Here’s today’s AdExchanger.com news round-up… Want it by email? Sign up here.
Ready For Primetime
As some marketers pull back from television, Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook are putting the pedal down in a big way. “Those firms’ recent splurging on TV advertising marks a somewhat ironic twist for companies that grew to become the three largest players in digital advertising, racing to persuade advertisers to shift their ad budgets online and away from TV,” The Wall Street Journal writes. The upswing in tech commercials could be a sign of TV’s enduring value as a brand-building vehicle. Those companies need more brand equity now that they all have consumer hardware like smart speakers and home devices. Or, as we saw with Samsung, which overtook P&G as the world’s largest advertiser last year as it dealt with PR controversies and a phone recall, the Silicon Valley set could also be spending more because their brands have been tarnished in recent data privacy scandals. More.
Bradstock Returns To Google (Cloud, That Is)
Drew Bradstock has left Index Exchange, where he was SVP of product, to rejoin Google. And he said “sayonara” to the ad business, grabbing a Google Cloud product management role for its Kubernetes Engine, which helps developers automate containers for data storage. Bradstock oversaw product during a rollercoaster period at Index. The startup gained share as an early mover in header bidding. Last fall, Index was embroiled in controversy over its nontransparent practice of bid caching. Google Cloud may be a smoother ride and has been an area of growth for Google. “We’re excited for Drew as he pursues a career outside the programmatic space, and we thank him for all of the contributions he made to our product organization,” Index Exchange said in a statement. A new CTO, Marc Staveley, is filling Bradstock’s shoes and following his “legacy of leadership.”
Facebook has been paying users between 13-35 years old up to $20 per month to let the company collect data about their mobile phone usage through a VPN called “Facebook Research.” The app, which ingests all phone and web activity, gives Facebook access to private messages, social media apps, emails, web searches, browsing activity and location information, TechCrunch found. Facebook marketed the program under intermediaries and didn’t disclose its involvement to users until the sign-up process. It also worked with three app beta-testing services to distribute the app under Apple’s radar, since Apple has stringent developer privacy policies. The Research app is a near clone of Onavo, the VPN app Facebook acquired in 2014, which Apple banned from its app store for privacy violations. Apple also shut down access to Facebook Research following TechCrunch’s report. “I have never seen such open and flagrant defiance of Apple’s rules by an App Store developer,” says security expert Will Strafach. More.
IAB Europe is firing back against allegations from privacy watchdogs that real-time bidding constitutes a data breach and that the IAB Tech Lab’s content taxonomy includes sensitive categories that are protected under the GDPR, such as “cancer” and “infertility.” The backstory: On Monday, a Polish digital rights organization called Panoptykon Foundation joined complaints filed with regulators Ireland and the United Kingdom calling out Google and the IAB for “unlawfully” profiling internet users. More on that in AdExchanger. On Wednesday, IAB Europe issued a statement claiming the complaints fail to demonstrate a breach of EU data protection law and are also “fundamentally misdirected” at the IAB. “The complaints are akin to attempting to hold road builders accountable for traffic infractions, such as speeding or illegal parking, that are committed by individual motorists driving on those roads,” IAB Europe wrote. If you’ve got the time to spare, here’s a link to Panoptykon’s complaint (for those who speak Polish); a link to IAB Europe’s complaint about the complaint; and a response to the complaint about the complaint from the complainants.
But Wait, There’s More!
- Altice To Acquire Majority Stake In OTT Startup Molotov – TechCrunch
- Unilever Calls For Brands To Join Cross-Media Measurement Program – Campaign
- The High Cost Of Online Trash – The Ad Contrarian
- DOJ Antitrust Chief Delrahim Signals Merger And Media Plans – Multichannel News
- B2Bs Aren’t Spending Big On Digital Ads (Yet) – eMarketer
- Does Facebook Really Know How Many Fake Accounts It Has? – NYT
- Dented By Layoffs, BuzzFeed Charts A Path To Sustainability – Digiday
- Nickelodeon’s Upfronts Are Less Fun, More Business – B&C
- Sightly Names Greg Garunov SVP, Performance And Partner Strategy – release
- Mindshare US Appoints Shane McAndrew As Chief Data Strategy Officer – release
- Turner Builds On Commitment To Advancing Advertising With Key Promotions – release