Google Close To Launching Travel Product; Auction Flaw Wastes Video Ad Impressions

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Broadened Horizons

For the past couple of years, Google has quietly assembled the pieces of a major travel and hospitality product. The search giant has slow-pedaled travel metasearch in deference to companies like Expedia and Priceline, which are two of the highest spenders on Google search ads, writes Skift. But it looks like 2018 is going to be the year Google unveils a full-funnel, mobile-first travel/booking service. Google sees travel as ripe for a major land grab. People don’t buy fancy couches or diamond rings directly after conducting a web search, but flights and hotels are big-ticket purchases often made directly online or on a phone. Google wants to own that commission, not just pocket the search ad and pass along the user. More.

The Phantom Buy

“Some publishers are wasting up to 20% of their programmatic video impressions,” reports Ross Benes for Digiday. The ad space is sacrificed when video ad network partners win an auction but then don’t complete the purchase. “They are just bidding for the sake of bidding and hoping they have something on the back end to win,” says Lee Garfield, Zynga director of programmatic sales. More. The IAB is shutting down VPAID [AdExchanger coverage], which should mitigate the issue, but until that happens, publishers can only spot and blacklist vendors.

It’s Pin Real

At the end of the year, Tim Kendall is leaving Pinterest – and the advertising world – to launch a health care industry startup, Recode reports. Kendall came to Pinterest from Facebook five years ago to lead its ad products, sales and marketing teams. He oversaw business operations and was integral to the launch of products like search ads and visual search that secured Pinterest’s shopper planning mindshare among big brands and retailers [AdExchanger coverage]. He will be replaced by former Google executive Jon Alferness, who joined Pinterest this summer to head up ad product operations. More.

But Wait, There’s More:

You’re Hired!

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