Advertisers Feeling The Pain Of ATT; Facebook Focusing On Privacy-Based Ads

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Pour One Out For The Insta-Brands

Facebook surprised most analysts with a powerhouse Q2, despite the rollout of Apple’s AppTrackingTransparency (ATT) framework and new IDFA rules. But Facebook’s diminished targeting and attribution capabilities are having concrete effects on advertisers. A few years ago, many startup product brands built their businesses almost exclusively on Facebook and Instagram. These ecommerce-native brands could practically cut out all marketing org costs and rely on the Facebook site conversion pixel and the app’s look-alike prospecting to bring endless new potential customers. When it worked well – or was successfully paired with content marketing and PR efforts on Facebook – startup brands only needed a snappy or instructive video or two to get the machine going. “Previously, a startup could operate exclusively on FB to reach breakout scale and possibly beyond,” writes Eric Seufert in a worthwhile Twitter thread. “Not the case in the new ATT environment.” 

Privacy Reset

Speaking of Facebook’s privacy-based ad platform changes, Graham Mudd, Facebook’s VP of product marketing for ads, tells The Verge that the company ad personalization will “evolve very meaningfully” over the next five years to accommodate more built-in privacy and less granular ad targeting. Facebook is exploring – and investing in – several different ways to deliver personalized ads. One example is on-device learning, where data runs locally on the device instead of being collected and activated from the cloud. But that would put the mobile operating system in control of Facebook’s computing resources, Mudd said. (Perhaps you’ve heard, but Apple and Facebook have had a bit of a tiff.) Another investment he cited is Storefronts – brand-operated, in-app ecommerce interfaces – which would return some of Facebook’s visibility into purchase conversions if the product takes off. 

The Win Column

Dentsu is the latest holding company to bounce back from the advertising malaise during the pandemic. The Japanese holdco reported 15% organic revenue growth year-over-year in Q2, Campaign reports. Dentsu’s group revenue climbed nearly 8% to 440.5 billion yen ($4 billion US). That’s a big turnaround from Dentsu’s $1.3 billion loss in 2020 and a string of recent subpar quarters. Digital marketing drove more than half of the company’s total revenue in Q2, and Dentsu’s acquisition of LiveArea last month also improved its revenue outlook. Omnicom Media Group, IPG and WPP experienced rebounds in the past few months as advertisers began spending again, fueled by a shift to online buying and markets reopening. Dentsu’s stock is up about 50% in the past year, but it’s just now climbing out of the crater from Q2 last year to match its pre-pandemic share value. 

But Wait, There’s More!  

Brands and agencies are reassessing ad campaigns as delta variant cases rise. [Ad Age]

Google may shift from cohort-based audiences (FLoC) to targeting by topic. [Digiday]

Mozilla’s Firefox rolled out a new tool that lets users delete third-party cookies. [MediaPost]

Complex Networks is building up its audience insights business and panel data. [Adweek]

A trio of US lawmakers introduce a bill that would rein in Apple, Google app stores. [Reuters]

You’re Hired

Firebolt Group tapped David Bean as president and board member. [release]

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