Can You Audit For Trust?; Apple Brags About Its Relatively Low App Performance

Comic: At the privacy diner

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Privacy Tech And Privacy Theater

The ad industry, particularly publishers, need programmatic ways to convey signals of trust.

There’s the IAB Europe’s Transparency and Consent Framework. But that was ruled illegal by the Belgian data privacy regulator and is being overhauled. 

The regulators say the TCF must have auditable, enforceable standards for every ad impression. That’s difficult considering the TCF must monitor practically every ad on the European internet in the milliseconds while it loads.  

One startup trying to productize privacy audits is SafeGuard Privacy, which launched last week with clients Neustar, Habu, CafeMedia, Publishers Clearing House and BusinessOnline, a digital agency.

Ad verification and fraud detection companies like Human (formerly White Ops) filled a similar programmatic trust vacuum for publishers when bots and invalid traffic surfaced as a major concern. The Trade Desk and other platforms had White Ops monitor every impression, the supply and vendors would agree to the terms of those audits, and it eased tensions with advertisers. 

“This provides transparency across the media-buying community and demonstrates all publishers, regardless of size, can be privacy-first in this complicated landscape,” says Paul Bannister, CafeMedia strategy chief, in a release. “The ability to quickly and easily assess and demonstrate compliance in every state or country required is a game changer.”

Who, Little Old Me?

Apple touted an investor report from last week that placed Apple Music well behind Spotify globally and behind Pandora in the US; it also showed Google, Waze and other mapping services ahead of Apple Maps and had Apple TV+ a distant noncontender to Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu. 

So, uhhh … why is Apple bragging about that? 

Because Apple wants to show the iOS ecosystem is dominated by third-party apps, not its own services. 

In 2019, Google’s then-VP of ad product management, Sissie Hsiao (now VP and GM of Google Assistant), penned a blog post similarly touting how “crowded and competitive” the ad tech market was – taking a rare moment to call out its rivals as a roundabout way to demonstrate that it had not quashed competition.

“Our quantitative analyses of engagement with apps (not merely app downloads) demonstrates that, across many app types, Apple’s own apps are eclipsed in popularity and account for a relatively small share of usage,” according to one of the economists who authored the report on Apple. (Apple felt that quote was important enough to blow it up to fill the page.)

Right Time, Right Place

Digital out-of-home media has regained its footing. People are returning to work and travel, and marketers are testing place-based or new outdoor ad offerings. 

As the industry recovers, some of this new inventory is programmatically available for the first time, which led Omnicom Media Group to roll out a programmatic PMP for its clients that includes about 80,000 screens, Digiday reports.

DOOH supply gets programmatic companies closer to where they want to be: the point of purchase. And DOOH advertisers want to be able to attribute impressions to sales to grow as a channel – programmatic brings that as a core competency. 

It is a hodgepodge of inventory. Omnicom partners with networks like Grocery TV, GSTV (which operates screens at gas station pumps) and other sources – malls, golf carts, wherever a screen can be effectively installed – for its place-based PMP. 

Meanwhile, new DOOH screens are being spotted in the wild on mass public transit systems like the MTA. While not offering direct point of purchase, it can lead to one if the Dunkin’ Donuts ad is appealing enough (or if there’s a QR code to entice bored riders to do some commute shopping).

But Wait, There’s More!

Social media users are sidestepping content moderation by using “algospeak,” coded slang to evade filters. [WaPo]

The commerce marketing tech company Lucky raises a $3 million seed round. [release]

The past, present and future of structured data with Google Search. [Search Engine Roundtable

Toolkits: The pros and cons of monthly, quarterly and annual subscription terms. [blog]

The Elon Musk-Twitter board news seems trivial, but sets up a collision course with the ad business. [Big Technology]

Amazon plans to appeal the New York union victory. [WSJ]

You’re Hired!

Warner Bros. Discovery names Jon Steinlauf chief US advertising sales officer. [MediaPost]

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