In this week’s Week in Review: Safari unveils privacy preserving attribution, ePrivacy continues to be delayed, and Google plans new refunds for ad fraud. To receive an update on the industry’s top stories every Friday, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.
Safari Debuts ‘Privacy Preserving Ad Click Attribution’
Webkit, the browser engine used by Apple’s Safari, this week unveiled a new technology which it says enables attribution of ad clicks on the web, while preserving user privacy by preventing cross-site tracking. The tech, detailed on Safari’s webkit.org blog, doesn’t rely on cookies or tracking pixels, and Apple says it will allow attribution without users being uniquely identified across websites. But it will have a number of drawbacks – reports will be delayed by between 24 and 48 hours, and publishers will only be able to run attribution on up to 64 campaigns at a time.
Apple has often been seen as somewhat hostile towards digital advertising given its moves to block tracking through its Intelligent Tracking Protection tech. But this new feature might be seen as Apple throwing a bone to the digital ad industry, attempting to enable attribution while maintaining its own pro-privacy stance.
Progress Report Shows ePrivacy Regulation Won’t Be Arriving Anytime Soon
The report highlighted the issues which are currently holding up the regulation. It said that “some delegations have underlined repeatedly concerns about the way the ePrivacy proposal would interact with new technologies, in particular in the context of Machine-to-Machine, Internet of Things, or Artificial Intelligence”. There has also been debate around “the issue of processing of electronic communications data for the purposes of prevention/detection/reporting of child abuse imagery”. But significantly, the report makes no mention of debate around the impact the regulation’s cookie provisions would have on the digital advertising ecosystem – a key part of the legislation which has caused controversy within the industry.
Google to Refund Ad Fraud Victims
Google has agreed to refund advertisers whose ads were bought on its marketplaces and then placed on sites with fraudulent traffic, according to the Wall Street Journal. The company had previously offered limited refund to ad buyers, returning the platform fee they’d paid to use Google’s demand-side platform. But AdTrader took Google to court saying it wasn’t paying back as much as it was able to, since a good portion of the ads were bought by Google’s DSP through Google’s own exchanges. Now, Google is planning to repay roughly $75 million worth of extra refunds linked to its own products, though the company claims it was planning to do so regardless of the lawsuit.
The Week in Tech
Evolving Ad Fraud Tactics will Drive Losses to $42 Billion This Year
Increasingly sophisticated tactics from fraudsters will drive total global ad fraud losses to $42 billion this year, according to a new study by Juniper Research. This marks a 21 percent year-on-year increase from last year, and Juniper expects fraud to continue to grow rapidly, forecasting the money lost to ad fraud will reach $100 billion by 2023.
The report says the growth in ad fraud will be spurred in part by fraudsters shifting towards more advanced techniques, away from methods which are more resource heavy and less efficient. Juniper says bad actors are increasingly spoofing ad networks to falsify ad clicks and displayed ads, as opposed to running app install farms, which are more labour intensive. Read the full story on VAN.
Prebid.org Incorporates The Trade Desk’s Unified ID Solution into Header Bidding Wrapper
Prebid.org this week announced they’ve incorporated The Trade Desk’s unified ID solution into their open-source toolkit as an optional module. Prebid.org is an industry-wide initiative supported by exchanges, publishers and third-party developers which seeks to create standardised solutions for programmatic advertising. The Trade Desk says its unified ID solution allows for increased coverage, more relevant advertising and faster load times, which benefit all parties from advertisers to consumers.
“ID matching is a critical component of the buying and selling ecosystem. The entire industry benefits by speaking the same cookie identity language. The Trade Desk’s unified ID solution is one way for publishers to standardise the cookie matching process and share cookie identity as a common, community tool,” said Alexandra Smith, chair of Prebid.org.
Tremor Video DSP Expands to Include Outstream and DOOH Video
Tremor Video DSP this week announced the expansion of the company’s premium supply formats with outstream and digital out-of-home (DOOH) video. Tremor says the new offerings were developed in order to meet the increased demand from video advertisers looking to grow their reach in highly engaging environments. “The less-intrusive nature of these ads, along with their expanded reach and contextual relevance, makes them far more valuable for brands and advertisers,” said Jay Baum, head of global partnerships at Tremor Video DSP.
Comcast Launches New Global Ad Management Solution
Comcast Technology Solutions this week announced a new global ad management solution, which it says will unify linear and digital workflows. “The solution includes a suite of services that saves advertisers and agencies time and money by automating the manual processes of matching creative to media buys, managing traffic and delivery, creative versioning, and reporting across all channels,” said the company. “The ad management solution offers both linear and non-linear distribution and integrates talent rights management, while the company’s collaboration with Peach allows for ads to be delivered internationally.”
The Week in TV
Roku Targets Linear TV Ad Spend with New OTT Measurement Tools
Over-the-top (OTT) platform and hardware maker Roku this week announced new analytics and planning tools for OTT advertisers, making a play for linear TV ad spend by allowing more direct comparisons between OTT and linear TV advertising. The new tools, called ‘Activation Insights’, sit inside Roku Ad Insights Suite. Roku says they will give brands “a comprehensive review of [their] linear TV campaign performance, with an analysis of the potential OTT audience missed and the optimal budget spend on the Roku platform”. Read the full story on VAN.
ProSieben Invests in VR Company Holodeck
PeoSiebenSat.1 this week announced that it has bough a 20 percent stake in German VR company Holodeck VR. The company says the funds are designed to allow Holodeck to expand its open content platform and extend its network of locations. “Besides believing in the technology and Holodeck VR, this is also an investment in an exciting and innovative growth market”, said Eun-Kyung Park, chief digital officer entertainment at ProSiebenSat.1. “VR applications based on outstanding technology have the potential to excite the audience with totally new formats of interactive entertainment.”
Mediaset España Plans SVOD Offering
Mediaset España is reportedly planning a paid video on-demand service to launch later this year, which will give audiences on-demand access to premieres of shows before they air on terrestrial television. Users will be able to pay either a monthly fee or on a pay-per-view basis for access, according to El Español.
The Week in Publishing
WhatsApp Reportedly Gears Up for Advertising
WhatsApp will begin running ‘Status’ ads from 2020, with an announcement reportedly made at Facebook’s annual marketing summit. Be Connect agency’s Oliver Ponteville posted pictures on Twitter of the presentation, with images of WhatsApp Status ads seen on-screen. Statuses are WhatsApp’s version of the ‘Stories’ feature found on Instagram and Snapchat, where users can set post pictures and videos for their followers to watch for a limited time, and from 2020, brands will be able to pay to have their statuses show to users.
— Olivier Ponteville (@Olivier_Ptv) May 21, 2019
Facebook Curbs Incentives for Political Ad Sales
Facebook, as it continues to grapple with issues around political advertising on its platform, has stopped paying commission to employees who sell political ads, according the the Wall Street Journal. Sales employees play a somewhat limited role in ad sales due to Facebook’s comprehensive self-serve tools, but they do help campaigns register to buy ads, assist with issues and provide basic customer service, and they previously received commission based on reaching or exceeding goals related to the volume of political ads sold. The move is intended to scale back political advertising on Facebook, but is a much softer measure than Facebook had previously been considering – executives had previously discussed cutting political ads from the platform entirely, according to the WSJ.
Anti-Smoking Groups Call Out Influencer Marketing Loopholes
A number of health and anti-smoking groups this week sent an open letter to executives at Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram calling on them to rein in influencers advertising tobacco products on their platforms. The four platforms all have policies prohibiting the promotion of tobacco products, but a recent Reuters report highlighted how companies like Philip Morris International have gotten around these policies through social influencer campaigns. They health groups asked that the social platforms would amend their policies, enforce them consistently, and suspend the accounts of repeat offenders.
The Week for Agencies
Accenture Files Motion to Dismiss Hetz’s Lawsuit
Accenture has filed a motion seeking to dismiss Hertz’s lawsuit against it, and intends to file against Hertz over unpaid invoices. Hertz has claimed that Accenture was unable to meet the basic requirements of its contract when it was taken on to redesign Hertz’s website and mobile apps, for which it paid $32 million. But a company spokesperson has said that “Accenture has notified the court that it intends to file a motion to dismiss in the Hertz lawsuit. Accenture continues to believe that the allegations in this lawsuit are without merit.”
Publicis’ Marcel Launches in UK
Publicis Group has launched its artificial intelligence platform Marcel in the UK, making it available to all 5,000 UK employees. The group says that that employees will be able to use Marcel to crowdsource information and advice, with the AI using data fed into it by Publicis to find employees and case studies that might be helpful when working on a particular product. In a demonstration video, an employee asks Marcel to find an expert in retail with experience in product launches, and the AI platform is then able to pull data on employees across all of Publicis’ holdings to find those who fit those criteria. It will also be used for crowdsourcing ideas, and for speeding up labour intensive processes like timesheets and expenses.
S4 Capital Faces Investor Revolt Over Executive Pay Packets
Sir Martin Sorrell’s S4 Capital is facing a potential investor revolt over the company’s long term bonus scheme, with shareholder advisory groups Glass Lewis and ISS both urging investors to vote down the proposal. Glass Lewis warned that the currently proposed bonus scheme would allow executives to claim “unlimited remuneration”, and that their bonuses would not be strictly tied to the company’s performance.
Hires of the Week
The Trade Desk Hires Jonathan Carson as CRO
The Trade Desk has taken on Jonathan Carson as its first chief revenue officer. Carson, who has previously worked at Vevo and Nielsen, will focus particularly on new channels like CTV and emerging consumer markets like China, according to CEO Jeff Green.
Snap Appoints Derek Andersen as CFO
Snap has promoted Derek Andersen, currently VP of finance, to the role of chief financial officer. Andersen replaces interim CFO Lara Sweet, who stepped in after Tim Stone left the role earlier this year. Sweet meanwhile will become chief people officer.
Fox News Hire Jeff Collins to Head Up Ad Sales
Fox News has taken on Jeff Collins as its new EVP of advertising sales. Collins most recently worked as CRO for Viant Technology, and replaces Marianne Gambelli, who has been promoted to head of sales for Fox Corp.
This Week on VAN
Broadcasters Go OTT: Can Britbox Rival Netflix? read more on VAN
Evolving Ad Fraud Tactics will Drive Losses to $42 Billion This Year, read more on VAN
Roku Targets Linear TV Ad Spend with New OTT Measurement Tools, read more on VAN
Why A+E Networks Prefers AVOD to SVOD, read more on VAN
Ad of the Week
BBC, Change The Game, In-House