New Standards For Brand Safety; Massive Growth In Holiday Ecommerce

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Risky Business

Publishers got pummelled by the pandemic, and advertisers nervous about brand safety (and their overzealous blocklists) were at least partly to blame. With that in mind, the IAB Tech Lab accelerated the rollout of its Content Taxonomy 2.2 this week to help third-party verification vendors avoid problematic content without hampering a publisher’s ability to monetize. The updated framework, which was co-developed by the Global Alliance for Responsible Media, defines 11 sensitive content categories, including explicit sexual content, hate speech, terrorism, obscenity and sensitive social issues. Consider those a brand safety “floor.” By defining the worst of the worst, advertisers will have more control over their ad buys and can be more nuanced about what topics they advertise against, said Amit Shetty, senior director of product at IAB Tech Lab. By the same token, pubs can monetize more of their content that’s outside of the sensitive categories outlined in the framework. As part of the new taxonomy, the Tech Lab created four risk levels that can be used to identify a range of brand suitability: a floor as the baseline followed by high, medium and low risk levels. Read the release. The taxonomy is open for public comment until Nov. 27.

Ecom Is Da Bomb

Brick-and-mortar sales will be down this holiday season – no surprise there – but ecommerce is expected to more than make up the difference. Although in-store sales will decline by 4.7% to nearly $823 million, US consumers will spend just over $190 billion this year on holiday ecommerce purchases, up 35.8%, as per eMarketer. That’s $50 billion in incremental sales compared to 2019. All told, total holiday sales will ring in at $1 trillion, representing 0.9% growth for the total holiday season sales. Adobe predicts that online sales will surpass $2 billion every day between Nov. 1 and Nov. 21 and increase to $3 billion a day from Nov. 22 to Dec. 3. “This year is unlike any in the past, and for the first time we are no longer referring to peak holiday sales as Cyber Week,” said John Copeland, head of Marketing and Customer Insights at Adobe. It’s now Cyber Month.”

It’s All About Ecom

Speaking of online shopping, IPG-owned Reprise is the latest agency to launch its own global ecommerce practice to help clients navigate the rapidly evolving retail landscape. (See: the pandemic, of course). Although Reprise already had ecommerce capabilities, it’s expanding and formalizing those offerings, Campaign US reports. The new group will combine 250 ecommerce experts across the world that will develop and deploy retail strategies. For example, Reprise works with ecommerce analytics platform Profitero and pulls real-time data directly from major retailers, including Walmart, Target and Amazon to build custom dashboards. Reprise also integrates with platforms such as Magento and Shopify, and it’s in the midst of developing its own automated process for data wrangling with help from sister agency Kinesso. “With changes in the market, we’ve been looking to increase the scope of work we can do in ecommerce and take a full service offering to the market,” said Will Margaritis, Reprises’s head of ecommerce for North America.

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