Online Grocery Shopping Skyrockets; Upfront Spending Could Sink 33%

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Online grocery shopping is exploding. More than a third of Americans bought groceries online for the first time in the last month, and they have spent more on grocery delivery each week as lockdowns drag on, The New York Times reports. Instacart, not the biggest player before the pandemic, has grown the most during lockdown through partnerships with grocery chains. Meanwhile, FreshDirect and Peapod are relatively flat due to their New York-centric footprints and cost-cuts made before the pandemic, respectively. Amazon has grown the slowest, albeit from an enormous base, while Target and Walmart surged on orders from new shoppers, according to data from Facteus. In the restaurant delivery category, DoorDash is padding its lead by running deliveries for national chains, while Grubhub suffers from a reliance on independent restaurants.

Not Fronting

Upfront spending will decline 33% this year – if upfronts occur at all. Upfront declines generally happen during recessions, but this crisis is so severe that executives believe timing and terms will crash with demand, MediaPost reports. More than 40% of execs don’t expect the upfronts to happen, while 48% don’t foresee committing further than one quarter out. The decline will be buoyed by streaming; half of executives expect to meet GRP goals by substituting linear with OTT, CTV and digital video. Despite uncertainty, sitting out the upfront is a tough choice. "We can’t put ourselves in a position to be beholden to things money-wise,” a Fortune 100 advertiser said. “But we don’t want to be the advertiser left behind if we hedge our bets and don’t do a big upfront.”

Return Of The Schrems

Noyb, an EU consumer privacy group, filed a GDPR data-protection complaint against Google on Wednesday for allegedly tracking users on Android phones through a unique ID without opt-ins or options to remove the ID. “Android does not allow deleting the tracking ID. It only allows users to generate a new tracking ID to replace the existing tracking ID. This neither deletes the data that was collected before, nor stops tracking going forward,” the group said in a statement. Google declined to comment, Bloomberg reports. Google has shrugged off other complaints, which aren’t actual investigations and don’t mean regulators will take action or even respond. Noyb co-founder Max Schrems has scored hits on American tech, however, including bringing down the EU-US Safe Harbor data-sharing agreement.

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