In this week’s Week in Review: German broadcasters align to set a GDPR-friendly login standard, Facebook cuts off third-party data for ad targeting on its platform, and eMarketer forecasts protracted decline in US TV ad spend. To receive an update on the industry’s top stories every Friday, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.
German Broadcasters Launch netID Foundation in Preparation for GDPR
RTL Group and ProSiebenSat.1, alongside telco United Internet, have teamed up to launch the European netID Foundation, part of a login alliance launched last year which the founders hope will help them comply with the upcoming EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The broadcasters says netID will be an industry standard which will enable publishers and broadcasters in Europe to create a GDPR-compliant secure login.
The initiative’s founders say netID will give users a standardised privacy centre which will enable them to see how their personal data is used and issue or revoke consent. Personal data will not be shared between account providers and internet services until after consent is given, the broadcasters claim. “Data protection and user-friendly services are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary, netID creates a digital service that will facilitate handling of the personal data of millions of internet users in Germany right from the start,” said Christof Wahl ProSiebenSat.1 Group’s COO.
Facebook Ends Use of Third-Party Data for Ad Targeting
Facebook announced a number of changes to its platform this week in response to the backlash over its ongoing Cambridge Analytica scandal. The company will no longer enable advertisers to access third-party data directly through its platform, which was previously available via a feature called ‘partner categories’. Advertisers wanting to use third-party data for ad targeting on Facebook will now have to buy it themselves outside of Facebook, though they will still have access to Facebook’s own first-party data.
“We want to let advertisers know that we will be shutting down Partner Categories. This product enables third party data providers to offer their targeting directly on Facebook,” said the announcement on the company’s Newsroom blog. “While this is common industry practice, we believe this step, winding down over the next six months, will help improve people’s privacy on Facebook.”
Facebook also updated its privacy tools this week, introducing a new privacy shortcuts menu and a new page for users to access and manage their data. The company says these changes will make it easier for users to modify their data settings and use privacy tools.
eMarketer Forecasts Fall in US TV Ad Spend
Total TV ad spending in the US is projected to decline steadily between now and 2019 as cord-cutting accelerates, according to eMarketer’s latest forecast. TV ad spending in the states retracted last year by 1.5 percent to $70.2 billion according to eMaketer’s figures, and it expects spending to dcline further to $69.1 billion by 2019. This marks a significant revision from September last year, when eMarketer’s projected spending would continue to rise over the next five years.
“The shift of audiences to OTT viewing is changing the climate of the TV ad market,” said eMarketer senior forecasting director Monica Peart. “As ratings for TV programming continue to decline, advertiser spending will also continue to see declines, especially in years that do not boast major events such as presidential elections and Olympic games.”
The Week in Tech
Baidu Takes Baby Steps Into Europe with Training Programme
Baidu has begun training marketers in Europe on how to advertise through its digital properties, it was revealed this week. The Chinese tech giant is working through London-based agency Forward3D, and according to a Digiday report is training marketers on how to advertise through its search platform, as well as how to use its native ad offering. Baidu plans to open up further training centres throughout Europe, and says it aims to bring in marketers who assume that Google dominates globally, and that their strategies used with Google can be applies to new markets.
IAS Finds Video Ad Engagement Rising in the UK
Video ad viewability is increasing significantly in the UK, according to Integral Ad Science’s (IAS) latest Media Quality Report. The data claims that desktop video viewability increased from 58.3 percent to 66.2 percent between H1 and H2, which IAS says reflects the efforts of big brands taking action to improve viewability. Programmatic video viewability also shot up, increasing by 18.2 percent.
“The H2 2017 Media Quality Report highlights positive progress for the video ad industry, with improvements attributed to an increase in premium video inventory as advertisers aim to secure the best possible environments for their creative,” said IAS’s EMEA MD Nick Morley. “Video provides a great opportunity for advertisers to capitalise on not only sight, but sound and motion to capture consumer attention, ultimately driving campaign value.”
Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower Claims Leave Campaign “Cheated”, Whilst MP’s Still Want Zuckerberg to Answer Directly
Christopher Wylie, the whistleblower who leaked information on Cambridge Analytica’s work with Facebook and influence in the US election, has claimed the Vote Leave pro-Brexit campaign broke campaign financing law, enabling it to spend more than was allowed to in the 2016 referendum. Wylie claimed the campaign was “highly effective” in delivering results for the Leave vote.
Wylie appeared earlier today before the UK Parliament Commons culture committee and gave fresh testimony on how Cambridge Analytica was involved in political ad campaigns for 2016’s EU referendum in the UK. He said he was integral in setting up AggregateIQ (AIQ), a data company used by Vote Leave, and said that it is essentially just a Canadian branch of Cambridge Analytica, masked to look like a separate company. Read the full story on VAN.
The Week in TV
Liberty Global Withdraws Offer for Multimedia Polska
Liberty Global this week dropped its takeover bid for Polish cable operator Multimedia Polska, reported to be have been worth €690 million, after “failing to agree on revised commercial terms with the sellers that take into account current regulatory and market conditions”, according to a company statement. Liberty said that it remains confident in its Polish operations, and that it will continue looking out for other acquisition opportunities as and when they arise.
The proposed Polish deal was just one of a host of takeover and partnership propositions Liberty Global is exploring across Europe, as it looks to strengthen its position in markets where it currently lacks scale. Just last week Bloomberg reported that Liberty is in discussions with Switzerland’s Sunrise Communications Group AG about a potential partnership between the two.
New EU Content Portability Laws Set for Enforcement on April 1st
The European Commission (EC) has confirmed that new laws on content portability, the ability for digital content to be shared across borders for EU countries, will come into force on April 1st. The new rules allow EU residents to access paid subscription services from their home countries while travelling elsewhere within the EU.
Specifically, broadcasters will now be able to distribute their content in EU countries where they don’t have a license, but on a very limited basis. The new regulations only apply to individuals who are temporarily abroad trying to access content from their home country, though the term ‘temporary’ is not defined within the regulation, and service providers will have leeway with how they define it. Read the full story on VAN.
ITV Drops Late Penalty Charges
ITV has dropped penalty fares for late ad bookings as it looks to attract more advertisers onto its channels, an attempt to capitalise on disillusionment with Facebook after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Advertisers usually have to pay late fees which increase depending on how close the booking is to the day of broadcast, but ITV is suspending these fees temporarily, and will reimburse any charges already paid for April and May.
The Week in Publishing
Apple News Reportedly Expanding Monetisation Tests
Apple News, which for a long time has not given publishers a way to make money off the platform, is expanding tests in which it allows publishers to serve ads in their Apple News articles, according to Digiday. Apple began tests last year, but now has apparently expanded the number of publishers allowed monetise their Apple News articles. The test allows selected partners to use Google’s DoubleClick for Publishers to plug any direct ads sold on their own sites into Apple’s app.
FT Receives JICWEBS Accreditation
The Financial Times announced this week that it has been accredited by the Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards (JICWEBS) for its commitment to brand safety and fighting online ad fraud. The FT claims it is one of the first news organisations to receive this accreditation, and credits it in part to its Commercial Charter published last year, in which it defined how it transacts with advertisers and sought to promote transparent practices.
“We have been working to ensure our policies and processes are transparent and in line with industry standards. This accreditation signifies our ongoing commitment to brand safety and to reducing the risk of exposure to ad fraud,” said the FT’s chief commercial officer Jon Slade.
Twitter Bans Cryptocurrency Ads
Twitter became the latest platform to ban crytopcurrency ads this week, following in the footsteps of Google and Facebook. The company is specifically banning adverts for Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and token sales, as well as ads by any cryptocurrency exchanges and wallet services which aren’t listed on “certain major stock markets”, according to a Reuters report. Cryptocurrency ads have been targeted as concerns have grown that people are being swayed into investing in properties which they don’t understand, driven by the hype generated by Bitcoin’s steep rise last year.
The Week for Agencies
GroupM Denies it’s Demanding Data from Publishers for GDPR Compliance
GroupM posted a statement on Tuesday clarifying its intentions for GDPR compliance saying that it does not want to force publishers to share control of their audience data. An article posted by Digiday on Monday had claimed that “GroupM wants publishers to sign a new data protection contract that could force them to share control of their audience data with the agency group, letting the agency continue targeting ads after the General Data Protection Regulation kicks in on May 25,” but GroupM said this isn’t the aim of its Data Addendum.
GroupM said that instead its Data Addendum is simply designed to ensure that publisher which already share their data are doing so in a GDPR compliant way. The agency also asserted that it isn’t trying to push full responsibility onto publishers. “We’ve taken the view that regardless of whether we are a processor or a controller, we will invest to perform the same due diligence on compliance with privacy regulations as we do with other critical quality factors such as anti-fraud, brand safety and viewability,” said the company’s statement.
Havas Announces Blockchain Offering
Havas Group announced today it plans to launch a new blockchain offering, Havas Blockchain, in May. The new product will initially focus on supporting initial coin offerings (ICOs), though the group says it will be “highly selective” of which companies it works with. “Let’s be honest, it’s what the cofounder of Ethereum said himself: 90 percent of ICOs are going to fail,” said Fabien Aufrechter, who’s been appointed to lead Havas Blockchain. “So the idea is to go for the 10 percent that are going to succeed.” Havas says it won’t take on more than seven clients per year.
Zenith Predicts 4.8 Percent Ad Spend Growth, Finds “No Evidence” of Advertisers Pulling Out of Digital
Zenith Media predicts global ad spend will grow 4.8 percent this year, reaching $579 billion in its latest advertising expenditure forecast released today. The company also forecasts that digital advertising share of total spend will continue to grow, reaching 40.2 percent this year compared to 37.6 percent last year.
As several agency executives have pointed out, several high profile events this year will boost global ad spend. “The global ad market grew by 4.0 percent last year,” said Jonathan Barnard, Zenith’s head of forecasting and director of global intelligence. “After a jump in confidence, we now expect it to grow substantially faster this year, boosted by the Winter Olympics, football World Cup and US mid-term elections.” Read the full story on VAN.
IPA Targets Ad Agency Bullying and Harassment
The Institute for Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) announced plans this week to establish an industry template for a code of conduct for agencies to use in their employment policies on bullying and harassment issues. The discussion was led by the trade body’s president Sarah Golding, who said “agency cultures are very different, and it is important they are different, but how you respect each other as colleagues should be the same. We are now gathering best practice examples and will be issuing this template in the next couple of weeks. This initiative is one of many that the IPA has undertaken as part of its diversity agenda which we are very proud of.”
Golding is chief executive of The&Partnership, which itself was caught up in a sexism scandal recently as a departing staff member Paul Martin sent an email ranking the ‘top five’ and ‘bottom five’ females based on looks. Martin has since claimed his email was an attempt to subvert and mock the practice of sending ‘top five’ rankings, which he says is not too uncommon at ad agencies.
Partnerships of the Week
Tapad Partners with Flashtalking for Attribution Modelling
Tapad this week announced the results of a partnership with Flashtalking, which uses the Tapad Graph to unify cross-device engagement and identity-driven consumer behaviours for attribution modelling. Tapad claims the partnership has resulted in above-industry match and bridge rates for Flashtalking and its customers, saying that overall the Tapad Graph yielded a 71 percent match rate with 41 percent of converters engaging on multiple devices. Tapad says these results highlight the importance of cross-device measurement.
TVision Insights Partners with Data Plus Math
Attention measurement company TVision Insights announced a partnership this week with cross-screen TV attribution company Data Plus Math which the two say will enable clients to understand how targeting and attention leads to sales. “As brands calculate their return on advertising spend they need to match real exposures to outcomes. This is what makes the TVision and Data Plus Math partnership so powerful. With TVision’s attention data integrated into Data Plus Math’s attribution platform, marketers can see the causal relationship between ad engagement to sales,” said Dan Schiffman, chief revenue officer and co-founder of TVision Insights.
Otavamedia Signs Deal to License PubMatic Platform
PubMatic on Wednesday announced that Finnish media company Otavamedia has signed a contract to license PubMatic’s platform on a subscription basis. By licensing the technology rather than paying a percentage of revenue, PubMatic says Otavamedia is able to gain greater control over how it operates and streamline its approach to doing business. “Adopting a monthly fee structure, more similar to a SaaS deal, simplifies our planning. Removing the traditional revenue share model means removing uncertainty. This results in a predictable cost base that brings us greater control and accountability, providing benefits to our advertisers as well as the business,” explains Antti Ellonen, digital business development & programmatic manager at Otavamedia.
Hires of the Week
News UK Picks Dominic Carter as Group CCO
News UK has appointed Dominic Carter as its first group chief commercial officer (CCO), a role which will see him handle all of the publishers’ ad operations. Commercial teams from The Bridge and Wireless will also report to Carter, who previously worked as News UK’s managing director of commercial.
Exterion Media Appoints Nigel Clarkson as UK CRO
Exterion Media has taken on Nigel Clarkson as its UK chief revenue officer (CRO), who will head up its commercial board and lead collaboration across the business. Clarkson previously worked as UK managing director for Oath.
SpotX Expands Team in France
SpotX announced new hires to its French team this week with the appointment of Julien Monbillard as Solutions Engineer and Antoine Guichard as Account Manager, Demand. SpotX says Monbillard will work with SpotX’s technical operations engineers to integrate video advertising infrastructure into the ad tech ecosystems of French media owners while Guichard will work with advertisers, agencies and demand-side platforms (DSPs) to facilitate programmatic advertising opportunities with broadcasters and publishers in France.
IRIS.TV Hires Daniel Harrison as CRO
AI video personalisation and programming platform IRIS.TV has appointed Daniel Harrison as its new chief revenue officer. Mr. Harrison will lead the global sales, marketing and accounts teams, responsible for driving revenue growth and expanding strategic relationships with digital and advanced TV publishers, as well as deepening engagement with brands and agencies, according to the company.
The Week on Van
Zenith Predicts 4.8 Percent Ad Spend Growth, Finds “No Evidence” of Advertisers Pulling Out of Digital, read more on VAN
Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower Claims Leave Campaign “Cheated”, Whilst MP’s Still Want Zuckerberg to Answer Directly, read more on VAN
New EU Content Portability Laws Set for Enforcement on April 1st, read more on VAN
Ad of the Week
Conservation International, Nature Signs, MullenLowe SSP3
This simple and short ad uses footage of ‘stop’ signs in floods and hurricanes to delivers a straightforward message about climate change. By ramping up the intensity of clips as the ad progresses, the spot very cleverly and wordlessly conveys a sense of urgency.