Another Sale Of Atlas; Franken To Revive Location Privacy Bill

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Ever the Bridesmaid

Who hasn’t kicked Atlas’ tires? Business Insider reports Facebook has become the latest in a long line of due diligence doers, though talks aren’t necessarily serious. The assumption here is it’s all about the Facebook ad network, but what Atlas would contribute is unclear (engineers? agency relationships?). And then there’s this tidbit: “Facebook computers could track Facebook users across all sites partnered with Facebook, keeping track of what ads these users see and what products they later buy.” So, an attribution play? Now that sounds like Facebook’s cuppa. Or how’s this for a foil-hat conspiracy theory: Facebook could buy Atlas as an “in” to Microsoft’s inventory, and separately sign Yahoo to launch a new “big three” social ad network to distribute its native ad formats. Both companies are existing partners. More.

Franken Privacy

Minnesota Senator Al Franken plans to revive a location privacy bill that could have implications for mobile ads. In a statement shared with The Verge, Franken said, “the law allows companies to collect and disclose our location information without our knowledge and consent.” That is leading to some bad guy stuff such as “stalking apps,” along with less harmful location-based ad practices. The solution proposed in this bill (The Location Privacy Protection Act of 2012): express consent. More.

A Smaller RTB Table

Jeff Green, CEO of The Trade Desk, thinks that there’s not enough room for all the current players at the real-time bidding (RTB) table. Writing in Mediapost, Green argues that the time is almost ripe for a shrinkage of players from the demand side and supply side in favor of more general platform operators: “As the ecosystem grows, it will force more people to use more robust platforms. Either you adapt and grow rapidly, or you get out of the market.” Read more.

Remarketing The Consumer

On The Makegood, Casale Media’s Andrew Casale argues that consumers should be allowed the ability to opt-out of remarketing/retargeting during the purchase process. He says, “If a user is being displayed banner ads for something they have no interest in purchasing, there is no reason to market to them, and you’ll effectively save money.” Read it.

Of Pigs And Hogs

Comparing online campaign ratings to eGRPs is more like holding up a pig to a hog rather than asking which is better, an apple or an orange. The not-so-subtle difference is often lost on the industry at large, says digital marketing consultant Augustine Fou in Clickz. Read it. “One of the main arguments for not shifting more budget to digital is that there is no way to compare metrics from traditional media with metrics from digital, and therefore it’s hard to justify the shift or to calculate ROI,” Fou says. “The part about not being able to compare apples to oranges — or pigs to hogs, as it were — is true. The metrics are indeed fundamentally different.”

Not Native

In Digiday, Jack Marshall asks agency types for their opinion what is NOT going to happen in 2013 in adveritsing. kbs+p Ventures’ Darren Herman offers his “not”: “I do not believe that we’ll see considerable dollars in ‘native advertising’ even though it’s all the rage today. I say this because it generally does not scale, and that’s the beauty of native advertising in that it’s platform specific and generally at least a bit custom.” Read more.

Studying Video Ads

Ad network Undertone and IPG Media Lab shared results of a joint study yesterday showing that context matters when it comes to video ad performance.  From the press release, more findings including this tidbit: “The position of the video unit on the page – center of the page vs. side-rail – has little meaningful impact on an ad’s efficacy.” Read more. And, download the white paper (Pay with some PII).

PLA Takeaway

Jefferies analyst Brian Pitz discusses his Wall Street firm’s internal data on Google’s Product Listing Ads (PLAs) which he says show significant growth: “This is the largest increase we’ve tracked since Q2’11, and suggests Google’s new paid Google Shopping program (which uses PLAs as the primary ad unit) is seeing broad adoption from retailers.” Pitz notes that both Amazon and eBay have reduced their PLAs “to leverage their strong brand awareness and direct / organic traffic.”  …Or maybe they’re worried about ‘data leakage’ of some sort?  I say, “Look for the dark side.”


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