Media Moves

Amazon pulls ads from Bloomberg over China hack story

October 26, 2018

Posted by Chris Roush

Amazon.com Inc. pulled its fourth quarter advertisements on Bloomberg’s website, a move some within the media giant think is retribution for its controversial story alleging that Chinese spies hacked into the online retailer’s servers, reports Joseph Bernstein of BuzzFeed News.

Bernstein reports, “According to a source in a position to know, Amazon’s digital media buyer, Initiative, informed Bloomberg’s sales staff on October 16 that it would cancel its ad buys for the fourth quarter due to budget cuts. Internally, the source said, the staff received that decision, made only eight days after a previous communication with Initiative confirming that the ads would run, as a direct response to Amazon’s displeasure over the October 4 story. (Amazon announced Thursday that its marketing expenses for Q3 2018 were 3.3 billion dollars, up more than 800 million dollars from the year before.)

“Grant Milne, an Amazon spokesperson, told BuzzFeed News Wednesday evening that the ads had been cancelled due to a missed ‘creative deadline,’ contradicting Amazon’s media buyer. Yet according to the same source, Wednesday night — after BuzzFeed News inquired about the pulled ads — Amazon placed a new, significantly smaller order for Q4 ads on Bloomberg TV.

“The cancelled (and rebought) ads come amidst intense criticism of Bloomberg’s story by Amazon and Apple, the other major firm named in the report as a victim of the Chinese hack. In an interview with BuzzFeed News last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook called on Bloomberg to retract the story. On Monday, Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy seconded Cook.”

Read more here. The story also noted that Apple did not invite Bloomberg News to its fall product announcement.

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