Yahoo Gets Tech-Focused; Ad Hijacker Wreaks Havoc

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

Yahoo! Returns To Tech

Have time for today’s Yahoo! earnings call at 5p ET today? If you’re an ad technology aficionado, you may want to tune in.  Reuters says that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer will declare that her company is back to being tech-focused. The "PubMatic, Turn and Millennial Media" acquisition rumors make it into the article as the Reuters reporters elaborate, "The new strategy is not without risks: it positions Yahoo squarely against Facebook Inc and Google. It also risks alienating a large, media-focused contingent that is already weakened by the departure of Ross Levinsohn, who had championed a media-centric approach when he was interim CEO before Mayer's arrival in July."  Read more.

Ad Hijacker Strikes Again

For more than a year, Sambreel Holdings has been placing billions of unauthorized ads on websites like AOL, the BBC and the New York Times. And it’s not stopping, reports paidContent’s Jeff Roberts, primarily because ad exchanges are turning a blind eye to the problem. “The allegations that Sambreel uses trickery to invade users’ computers is backed by Ben Edelman, a computer expert at Harvard Business School,” Roberts writes. “Edelman says the adware is coming in through various bundles, including ‘trinkets’ like the programs that promises to let you see ‘who has viewed you on Facebook.’ The end result is the same — the user gets a junky product and adware that makes the computer run slower.” Read more.

Microsoft Offloading Atlas?

Microsoft is considering selling Atlas to AppNexus. According to AdAge’s Jason Del Rey, Mediaocean and Adobe are also entertaining possible overtures by Microsoft to sell the ad serving unit, which it originally bought as part of the $6.2 billion aQuantive acquisition in 2007. The first time word of an AppNexus/Atlas hand-off was mentioned, AppNexus CEO Brian O’Kelley  told AdAge, "Microsoft either has to invest heavily in Atlas to get rid of those disgruntled customers or I think they do need to find a happy home for it.” Read more. In a June AdExchanger interview, Microsoft’s Rik van der Kooi sounded inclined to hold onto Atlas: “The right home for Atlas is us continuing to develop on the Atlas stack.”

Facebook Display

In Rome, at the Internatinal Conference of Online Media Measurement conference - i-com, for short -, Adweek’s Chris Heine reports that brands believe in Facebook ads.  Kellogg’s Director of Insights and Analytics Aaron Fetters said, “There’s no doubt from my perspective that Facebook ads and other display ads drive [sales] volume”.  Facebook’s Brad Smallwood spoke up for the display crowd, too, saying that “trust in display as a branding tool is going in the right direction as advertisers evolve how they think about digital,” according to Heine. Read more.   A key takeaway: native ads are display ads.

Visualization Is Not Knowledge

Data visualization, with its attractive graphs – well, relatively attractive when compared to spreadsheets – has represented the sweet coating on an otherwise bitter pill. “Graphs do not translate data into knowledge, rather, they help you take one step toward it,” writes Harmelin Media analyst Aaron Reinitz in Mediapost, suggesting that “radical change” is needed in the form of greater use of artificial intelligence and acknowledgement of the limits of current data collection methods. Read more.

Microsoft’s Data

Even as it takes guff from industry for giving away the data farm on Do-Not-Track, Microsoft is modifying its own privacy policies to allow greater use of user data across its services. Edward Wyatt and Nick Wingfield note the similarities to a Google policy shift earlier this year. “Google’s expanded powers drew scathing criticism from privacy advocates, probing inquiries from regulators and broadside attacks from rivals. Those included Microsoft, which bought full-page newspaper ads telling Google users that Google did not care about their privacy, an accusation it quickly denied.” Read more.

Forget the Uber cookie

Adchemy CEO Murthy Nukala gazes into his crystal ball and sees our device future broken into a million little pieces. “Without an über-cookie, it seems like the online advertising market is set to become highly fragmented by device moving forward...Greater fragmentation means greater advertiser inefficiency, which means online advertiser spend doesn't reach its full potential.” The solution he argues is to embrace a new “unit of trade” in the form of intent. Read more.  And, if you need more, you may want to try this press release announcing Adchemy’s deployment of “intent maps” through Bing advertisers (Microsoft - Bing’s owner - is an Adchemy investor).

Targeting Ads

Demandbase, which has been optimizing websites for marketers, is getting into the ad platform business with its new Company Targeted Advertising platform which leverages ad exchange inventory. Destination CRM explains how it works: Demandbase “identifies visitors who go to the customer's Web site to determine if they qualify to receive the customer's ad. Built on the backbone of the Demandbase Real Time ID Service, the Targeted Advertising platform matches information about a Web site visitor's company, such as company name, industry, size, geographic location, number of employees, and revenue, with more than 1.5 billion corporate IP addresses in real time, without the use of cookies.” It’s about the IP. Read it.

Human-Centered Loyalty

Taking apart existing loyalty models favored by today’s marketing, digital strategist Ana Andjelic sees decision-making, business design, and experience design as the “three pillars” for re-building loyalty. She says in Fast Company that the new models will “replace a rigid points system with one that’s flexible and adaptive to current customer requirements and competitive market offerings. They are so simple that they don’t require a learning curve. They are built upon already existing customer behaviors. They account for consumers’ preference for many small gains, and offer them frequent incremental rewards instead of big infrequent ones.” Make it more human. Read more.

But Wait. There’s More!

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