Ad Networks And Piracy; Choosing Against 'Ad Choices'

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Piracy And Ad Networks

The University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg Innovation Lab released a new study yesterday which claims that ad networks are continuing to support piracy of digitized content.  OpenX, Google, Yahoo (including Right Media), Quantcast and Infolinks are listed among the top 10 providers of advertising to sites with pirated content says USC Annenberg.  The lab promises that the top 10 advertising brands will be out-ed in the “coming months.” Read more (PDF).  Google responded in a Marketing Land article saying in part, “We have not seen a copy of this report and don’t know the methodology, but to the extent it suggests that Google ads are a major source of funds for major pirate sites, we believe it is mistaken....” Read more.

COPPA And Ad Networks

Did you hear? The FTC recently amended the COPPA children’s privacy rule. Among the changes is a new explicit reference to website plugins and ad networks. In a blog post for the FTC, agency CTO Steve Bellovin writes, “The definition of a website...directed to children is expanded to include plug-ins or ad networks that have actual knowledge that they are collecting personal information through a child-directed website or online service.” But what if you’re not collecting data that would be classified as “personal” under COPPA? Then you needn’t fret. More.

Privacy Grunt Work

The decision by some publishers -- most notably Facebook and Amazon -- not to join the industry’s “Ad Choices” privacy program has made life harder for ad agencies.  AdAge’s Kate Kaye writes, “Depending on the size of the ad campaign, it can take anywhere from five to 20 hours of work [for Vivaki] to produce a required compliance report if the agency doesn't use a centralized system... ‘We need the publishers to adopt the industry standard. We cannot have everyone embrace it in their own flavor,’ says Vivaki SVP Grace Liau.” More.

Tapping The Mobile Cloud

The M&A frenzy around ad-related cloud computing services shows no signs of slowing down. Just before 2012 ended, Phunware, the enterprise mobile cloud systems provider, acquired mobile ad company TapIt Media Group for $23 million. Read the release. TapIt specifically provides self-serve ad buys, real-time bidding, cross-platform ad creation and a range of supply-side tools to its network of about 30,000 active publishers, notes Techcrunch’s Frederic Lardinois, who quotes of TapIt CEO Giancarlo Maniaci, as saying “With the velocity of adoption and maturation of mobile increasing daily, we strongly believe that fully integrated, easy to use, simple to deploy and all-inclusive mobile platforms like Phunware’s MaaS will soon define both ‘best of breed’ and the new global mobile standard.” Read more.

Overnight Success In 36 Months

The idea of “build it and they will come” doesn’t work when applied to the online publishing business and advertising. And woe to those who take the phrase “overnight success” literally. It’s more like “over half-a-year success,” writes Business Insider’s CRO Pete Spande writes on his personal blog. In advising digital publishers on the five stages they’ll probably experience in some form, Spande says that even if you’ve got everything right on paper, there are no sure things. “The history of the Internet is littered with great products that never found a winning ad model.” Read more.

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