Programmatic Creative Firms Get Funding; China Is A Seller’s Market For Ads

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Creative Data

Is programmatic creative finally happening? Ad tech firms Eyeview and Spongecell have raised $21 million and $10 million, respectively, toward making the dream a reality. Both build custom ads in real time to bring the “right message” component to the trope “right message, right person, right time.” Tennessee Tourism worked with Spongecell in 2015 to deliver 23 different video ads targeted to consumers based on location. This past summer, they upped that number to 2,000 videos, targeting additional attributes such as lifestyle and interests. “How we use data is changing both how we create and how we deliver that content,” said Chris Thomas, CEO of BBDO. But The Wall Street Journal’s Mike Shields notes that holding company silos make programmatic creative difficult to execute. More.

East Is East, West Is The Rest

Almost all of China’s top 50 online publishers have deployed their own self-built ad exchanges (and each of the top 10 has its own DSP). “China is a seller’s market that is dominated by publishers, versus the US, which is a buyer’s market,” Beijing-based ReachMax COO Charlie Wang tells Yuyu Chen of Digiday. Magna’s programmatic report from October highlighted Japan and China as the only markets with homegrown online ad ecosystems (everywhere else, that role is mostly filled by US tech giants). It’s easy to frame the Chinese media market as tracking the US – e.g., current Chinese practices of shunting remnant inventory to an exchange or securing fees on opaque media buys – but it’s truly marching to the beat of its own drum. More.

Blind In Both PIIs

It’s hard to track of the convoluted state of privacy regulations, as Exponential VP Tim Sleath details in a column for Ad Age. In America, there’s “personally-identifiable information,” or PII, but only finance and health care companies are actively regulated. Europe regulates “personal data,” like PII but with more stringent rules (particularly in 2018, when new laws come into effect). However, an IP address can qualify as personal or non-personal. In the US, it hinges on whether the company’s an internet service provider (like AT&T, for which it’s PII) or a tech intermediary (like Google, which is in the clear), though that may change under the Trump administration. In Germany and sweeping across Europe, an IP address is always considered personal info. Cookie IDs are a weird one too. In the US, cookie IDs are PII if the user is younger than 14, but for anyone older, they’re non-PII. Read it.

Uncharted Territory

Is Facebook a media company? It might be the biggest question of 2016. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has adamantly said no, despite the fact that millions consume and discover news on the platform. In a Facebook Live conversation with COO Sheryl Sandberg, Zuckerberg hemmed and hawed. “Facebook is a new kind of platform,” he said. “It’s not a traditional technology company. It’s not a traditional media company.” So what is it? Well, Zuck sees his platform as a kind of “third establishment” (for the fourth estate?) that incorporates both tech and media. “We don’t write the news that people read on the platform,” Zuckerberg said, “But at the same time, we also know that we do a lot more than just distribute news, and we’re an important part of the public discourse.” More at TechCrunch.

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