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The Edge.Email  #32

Welcome to the weekly newsletter from The Edge Group. The goal of each edition is to help you think differently about B2B content. If you know anyone who might enjoy this email, please have them sign up here.


1. INDUSTRY

Speechless.

We’re a small, scrappy agency and would never speak ill of other agencies, working to make their way. But Accenture….that’s a different story.

Hertz is suing Accenture over a breach of contract for a $32 million engagement. It’s unfathomable to us how two companies of this size and stature would allow something like this to enter the public sphere, and some of the details that came out, my goodness (via Skift):

The firm also did not make the website responsive for tablet, instead only making it responsive for desktop and mobile, although it had promised to do all three, Hertz alleges. When Hertz complained, Accenture agreed to make it responsive for tablet as well, but only if Hertz paid them hundreds of thousands of dollars to do so, according to the suit.

Editors Note: 🤯🤯🤯🤯

One more thing to leave you with:

The firm did not even manage to get the Visual Style Guide right. Hertz specifically asked for a style guide that was not in PDF format — so that it could be updated over time — but the firm continued to produce guides that were PDFs, according to Hertz. Again, the management company eventually said it would make the style guide in a non-PDF format, but only if Hertz paid it hundreds of thousands of dollars.


2. SMS

Help us test SMS + Email

Twilio’s acquistion of SendGrid officially closed last month, with the final sale price hitting nearly $3 billion. As the graphic below captures, SMS and Email can work together in a lot of valuable ways. It’s from a highly readable 6-Chapter Tutorial SendGrid published on how to integrate the two channels.

We are currently exploring a prototype SMS product to work alongside this newsletter (very limited news distribution) — if any readers would like to join a beta testing group, please reply to this email and we’d love to have you participate!


3. DESIGN

Creative content partnerships

In the annals of “content partnerships where we wish to have been a fly on the wall during the pitch” this is up there. Democratic Presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren analyzed Game of Thrones for NY Mag’s The Cut, and explained why she’s Team Daenerys:

The World Needs Fewer Cersei Lannisters.

Pete Buttigieg may be speaking Norwegian, but Elizabeth Warren is writing Reddit-level analysis that manages to connect the themes of inequality, women’s empowerment and public service to the greatest ongoing mass culture event in existence. (Reminder: she also publishes major policy proposals on Medium).


4. SERVICE

Copyright, the EU and PDFs

Article 13 of the European Union’s recent copyright directive seeks to hold platforms accountable for illegally hosting copyrighted material. Anyone who finds this newsletter mildly informative should probably read this WIRED explainer on the surrounding controversy.

The central argument is: currently, a platform like YouTube only needs to notify the original creator if copyrighted material is found, but is not responsible for the content’s removal. Article 13 mandates they are responsible for its removal.

In a sign of how complex these issues can be, Quartz covered a recent example where the Mueller Report was removed from Scribd. Even though it was a publicly available document, a few enterprising publishers took the 448 page PDF and turned it into a bestseller on Amazon. Scribd’s algorithms then registered the public document as copyrighted material and removed the hosted PDFs. (Note: Once made aware, Scribd reinstated all files).

This copyright-meets-platform stuff is not gonna be easy.


5. CREATIVE

This is cool.

  • Google the term Thanos.
  • Click the Infinity Gauntlet (the golden glove) to the top right in the Google Knowledge Panel.
  • Watch any spoiler results disappear.

We’re not going to say this is quite Parisian Love status of marketing creativity from Google, but it’s such a perfectly native and fluid takeover of the search results page (we’re also very curious if this is sponsored in some way).


6. A NEWSLETTER

Bloomberg does a great job in the “start your day” newsletter category with Five Things to Start Your Day.

We recently noticed a redesign of how they present hyperlinks. It’s almost audacious in how aggressively they now encourage the click (in a good way). We also like how they present their sponsors as one long hyperlink — they’re certainly willing to take some newsletter chances.

Subscribe Here

The new design:

The Old Design:


7. A VIDEO

We feel strongly about the power of newsletters as an antidote to the societal ills of algorithmically-ranked social media.

However, as a group of media-techie types, we tend to engage with the subject in a fairly detached, theoretical way. This TED Talk from Carole Cadwalladrcommunicated the human and societal side of things so powerfully we recommend every one who has made it this far down the newsletter to watch it (or listen to it in podcast format here):