The week in brief

Instagram rolls out ads in UK, Canada and Australia
Facebook’s photo and video-sharing service Instagram last week announced that it will introduce advertising in the UK, Canada and Australia, after a successful trial in the US last year. The service claims 200m users worldwide, with just 34.9m based in the US according to advertising consultancy eMarketer. “It’s a logical next step for Instagram to roll out advertising in these English-speaking countries, enabling global brand advertisers to extend their Instagram efforts outside the US,” says Debra Aho Williamson, principal analyst for social media at eMarketer. “Instagram has purposely been cautious about rolling out ads in the US, so I expect similar cautious and calculated programs in these countries.” All Response Media’s Bobby Ghayouri said, “this move is one to keep a very close eye on, because if the successful results claimed in the US are replicated in the UK – this is not a given – Instagram will boast an audience more responsive than that of its counterparts.”

World Cup to boost ad spend by $1.5bn
The Fifa World Cup will add around $1.5bn (£884bn) to global ad spending according to ZenithOptimedia’s new Advertising Expenditure Forecasts, helping the market grow by 5.4 per cent in 2014, compared to 3.9 per cent last year. The effect will be greatest in Latin America, where the tournament could add as much as $500m to ad spending. In both North America and Western Europe, the boost is estimated at around $300m.

Omnicom puts Channel 5 ad spend on hold
Omnicom’s media trading arm Opera unexpectedly pulled the plug on around £30m of expected spending with Channel 5 last week, leaving the channel’s new owners Viacom with a potentially large hole to fill. ITV’s share price rose by by around 3 per cent after reports suggested that at least part of Opera’s ad spend could be diverted to the other terrestrial channels.

WPP’s Xaxis unveils data management platform
WPP’s programmatic trading unit Xaxis last week announced the launch of its own data management platform Turbine, the product of around $25m (£14.7m) of investment. The new platform will allow Xaxis to integrate data gathered from numerous sources, including anonymous information gathered by publishers that the group buys ad space from. Turbine can also create proprietary audience segments in real-time.

French agency leaves Publicis after failed merger
Paris-based brand consultancy Royalties last week split from its parent company Publicis, citing the failure of the group’s attempted merger with Omnicom as the chief reason. Royalties’s owners bought back Publicis’s 60 per cent stake (owned since 2008), and say they now plan on growing internationally through a spate of acquisitions. It’s founders reportedly saw the Publicis-Omnicom merger as a promising way to scale globally, and were disappointed when the deal collapsed.

Ad of the week
The first of three new Volkswagen ads from action movie director Paul Anderson puts a humorous twist on the action film genre. A man is standing on the bonnet of a Volkswagen, reaching out to save an out-of-control coach when the car’s safety features kick in, stopping it from getting too close to the vehicle ahead.