Google Analytics Is Going, Going … Gone?; P&G’s Pritchard Says Let’s Nix The Upfronts

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The “Go” In Google

There are two important privacy issues at the top of EU regulator agendas right now: a GDPR case against IAB Europe and Schrems II cases targeting Google Analytics. 

On the one hand, IAB Europe supporters seem heartened, counterintuitively, after the Belgian data protection authority’s ruling last month that the Transparency and Consent Framework is illegal, pending an overhaul.

Things have taken a nasty turn for Google Analytics, however. 

On Thursday, the Liechtenstein DPA joined other EU countries that prohibit the use of Google Analytics, noting that it recently dropped three cases against Liechtensteiner sites … because they dropped GA. 

But is that really such a blow to Google? (We dare you to find Liechtenstein on a map.)

Except, get this: The Liechtenstein DPA said a task force has now been established whose decisions will serve as the basis for judgments across Europe, which is in line with the recent ruling on the matter by the French CNIL

“Even if the DPA is not currently conducting official investigations in relation to Google Analytics, there have already been a number of complaints in Liechtenstein that could be resolved amicably by the website operators immediately deactivating Google Analytics,” the Liechtenstein DPA wrote in its announcement. (Or, at least, that’s per Google Translate. Hope it’s not a GDPR violation to use it.) 

Upfront, It’s Over

We regret to inform you that the decades-long marriage between Procter & Gamble and linear TV is headed for splitsville. The two raised many children together, like the Charmin bears, Mr. Clean and the Old Spice man. 

But it’s time for a complete overhaul of TV ad-buying practices, Procter & Gamble Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard said at the ANA Media Conference on Thursday.

What he described is a call for more programmatic TV offerings, with advertisers matched to supply in real-time and auction-based formats, rather than “the protracted transactions of the upfront dance.”

“We don’t believe the typical upfront process is advantageous to advertisers, so we are working constantly to disrupt it – and that means direct negotiating when we can,” Pritchard told Ad Age

The industry does its best to patch TV campaigns with audience guarantees or make-goods when broadcasters don’t meet their own forecasts. But on the other end of the spectrum, Pritchard said, big advertisers panic buy and hoard inventory like some households did with toilet paper early in the pandemic, essentially as a hedge on future supply. It’s not a healthy setup.

Advertisers are also forced to accept inefficient standards, Pritchard said, “because the one thing we know for sure is that the audience forecast is wrong.”

​​Epic Soundtrack

Epic Games is forging a new path into the music industry.

The Fortnite developer and owner of the Epic Games Store has acquired the online music company Bandcamp, Variety reports.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and Bandcamp will continue to operate as a stand-alone marketplace.

The acquisition could be an interesting next step as Epic fills up a content fortress of its own. The Epic Games Store is one of the leading competitors to the PC gaming juggernaut Steam. Epic aims to build “a creator marketplace ecosystem for content, technology, games, art, music and more,” according to a statement by the company.

The Bandcamp acquisition positions Epic as a major player in music, according to Protocol

Fortnite, Epic’s most successful gaming property by far, has already featured marketing collaborations with brands, including Disney, FIFA and Wendy’s. Fortnite has also hosted virtual concerts with live audiences in the millions. In retrospect, these viral events may have been precursors to the current metaverse craze.

But Wait, There’s More!

The Ad Council unveiled a Ukraine crisis relief fund. [MediaPost]

Amazon will close down its bookstores and other pop-up locations, focusing on its grocery footprint and software for other stores. [WSJ]

Why some news publisher revenues skyrocketed last year. [Adweek]

Cookie Cutter by Neeva: a free Chrome browser extension that eliminates consent pop-ups. [release]

Reddit struck a global enterprise partnership agreement with IPG Mediabrands following recent deals with Omnicom Media Group and Tinuiti. [Adweek]

You’re Hired!

RTB House hires Bonnie DeVito as head of talent acquisition. [release]

The Brandtech Group’s Mobkoi names Google vet Suzanne Spence as CEO. [Campaign]

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