Ozy Media’s largest former advertisers are being left at nighttime relating to the way forward for the beleaguered media firm, whilst co-founder Carlos Watson declared this morning that Ozy remains to be open for enterprise, contradicting stories final week that it was shuttering following a damning New York Instances report. 

“We’ve got not heard from Carlos. The final time we heard from him was every week in the past,” mentioned one advert company govt, noting they acquired bounce-back emails from Ozy’s head of advert gross sales on each Friday afternoon and as we speak. 

Whereas advertisers aren’t capable of attain executives at Ozy, Watson declared this morning on NBC’s “At present” present that “we will open for enterprise.” In his “At present” look, the CEO acknowledged that Ozy’s management went into this previous weekend with “a plan to wind down” the corporate. However after speaking to stakeholders—together with buyers and advertisers companions whom he didn’t identify—its board had a change of coronary heart and can apparently push ahead. 

On Friday, the New York Instances reported that Ozy could be closing its doorways following its earlier report of the corporate’s shady enterprise practices that included grossly inflating internet visitors figures. 

Watson has reached out to the C-suite of at the very least one media company, in keeping with an individual accustomed to the scenario. 

Whereas it stays unclear if and in what capability Ozy will proceed to function, one factor is evident, Watson may have a tough time profitable again advertisers. 

It is actually a speedy reversal in sentiment. Earlier this 12 months, manufacturers have been flocking to the minority-led firm that promised the flexibility to achieve younger, multicultural audiences en masse. Each WPP’s GroupM and Dentsu struck multi-year offers with Ozy that backed up so-called “accountable funding” efforts. 

Even after the New York Instances revealed inconsistencies in Ozy’s viewers figures, media patrons mentioned they nonetheless noticed sturdy viewers supply for shoppers’ campaigns.

Initially, after the primary story broke, Watson responded rapidly and defensively to the Instances’ claims, however then went quiet, one media purchaser says. 

“We didn’t hear a lot from the corporate in the beginning of final week and weren’t engaged in any new conversations on behalf of shoppers, however we had stored present campaigns up as a result of they have been nonetheless delivering,” the customer mentioned. 

However by Thursday a number of advert businesses started pulling campaigns, and up till Friday morning the staff at Ozy was responsive, the customer mentioned. 

On Friday, hours earlier than a press release from Ozy saying “with the heaviest of hearts” that it was going out of enterprise, promoting heavyweight GroupM was advising its shoppers to droop all spending with the media firm, an individual accustomed to the conversations confirmed to Advert Age. Lately, GroupM’s shoppers represented as a lot as $10 million in advert income for Ozy.