Ad Execs Wrestle Over Objectionable Content, Privacy Laws

At this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, attendees aired their concerns about online data privacy and brand safety. The latter has been highlighted over the last years as advertisements have appeared next to objectionable content on Facebook, Google’s YouTube and other digital platforms. McDonald’s, Clorox, Nestlé, Epic Games and AT&T are among the advertisers that froze ads due to this ongoing problem. Some attendees asked for federal privacy regulations to protect consumers and avert state-by-state legislation. Continue reading Ad Execs Wrestle Over Objectionable Content, Privacy Laws

Tech Firms Encourage Others to Join Open Data Initiative

Adobe, Microsoft and SAP announced the Open Data Initiative during last year’s Microsoft Ignite conference with the intent of creating standards that would assist customers in moving their data between the companies’ services more easily. Now the companies are looking to expand the program. At this week’s Adobe Summit in Las Vegas, they demonstrated how Unilever is effectively leveraging a new common data standard. They also announced the formation of a partner advisory council as a first step toward making the Open Data Initiative available to other companies. Continue reading Tech Firms Encourage Others to Join Open Data Initiative

CES Returns to Las Vegas This Week with Expanded Exhibits

CES 2019, which calls itself the largest and most influential tech event in the world — “where the entire technology ecosystem gathers to conduct business, launch products, build brands and partner to solve some of today’s most pressing societal challenges” — gets underway today with a full day of conference sessions and media briefings before the millions of square feet of exhibit space opens on Tuesday, January 8. CTA, owner of the show, highlighted a number of key sessions and exhibit marketplaces that visitors to CES may want not want to miss and our team will cover this week. Continue reading CES Returns to Las Vegas This Week with Expanded Exhibits

AI-Based Software Automating Mundane Workplace Chores

Artificial intelligence is making its way into the workplace via the back office, automating tasks in accounting, billing, payments and customer service, and is capable of scanning documents, filling out spreadsheets and checking accuracy of records. In early projects, AI bots are following simple rules, observing and making yes-no decisions rather than high-level choices. Bigger things are coming, especially from tech companies like IBM, Microsoft and Oracle, which partner with robotic automation startups. Continue reading AI-Based Software Automating Mundane Workplace Chores

Mozilla and Others Pull Facebook Ads Over Privacy Concerns

Following the now widespread reports of Cambridge Analytica’s use of Facebook user data, some companies are pulling ads from the social media giant, in large part due to “consumer backlash and questions from lawmakers” over the company’s privacy policy, reports Engadget. Mozilla has pulled its ads, claiming to have taken a closer look at Facebook’s current privacy settings, particularly related to third-party apps. Many other companies around the world are considering a similar ad-related move, according to the article.

Continue reading Mozilla and Others Pull Facebook Ads Over Privacy Concerns

Brands Pressure Platforms to Resolve Hate, Fake News Issue

Social media platforms that placed ads on pages espousing extremism and hate have vowed to take steps against this, but the brands involved, from AT&T to Kellogg, are also getting flak for appearing on the sites and inadvertently funding the purveyors of fake news and hate speech. That has happened because brands now depend on automated ad technology to reach targeted demographics, but they are now re-evaluating that strategy; Unilever is considering leaving YouTube and Facebook unless they gain control of the situation. Continue reading Brands Pressure Platforms to Resolve Hate, Fake News Issue

Amazon and Walmart’s Race to the Bottom Rattles Suppliers

Walmart just told its suppliers that it wants to have the lowest prices on 80 percent of its sales. That means that suppliers will have to cut their prices by at least 15 percent — in some cases, losing money on the deal. For those who comply, Walmart will offer better distribution and other kinds of help. Those who don’t will see Walmart limit distribution of their products. Walmart regularly tells suppliers to lower prices, but this time is different: the company is in an all-out price war with Amazon. Continue reading Amazon and Walmart’s Race to the Bottom Rattles Suppliers

Established Companies Look to Startups for New Tech Growth

Major U.S. corporations are beginning to see acquisitions of startups as a way to purchase rather than develop new technologies, a major turnaround from many decades of avoiding Silicon Valley. Until recently, established manufacturers preferred to build their own new products or buy other deep-rooted companies. Then, in 2015, Ford Motor Company bought Chariot, a crowd-sourced commuter-shuttle startup for $65 million, signaling a change in strategy, not just among auto-manufacturers, on how to move into future technologies. Continue reading Established Companies Look to Startups for New Tech Growth

Amazon Expands Cloud Offerings, Big Firms Sign On to AWS

Amazon’s fifth cloud computing conference, AWS re:Invent, begins this week in Las Vegas, showcasing the impact of Amazon Web Services on corporate information technology. About 32,000 people are expected to attend. In the five years since its debut, AWS has offered a more price-conscious, subscription services-based alternative to on-site servers, storage, networking and software. As a result, Amazon’s AWS has grown 55 percent in Q3 to $3.2 billion, due in part to some large companies that recently came on board. Continue reading Amazon Expands Cloud Offerings, Big Firms Sign On to AWS

Moat Debuts Video Ad Metrics for Variety of Digital Platforms

Analytics company Moat is rolling out new advertising metrics for platforms including Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat and Hulu. Recently, Facebook revealed that it has overstated metrics for video viewing for years. Rather than focusing on what constitutes a video view, Moat will judge the quality of video ad views with its Moat Video Score, which assigns in real time a number between zero and 100 based on how long viewers watch and listen to the ad and the percentage of “screen real estate” it takes up. Continue reading Moat Debuts Video Ad Metrics for Variety of Digital Platforms

Study: Marketers Losing Billions to Fraudulent Online Ad Traffic

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) recently conducted a study that found that marketers are continuing to lose money to bots, the computer programs that create fraudulent Web traffic by mimicking human Web browsing habits. Despite efforts to inform marketers about the dangers of bots, the level of fraud remains relatively unchanged from the previous year. The authors of the study estimate that companies could lose more than $7 billion globally this year because of it. Continue reading Study: Marketers Losing Billions to Fraudulent Online Ad Traffic

YouTube to Promote Links Between User Videos and Retailers

YouTube is debuting shopping ads that expand the ability to link to retailer’s websites from user-generated videos. The Google-owned company has already let advertisers link from their YouTube videos to their own websites. But now, anyone who shoots a YouTube video can opt in to a program that will create links to retailer websites for products highlighted in videos. The new feature is a response to the growing trend of user-generated product reviews and tutorials, and also adds shopping to the video-centric site. Continue reading YouTube to Promote Links Between User Videos and Retailers

Social Platforms Allow Third Party Verification of Ad Viewability

Facebook is the latest company to accede to the demands of advertisers and allow independent measurement firm Moat to determine if ads are actually being viewed. Up until now, Facebook and Google have both used internal measurement tools, which several advertisers — Unilever among them — have found to be an unsatisfactory solution. That’s the reason that Unilever, for example, has pulled back ads on Facebook and Google. Twitter has recently also permitted Moat to ascertain viewability figures. Continue reading Social Platforms Allow Third Party Verification of Ad Viewability

Vessel: Former Hulu CEO Launches New Video Sharing Site

Subscription-based, video sharing website Vessel launched yesterday in beta. Developed by former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar, Vessel aims to change the business of online video by offering a $2.99-per-month service that features exclusive early access to professional Web video. Additionally, Vessel will offer creators (such as online personality Connor Franta or fashion video blogger Ingrid Nilsen) 70 percent of ad revenue and 60 percent of subscription revenue. By comparison, YouTube generally offers 55 percent of ad revenue. Continue reading Vessel: Former Hulu CEO Launches New Video Sharing Site

Brands, Media Companies Try Out Tumblr Autoplay Video Ads

Tumblr is following in the footsteps of Facebook with its new autoplay video ads that will appear in users’ feeds. Yahoo, which owns Tumblr, launched the service with ads from Universal, CW, Hulu, and others. The video ads will be mute by default and play in a continuous loop. They will only play automatically when a mobile user has a Wi-Fi connection. Yahoo is hoping that the new ads will help the $1.1 billion Tumblr deal lead to generating significant revenue. Continue reading Brands, Media Companies Try Out Tumblr Autoplay Video Ads

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