Home Ad Exchange News UK Launches Antitrust Probe Into Apple; Political Ads Return To Facebook

UK Launches Antitrust Probe Into Apple; Political Ads Return To Facebook


Here’s today’s AdExchanger.com news round-up… Want it by email? Sign up here.

Bite Of The Apple

Another day, another platform, another investigation. This time, Apple is under scrutiny by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the UK’s antitrust regulator, over whether Apple “imposes unfair or anticompetitive conditions on app developers.” According to The Wall Street Journal, the investigation started after developers complained about Apple’s rules, such as requiring that all apps on iPhone and iPad devices must be distributed through Apple’s App Store. “At the core of the antitrust concerns is how much control and share of revenue technology giants should have in relation to popular apps,” the WSJ writes. Apple says it will work with the CMA and claims that its requirements for submitting apps are fair and also necessary in order to prevent malware and “rampant data collection without consent.” Relatedly, the EU had already started poking into Apple’s App Store policies last June, and there is definitely overlap between the two cases. Both complaints are meritless – in Apple’s view, of course.

Ban Lifted

With a new president in office, the elections over and the dust settling after January’s attack on the US Capitol, the coast appears clear for Facebook to lift its ban on political advertising. Starting Thursday, advertisers are able to buy new ads about social issues, elections or politics, The New York Times reports. Political advertising has been a massively hot potato and was much criticized during this election cycle for spreading misinformation, disseminating falsehoods and inflaming voters. Advertisers who want to run political or issue ads on Facebook must complete a series of identity checks before being authorized to place the ads. Each ad will appear with a small disclaimer stating that it has been “paid for by” a political organization. For those buying new ads, Facebook said it could take up to a week to clear the identity authorization and advertising review process. This news isn’t helpful, however, to former President Trump, whose Facebook account remains suspended indefinitely.

Bot Attack

Fraudsters are at it again with their bot scams on CTV. Ad verification company DoubleVerify has uncovered yet another spoofing scheme, this one dubbed “SneakyTerra,” that tricked advertisers into paying for ads that were never actually seen in households. Specifically, the scam involved purchasing a real impression and then inserting impression trackers from multiple ads obtained through spoofed SSAI calls into one creative response. When an actual CTV device receives this response, pixels fire for all the impression trackers. This means that although only one ad is seen, impressions for multiple ads are generated. DoubleVerify said this particular scheme, which could have cost advertisers more than $5 million per month, was far more sophisticated than others. The use of purchased impressions stuffed with multiple fake ads that would never be seen by a real person made SneakyTerra more difficult to detect. The scammers also hijacked real CTV devices – which DoubleVerify said was a first. Read on. [Related in AdExchanger: “DoubleVerify Uncovers Largest CTV Ad Fraud Scheme To Date”]

But Wait, There’s More!

Gannett has reached a deal with Snap to sell ads on Snapchat. The move comes as Gannett continues what it has described as a digital transformation of its business as it grapples with the industry-wide decline in print revenue. [USA Today]

LinkedIn shared a (very brief) update on its IDFA plans. [blog post]

Touchless commerce has normalized the QR code, and brands are giving it a second look. [Digiday]


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Facebook has been trying to clean up the news feed for brands. Here’s why it’s taking so long. [Ad Age]

Quantcast rolled out an intelligent audience platform powered by AI and machine learning technology. [release]

AT&T promised a TV revolution, but instead, got a giant mess. [The Verge]

StitcherAds is launching a set of tools to help retailers turn print coupons into data-powered social media ads, complete with personalized information about products, prices, sales and store location. [Street Fight]

Instagram is testing removing public “like” counts, and influencers say it would be good for the industry to do it. Here’s why. [Business Insider]

You’re Hired!

Kantar has appointed Ted Prince Jr. to the newly created position of chief product officer. [release]

Facebook exec Matty de Castro is joining VidMob as VP of growth and operations. [release]

Amobee has added Tim Spengler as GM of advanced TV solutions and Valerie Bischak as GM and head of growth. [release]

Longtime Ogilvy exec Lou Aversano has moved to Cigna as SVP and global chief brand officer. [Medical Marketing & Media]

Initiative has elevated US CEO Amy Armstrong to a global remit, as the agency’s current leader Mat Baxter is set to take on a new leadership role at parent IPG. [CampaignUS]

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