Home Ad Exchange News Google Accused Of Tracking Children’s Data; Malvertising Makes A Malign Online

Google Accused Of Tracking Children’s Data; Malvertising Makes A Malign Online

Comic: Alphabet Soup

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Leave Those Kids Alone

Adalytics is taking a second swing at Google.

On Thursday, it released its second report about YouTube this summer, this one alleging that the tech giant is targeting ads to content made for kids.

Adalytics claims that the installation of YouTube’s app creates a persistent identifier that advertisers can use to target ads through the platform’s ad server. So, if a child clicks on an ad in a video, The New York Times reports, that child can be subject to tracking by Google or a third-party site – a huge COPPA no-no.

Of course, Google vehemently denies the allegations. “Personalized advertising has never been allowed for YouTube Kids, [nor for] anyone watching ‘made for kids’ content on YouTube since 2020,” a Google spokesperson tells Digiday. “This report is drawing uninformed conclusions based solely on the presence of cookies.”

The problem could be that Google doesn’t reveal where ad buys in Performance Max actually run. It would explain why a brand like Ford or Kohl’s is reportedly appearing in kids content, and possibly unintentionally.

Coincidentally (or is it?), Google launched a new user-facing Transparency Center about its product policies on the same day Adalytics released its report.

Be Careful What You Click For

Speaking of online decorum (or lack thereof), malvertising and phishing scams are both getting worse, according to recent research from the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG).

Cybersecurity experts estimate that instances of phishing are rising 35% to 50% annually. Malvertising is expected to grow even faster, TAG VP of Threat Intelligence Mike Lyden tells MediaPost.

Since macroeconomic concerns are causing a drought in advertising spend, advertising is becoming an easier way to reach unsuspecting victims. Cybercriminals can win bids on unclaimed ad inventory at bargain-basement prices in the weak ad market.

“Cybercriminals may have more opportunity to take advantage of current market conditions with bad ads,” TAG’s report reads.

Besides, plenty of people already anticipate phishing scams that happen via email or text, so many wrongdoers are choosing malvertising on popular websites and social platforms instead.

Retail Regrets

Retail media is a hot commodity. But a lack of standardization and doubts about return on investment have advertisers rethinking their commitment to the channel, Marketing Dive reports.

The fragmented marketplace and gaps in performance measurement have 42% of advertisers questioning their retail media buys, according to the ANA. And advertisers believe retail media spend has become a requirement to do other business with retailers.

Plus, differences across ecommerce platforms mean marketers can’t reuse creative assets like they can for display formats.

On the measurement front, the IAB and MRC will release new standards addressing this emerging channel this fall. And the agency side is working on solutions, such as IPG’s retail media measurement platform. 

Major retailers are likewise noticing the growing demand for sell-side standardization. At Cannes Lions, Albertsons pitched a framework for bringing more uniformity to retail ad network capabilities, ad product parameters, third-party verification and measurement. The proposal was co-signed by Omnicom and Unilever.

But the likelihood of Albertsons’ rivals adopting its framework is slim. It’s far more likely that giant retailers like Amazon will continue to follow the walled garden path they’ve been blazing for years.

But Wait, There’s More!

Brands are running out of options to reach young audiences, says Omnicom Media Group CEO. [The Drum]

New York City bans TikTok on government-owned devices. [Reuters]

Digital subscriptions carried publishers through Q2, not advertising. [Digiday]

Cardlytics-owned Bridg launches a new retail media network. [release]

Why you’re struggling to hear TV dialogue when streaming. [The New York Times]

You’re Hired!

Megan Lally becomes Highdive’s first CEO. [release]

Locality appoints Rebecca Wisniakowski as SVP of agency relationships. [release]

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