China Defines Online Advertising; Social Takes The Tech Talent

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Whipping Into Shape

China issued its first set of regulations to define online advertising as “email ads, paid-search results and embedded links, images and videos ‘with the purpose of promoting goods or services,’” writes Alyssa Abkowitz of The Wall Street Journal. “Before this, there was no law that defined exactly what an internet ad was, and the regulations were a bit piecemeal,” says Eugene Low, a Hong Kong lawyer. Regulations come after China’s biggest search engine, Baidu, featured an ad for a medical treatment that lead to the death of a college student. As a result, medical and tobacco ads are banned online and all search advertising must be clearly defined and limited to 30% of each page. More.

Power Of The Purse

Trendy social platforms have a huge hiring advantage over other tech vendors. Snapchat has been on an ad tech tear in the past year, swiping top execs from Facebook and Google and filling out its ranks with talent from the social marketing firm Brand Networks, which Lara O’Reilly of Business Insider reports lost its product chief, a VP of product solutions and a product manager to the video sharing platform. Pinterest took the talent (but not the tech) out of the social discovery tech firm URX and “acquihired” the team behind Tote, a shopper influencer network. When Google hit a roadblock trying to poach execs, it just bought the fraud-detection startup outright.

Reason To Believe

Verizon’s goal of cracking the Google/Facebook platform duopoly is underway, but far from a slam dunk. It doesn’t have to be perfect, because marketers “eager to diversify away from Google and Facebook” will help elevate any major competition. Verizon’s ad tech, under AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, may – may –  be more open to third-party measurement and services than other walled gardens, writes Adam Levy of the Motley Fool. And though Verizon’s 100 million subscribers looks paltry next to Google/Facebook audiences, it does have verified names, addresses, Social Security numbers and credit cards, whereas Google and Facebook have only names or less-sure profiles. Verizon could also theoretically track locations without user consent (though the backlash would be pretty bad). More.

Chasing Models

Twitter wants to stream more live sports games. The struggling social platform cut a sweetheart deal with the NFL (Twitter CFO Anthony Noto is the league’s former CFO), and is now in talks with the NBA, Major League Soccer and Turner Sports about acquiring digital streaming rights, Recode reports. But live streaming might not be ultra-profitable for Twitter, which lacks the lucrative subscription stream where broadcast nets spin their gold. “I’m more likely to work with Amazon,” said Ted Leonsis, an NHL and NBA owner (and former president of AOL’s audience group). “Amazon Prime, I look at as they’re in a subscription business. They look like a cable company.” More.

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