Twitter's Search Expansion; Rothenberg Advocates For Ad Tax Deductions

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Search Expansion

Twitter is adding promoted accounts to search results as the company seeks new revenue streams. Although mobile is a huge part of Twitter’s strategy, its fourth-quarter earnings were disappointing. The new advertising option is data-driven. “We automatically select relevant search queries for presenting Promoted Accounts based on an advertiser’s targeting choices, so no additional action is required for your business to access this capability,” Twitter product manager Nipoon Malhotra wrote in a blog post.

Ad Tax Advocate

IAB President and CEO Randall Rothenberg is publicly speaking out against tax reform that takes away deductibility of advertising. "In a U.S. economy still struggling to grow, the last thing to consider is a change in the tax deductibility of advertising expenditures. Advertising is the engine of consumer demand; it brings people into showrooms and stores, and generates the economic activity that creates new jobs," he said.

Percolating WPP

In the FT, Emily Steel announces that agency holding company WPP Group has signed on for a minority stake in and partnership with content marketer Percolate. She writes, “Marketers are pouring dollars into creating articles, videos, photos and other content for the web and social media, as consumers increasingly ignore standard digital ads. The trend is especially prevalent on mobile, where traditional banner ads have largely flopped.” Read more. And read the release on the new partnership. WPP’s investment in Buddy Media cleared $50 million when Buddy Media sold to Salesforce in 2012, adds Steel.

Glass Ads

Image recognition and augmented reality startup Blippar is developing its smartphone app for Google Glass, according to TechCrunch. The app gives users the opportunity to scan products and then it serves up interactive ads. Blippar claims that its new Glass app can scan and recognize products, images and faces. The company has worked with big brands such as Coca-Cola, Disney, Sony, P&G and Unilever. "Glass today can be likened to what mobile phones were in early nineties,” said CEO Ambarish Mitra. “We at Blippar anticipate that if Glass reaches a couple million users in its first year of launch, it will be a good business opportunity for us to develop in the space." Read more.

New Metrics

The idea of “responsive page design,” in which a user views a stream of information, is tailored to our increasingly mobile consumption and will likely challenge the current display metrics. Doug Weaver, founder and CEO of Upstream, ponders what interactions will be counted when gauging performance on sites using this new design form, especially when the user has more control over what content is viewed. Read on.

Brand Tagging

Facebook is helping brand pages gain more reach organically by allowing posts to be tagged and then served up to the audience of the tagged page. The example given was for a Bleacher Report article that tagged two athletes, which can then be served to those athletes’ fans. According to Digiday, Facebook will decide whether the tag is relevant and therefore warrants being shared with the other audience. Read more.

Marketing Moves

Yahoo’s chief marketing officer, Kathy Savitt, just got a handful of new responsibilities after Chief Operating Officer Henrique de Castro’s firing. Savitt will now oversee news and video, which have both been big on Yahoo’s radar as Marissa Mayer attempts to turn the company around. Revenue is still in decline, as The Wall Street Journal notes, even as Yahoo makes big efforts to attract advertisers. Read the rest (subscription).

BI Comeback

Business intelligence is experiencing a resurgence of interest now that tons of data is flowing through the Internet every millisecond. Data is bridging gaps between the technology side of business and the execution side, as GigaOM reported. PricewaterhouseCoopers predicts a continued interest in BI through M&A. Read on.

Supply, No Demand

According to CNN’s international digital VP and GM, Peter Bale, advertisers are not stepping up with responsive ads to match publisher supply. “There is still a tremendous amount to be done in advertising or advertising-like products. We have a substantial ‘specials’ business which is sponsored editorial content – which I’m proud of as it keeps the line very effectively between church and state – but offers very engaging, powerful experiences that happen to be sponsored and which are made possible by that,” Bale told The Drum.

Size Matters

The size and duration of an ad trumps relevancy and freebies in terms of what consumers consider important about a mobile ad, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey. PWC polled approximately 1,000 consumers about their attitudes toward mobile advertising and 57% said the size and duration of a mobile ad was the most important part, followed by relevancy (56%) and freebies (40%). “Mobile devices have unique properties and marketers need to think of better ways to reach consumers,” said John Swadener, strategy consulting director at PWC. Read more.

More Mobile

A Rubicon Project survey showed that agencies plan to double their spend on mobile advertising this year, and 90% plan to do so through a DSP. "We're seeing increasingly sophisticated methods of buying with most buyers surveyed establishing private marketplaces, or planning to do so, and many using data in their campaigns," said Jay Stevens, general manager, international, for the Rubicon Project. Read the report (registration required). Read the release.

Investing In India

EBay is injecting more money into India-based shopping site Snapdeal, which could ultimately lead to a buyout, according to Re/code. Although in some ways Snapdeal competes with eBay India, Devin Wenig, president of eBay Marketplaces, doesn’t seem concerned. “When we make an investment and are cooperating with a third party like Snapdeal, we hope to be successful and hope eventually we can take the next step,” Wenig said. ”We have a history of making minority investments where at times it works well and we take the next step and end up acquiring the target.” Read more.

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