Ecommerce During Covid Eclipses 2019 Holiday Season; Can Advertisers Hold Facebook Accountable?

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Back To Normal?

Ecommerce shopping reached $153 billion during April and May, surpassing spend during the 2019 holiday season by 7%, according to Adobe. Consumers spent $70.2 billion online in April and $82.5 billion online in May during lockdowns, $52 billion more than forecasted last year. The share of mobile transactions grew 10% in May from January, while buy online pick up in store (or BOPIS) grew 195% YoY. BOPIS activity is starting to level off after a sharp increase in March and April, but 23% of shoppers still say they prefer curbside pickup to home delivery. People are also starting to get back to their regular shopping habits. Daily online grocery sales were down 14% in May, while electronic sales were up 11% and apparel rose 12%. Read the report.

Facing Facts

Is Facebook finally facing an advertiser revolt? On Friday, Elijah Harris, IPG Mediabrands’ VP of paid social, penned an open letter calling for the advertising industry to hold Facebook accountable for its content moderation policies by withholding spend. Read the full post. Harris encourages brands and agencies to make a measurable commitment to reallocate Facebook spend to properties that better reflect brand values, to voice dissatisfaction with Facebook’s team and to “end the practice of making Facebook the default choice when building digital media plans.” And he cited calls for content moderation a couple of years ago that made a difference with YouTube. “It’s time to use our collective voice to bring about positive change at Facebook.”


Ad Tech Madness, a Twitter tournament that pits vendors in a no-holds-barred competition for meaningless votes, started as a laugh. And it’s still a total laugh: But it’s also unexpectedly matured into a vehicle for good. On Thursday, LiveRamp and LiveIntent pledged up to $5,000 and $10,000, respectively, in donations to the NAACP and Black Lives Matters for votes. LiveRamp won that Sweet 16 matchup with 58% of 21,591 votes (great ROD – “Return On Donation” – for LiveRamp). Smart, the French ad server, pledged $1 per vote up to $5,000 in its match against TripleLift on Friday. “This is the best lapse in ethics we’ve ever had,” tweeted LiveIntent Chief of Staff Adam Berkowitz.

GIF Me A Break

That didn’t take long. The United Kingdom’s antitrust watchdog is investigating Facebook’s $400 million acquisition of GIPHY, citing fears of reduced competition in the market. British regulators issued an “Initial Enforcement Order,” which pauses the merger while the government conducts a review, CNBC reports. Facebook is subject to fines if it fails to comply. Neither Facebook nor GIPHY are UK-based companies, but the government can investigate mergers that have an annual turnover above $88 million or when the combined businesses have at least a 25% share of their market. The United Kingdom’s probe follows a similar investigation of the deal launched by the Australian government last week.

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