for low-income households. In 10 years, it has helped connect nearly 1 million low-income Texans to broadband Internet at home, most for the very first time. Region 4 ESC, located in Houston, Texas, is the lead agency for this important program. Through OMNIA Partners’ cooperative purchasing program and partnership with Region 4 ESC, districts across Texas have the opportunity to provide home-based broadband internet access to their students. Through these combined efforts, school systems across Texas will be able to provide the fixed internet solutions their students require for ongoing access to remote educational tools and accelerated learning, which will help school systems to better address the post-COVID learning challenges many Texas students are likely to face. For more information visit: TEA Connect Texas Program Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company that connects people to moments that matter. We are principally focused on broadband, aggregation, and streaming with over 56 million customer relationships across the United States and Europe. We deliver broadband, wireless, and video through our Xfinity, Comcast Business, and Sky brands; create, distribute, and stream leading entertainment, sports, and news through Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, Universal Studio Group, Sky Studios, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, multiple cable networks, Peacock, NBCUniversal News Group, NBC Sports, Sky News, and Sky Sports; and provide memorable experiences at Universal Parks and Resorts in the United States and Asia. Visit for more information. Contact Details Misha McClure +1 832-547-6783 Company Website

August 25, 2021 10:00 PM Central Daylight Time

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BEE adds a new visual builder to its Plugin product line


BEE, a business unit of Growens, releases a new visual builder to its Plugin product line. The embeddable popup builder offers no-code, drag & drop design capabilities for marketers to easily create popups for their digital campaigns. Popup Builder is the third digital content type that BEE has introduced. The over 600 SaaS applications that have adopted BEE Plugin can now provide their users with a single design interface for emails, landing pages and popups. Popups are becoming increasingly necessary for businesses to compete and drive customer acquisition, retention and conversion rates. Businesses that implement popups as part of their digital marketing strategy benefit from growing email lists, staying in touch with customers, increasing social media following, and driving online sales. BEE Plugin’s new popup builder can be fully embedded into any SaaS application in under 30 days. The result is a new product offer or feature that users immediately adopt due to an intuitive interface. “We are very excited about the launch of this new builder because we now provide, with a single subscription, the tools that cover the main design needs for creating online campaigns. Our clients can now provide an excellent and consistent content design experience for creating emails, landing pages, and popups. Their users no longer have to learn 3 different tools and can reuse their content across the 3 builders. It also makes life easier for our customers who don’t need to worry about maintaining multiple tools and the associated costs.” Guillermo Padilla, Head of Product “More and more SaaS applications embed BEE Plugin because it helps them deliver a fantastic user experience to their customers, while going to market much faster than if they developed their own content design tools. We are really thrilled to see adoption across many industries, including 40% of the companies in Gartner’s 2021 Quadrant for Multichannel Marketing Platforms.” said Massimo Arrigoni, CEO at BEE. About BEE: BEE provides no-code design tools that empower everyone to quickly create content that resonates. BEE’s visual builders are used to design emails, landing pages, one-page sites, and more. They deliver fantastic design flexibility and a great user experience, combining granular control on design elements with handy features like editing content directly in mobile view. BEE is building on its vision to help democratize content design, with over 4.5 million monthly sessions of its tools in over 150 countries, across 600+ applications. Contact Details Angelina Kaliszak Company Website

August 25, 2021 09:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Tech cross-border M&A on record pace in First Half of 2021 according to data from Velocity Global and PitchBook

Velocity Global

Deal multiples return to 2019 levels Cross-border software deals skyrocket Cross-Border M&A Monitor: Tech Sector released today Cross-border tech merger and acquisition deals accelerated in the first half of 2021, on a record pace in transactional volume. That data from PitchBook was released today in the Cross-Border M&A Monitor: Tech Sector published by Velocity Global, the leading provider of global employment solutions. The late surge of activity in 2020 continued through the first half of this year with approximately 1,000 cross-border tech deals closed, for an aggregate of $139.9 billion. “The deal multiple increased in the first half of this year and returned to 2019 levels, which indicates investor confidence in global economic recovery,” said Rob Wellner, Velocity Global chief revenue officer. “Increased multiples drive an even greater need for pre-deal preparation and successful integration after close.” Software value already tops 2020 The value of cross-border M&A deals for Software companies in the first six months of 2021 already topped full-year values for 2020 at over $100 billion. “The pandemic accelerated digital transformations, funneling budgets to build or buy the necessary tools,” added Wellner. “The acquirers are tech and non-tech alike, with tech adding to their stack, and non-tech adding to their in-house capabilities.” Pandemic Operations Drive Cross-Border M&A Interest As evidenced by the increase in median deal size in cross-border tech M&A, dealmakers paid up with confidence. Cross-border acquisitions require businesses to navigate a distributed workforce, and the global pandemic prompted companies of all sizes to invest in the proper resources. “Integration will always have complexities like country-specific labor laws and regulations, but companies are more willing than ever to invest in cross-border diversification and leverage tools to manage a distributed workforce,” said Wellner. “Work from home is really no different than work from another country as it relates to workflow and employee engagement.” Download the Cross-Border M&A Monitor: Tech Sector here. About Velocity Global Velocity Global accelerates the future of work beyond borders. Its global work platform simplifies the employer and employee experience through proprietary cloud-based workforce management technology, personalized expertise, and unmatched scale. As the largest global Employer of Record (also known as International PEO) in 185 countries and all 50 United States, more than 1,000 brands rely on Velocity Global to build global teams without the cost or complexity of setting up foreign legal entities or state registrations. The company offers additional services including Independent Contractor Compliance to assess a workforce, and Agent of Record (AoR) to streamline payments to contractors. Velocity Global was named a “Leader” in Global Employer of Record services by prominent analyst firm NelsonHall. Founded in 2014, the company has hundreds of employees across five continents. For more information visit Contact Details John Hall +1 720-650-4348 Company Website

August 24, 2021 07:02 AM Mountain Daylight Time

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Juicy Juice Celebrates the Return of the Lunchbox this Back-to-School Season


It’s finally here – the day parents and kids have been yearning for: a fresh start to a new school year and new beginnings. Parents and kids will be celebrating a back-to-school season unlike any other and experiencing a spectrum of emotions along with it. So, what can parents do to navigate both the excitement and nervousness of this back-to-school season and set their kids and themselves up for success? To help parents prepare themselves and their littles ones for the return to school, Juicy Juice is partnering with host of Disney Family Sundays on Disney+, child psychologist and founder of Yay Day Paper Co., Amber Kemp-Gerstel. Crafting expert Amber created custom-designed lunchbox notes for kids to discover at lunchtime to provide a connection to mom and dad. In addition, her tips and suggestions will help alleviate any back-to-school jitters kids may be feeling. The notes, along with other helpful advice from Amber on how to ease the transition of back to school, will be available on Juicy Juice’s website. Additionally, Juicy Juice is hosting a 100% YAY! Sweepstakes to celebrate mom, dad and the caretakers who were handling and coordinating all things virtually this past school year and get them excited and ready for back to school. Each day, ten $100 gift cards will be given away! Through September 22, parents can visit and follow the instructions to complete and submit the online entry form. Entrants can also enter this sweepstakes every day receive a bonus entry for playing the 100% YAY! Lunchbox Game for more chances to win. Visit to enter and read the full rules. About YourUpdateTV: YourUpdateTV is a social media video portal for organizations to share their content. It includes separate channels for Health and Wellness, Lifestyle, Media and Entertainment, Money and Finance, Social Responsibility, Sports and Technology. Contact Details YourUpdateTV +1 212-736-2727

August 23, 2021 11:01 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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