Ad Consortium Vs. Ad Coalition; US Men’s Soccer Loss Is Ad Sector’s Loss Too

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Jack Of All Trades

A consortium of trade groups pressuring a coalition: It’s like “Inception,” but for ad tech. The ANA, 4As and IAB sent a letter on Thursday to the Coalition for Better Ads asking it to modify its Better Ads Standards to apply more to browser operators. The letter identifies one case of a browser “imposing its own heavy-handed cookie standards” in Apple’s Safari Intelligent Tracking Prevention, a new policy limiting cookie-based tracking. The Coalition for Better Ads exists because the ANA, 4As and IAB called it into being after a 2016 joint board meeting, but this mishmash of shared stakeholders doesn’t seem clear on what aligned incentives they actually share.

Sour Grapes

It wasn’t just fans and players who were disappointed by the US men’s soccer team’s failure to qualify for the World Cup next year. Fox and FIFA, soccer’s governing body, will feel the pain deeply as sponsor expectations roll backward. Fox Sports reportedly paid FIFA $425 million for a US broadcast package including the 2018 and 2022 men’s World Cup. “The network partially rationalized its bullish offer on the ad revenue that the 2018 and 2022 World Cups would generate,” writes The Washington Post. The 2018 cup will be the first in more than 30 years without the world’s biggest consumer market represented. There will also be knock-on effects for athlete sponsorship deals and Major League Soccer, the US men’s professional league, which typically ride a wave of enthusiasm and player name recognition after a World Cup. More.


Bain Capital wants to take private Japan’s third-largest ad agency, Asatsu DK, but WPP issued a statement saying Bain’s $1.3 billion offer “significantly undervalues ADK.” WPP, which holds a 25% stake in ADK, said the offer goes against shareholder advice and could cause damaging tax charges to investors. The holding company questions whether Bain has “considered or discussed” alternative offers or given ADK’s management assurance about their position in the transaction. WPP also accuses ADK of walking away from its business agreement with WPP, which “it knows full well that it cannot do, as on previous occasions it had abided with this instruction.” More at Mumbrella.

Publishers By Another Name

The UK could reclassify Google and Facebook as publishers following revelations of their role in the spread of hoax news stories and propaganda. The two digital giants are currently classified as conduits of information rather than publishers, which distances each from content on its platform (unlike, say, a newspaper being responsible for what shows up in its pages). While the UK wants to hold Google and Facebook more accountable, it will need to tread lightly. “We need to be careful here that what we do is not a sledgehammer to crack a nut … [that] could impact on freedom of speech, civil liberties and the ability of people to enjoy the benefits that the internet brings,” says UK Culture Secretary Karen Bradley. “I think legislation is a blunt instrument that often doesn’t deliver what you want it to deliver. But I don’t rule out bringing in new laws if that is what is required.” More at The Guardian.

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