Mobile Tracking Firm Nomi Gets FTC Attention; P&G Pruning Agency Budget

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Nomi’s Opt-Out Settlement

The FTC’s investigation into little-known mobile tracking firm Nomi for its 2013 practices could drag beacons and other mobile listening tech onto the hot seat. The FTC claims Nomi misled consumers by claiming mobile users had the option to opt out of tracking without ever making an opt-out tool available, meanwhile gathering data from 9 million consumers’ mobile devices in the first nine months of 2013. While many beacon and mobile-tracking firms insist their tech hashes all data gathered, Ad Age notes, “The FTC appears to be less concerned with the nuances of how these technologies work and which types of device identifiers should be considered personally identifiable and more focused on the ability to tie a device to a person.”

Brands Giveth…

P&G hopes to save $500 million by pruning the number of agencies it uses for advertising, media, public relations, package design and development of in-store materials. The announcement came from CFO Jon Moeller on the company’s Thursday earnings call, as reported by the WSJ. The cutbacks come not long after the world’s three largest advertisers, L’Oreal, Unilever and P&G, all announced agency reviews. Ad Age also reports Thursday that “Coca-Cola Co. has put its US media-buying and -planning business into review.” Though likely less dire than it seems, it certainly adds to a dramatic upfront/NewFront season.

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

WPP’s Xaxis partnered with media & entertainment group Global on Thursday to launch Xaxis Audio, a programmatic product for audio ads. The product rolls together Global’s Digital Audio Exchange (Dax) and Xaxis’ data-management platform Turbine, letting advertisers target audiences from more than 70 publishers (among them Audioboom, Blinkbox, Jango and Rdio). “More people than ever are listening to audio, and there’s been a big increase in people listening on digital devices,” said Mike Gordon, COO at Global. “To address this, we created Dax, which provides advertisers with access to … music streaming platforms, digital radio brands and audio social networks in one single buy.” The partnership will launch on Thursday. Read the release.

Battling The Bots

DoubleVerify debuted enhancements to its digital video solution on Thursday to improve the speed and accuracy of bot detection. Specifically, the enhancements tackle sophisticated bots that mask their identity days after they’re first detected. Video ad platform Tremor was the first to upgrade to DoubleVerify’s offering, and the firm is seeing results. “While individual campaign results may vary, in our first month of using the new implementation of DV bot fraud detection, their post-buy data shows that we’re already seeing less than 1% bot traffic across all managed and self-service campaigns – including our DSP – of desktop video inventory,” said David Cooper, Tremor’s director of network quality. “This is promising in our effort to create the highest-quality environments for our partners.” Read the release.

Always Optimizing

Brands still don’t feel comfortable with the quantifiable returns on their digital marketing dollars. At least that’s the account given by Digiday, which cites a variety of marketers who are eager to be more involved but wish they knew where to focus their resources. For instance, many brands are “hot on investing in content production, but [lack] the tools to measure whether this investment [is] translating into actual sales.” Another concern is how to internally structure marketing teams, which is something attribution vendors have also faced when looking to adjust brands’ digital practices. On the up side, the marketers aren’t concerned about whether to jump in, but “how to capitalize on all the opportunities in front of us.”

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