Meaningless Reach; Ad Tech Fraud

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reachHere's today's AdExchanger.com news round-up... Want it by email? Sign-up here.

Meaningless Reach?

How many billions of impressions does your (take your pick) DSP/SSP/DMP etc. process every day? Adweek’s Mike Shields offers a rundown of the big platforms, including AppNexus, The Rubicon Project, Turn and others and finds nothing but confusion in the triumphal pronouncements of these companies’ reach. “After a while these numbers do two things,” Shields says. “They constantly serve to remind people that there are way too many online ads being served, which is why far too few of them to be worth much of anything. And it serves to make one's eyes glaze over—since the reach, impression volume and targeting numbers cease to mean anything. In effect, they get cheapened.” Read more.

Yahoo’s Portal Partnerships

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's message to attendees at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland last week was to “partner with everyone,” including rivals like Google, Facebook and even Apple. But GigaOm’s Mathew Ingram isn’t buying the strategy and writes ahead of today’s Yahoo earnings, “The web portal may still have millions of visitors a month who come to its news pages or other sites, but how does any of that benefit Apple or Google?” Read more.

Layoffs

Having taken $39 million in funding, Group Commerce, chaired by former Doubleclick-er David Rosenblatt, has had to lay off “28% of its 109-person staff “ as the shifting sands of daily deals claims a victim. CEO Jonty Kelt tells Business Insider about the root of the problem,  “...the local-offers business, which launched two years ago, was too much work for too little reward. Sourcing local deals is as much work as sourcing national deals, but yields far fewer sales because the offerings are relevent to a much smaller audience.” Read more.

Streamlining Mobile Ad Units

The Interactive Advertising Bureau has partnered with the Mobile Marketing Association on mobile ad guidelines and specs for advertisers and agencies. Read the release. “We have found that if we can standardize across the marketplace, the ad unit can flow the system unimpeded and be displayed and reported consistently," Michael Becker, managing director for MMA North America told AdAge's John McDermott. Read the rest.

Shared, Owned - And Paid

Traditional ad holding companies have had a tough time adjusting to the rise of “earned media” through social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and others. But as those properties explore ways of absorbing “paid media” as they develop their respective revenue streams and business models, Spain’s ad holding company Havas has created a dedicated unit covering Shared, Owned and Earned media. "To address our clients' need to understand the business impact of networked communications, the SOE partners a fully equipped analytics and engagement planning group alongside the social, content and community specialists," said Richard Notarianni, who will lead the new entity. Read the release.

Privacy Fears

It’s been a few months since Microsoft set the online ad industry ablaze with its decision to make “opting out” of ad targeting the default position of its Internet Explorer browser. Now, the Redmond software giant has presented some justification for its move by surveying over 1,000 online users about their privacy fears. Among the findings, 45 percent of respondents say they have little or no control over their personal digital data and a quarter feel they have no say about what happens with their shared information. Check out the slideshow here.

When in Rome

...don’t do as the Romans do. At least when it comes to Facebook functionality. In a new clarification to developers, the Holy Social Empire says, “You may not use Facebook Platform to promote, or to export user data to, a product or service that replicates a core Facebook product or service without our permission.” Advertising partners probably needn’t worry as the rules seem aimed at companies that use social graph data to “act like Facebook.” More in TechCrunch and InsideFacebook.

VC Data

A visually rich “Year in Review” from VC firm First Round Capital offers some statistical insights such as the distribution of its portfolio CEOs among various colleges (Standford first with 13, followed by UPenn with nine and Harvard with eight). Among FRC’s big exits in 2012 were the Bazaarvoice and ExactTarget IPOs, while it made just a few marketing investments during the year, among them Influitive and enterprise social software company SocialWare. Visualize It.

Ad Tech Fraud

On his Searchblog, Federated chairman John Battelle calls out “‘fraud’ in the ad tech ecosystem” in a post.  He notes that the programmatic industry is rife with bad actors (a recent AdExchanger story). And in response to the idea of an infinite supply of inventory, he writes, “Hogwash. There’s only so much time in the day, and only so many pages where actual human beings are really paying attention, and the web (including mobile) is growing at a finite pace. There are even fewer places where marketers can be assured of quality, engagement, and appropriate context. It’s time we focus on identifying them, and ridding ourselves of the true source of ‘infinite inventory’ - fraud.” Read it all.

China’s DSP Rise

Programmatic buying methods have been progressing in fits and starts, but 2013 looks to be the year that these tools come into their own. One sign of that is the whopping $20 million funding round raised by Beijing-based demand side platform iPinYou. "We believe that RTB advertising is disruptive to digital advertising,” said Ying Zhang, partner of CBC Capital, which led the round. “DSP itself is a viable business model with a strong first mover advantage." Read the release.

Earnings

But Wait. There’s More!

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