Home Ad Exchange News Big Tech Says Pee-Yew To The EU; Welcome To The Real World, BeReal

Big Tech Says Pee-Yew To The EU; Welcome To The Real World, BeReal


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Europe? More Like ‘You’re Out’

In 2018, a handful of American ad tech startups abandoned the EU when their services became (more likely than not) verboten. Drawbridge, for instance, left Europe when it became clear that regulators had cross-device graphs in their crosshairs.

Five years later, the biggest US tech players are shedding European headcount while facing major headwinds in the region.

The story right now is that Amazon, Google, Meta and Twitter simply cannot figure out how to legally fire European employees, who have stronger protections from sudden firing or being released without cause. Gergely Orosz, who writes the Substack newsletter The Pragmatic Engineer, has details.

Aside from the macroeconomic factors – layoffs happen in the US, too – American tech companies must rightsize their investments in Europe because their growth prospects are structurally diminished.

Although many of the biggest regulatory hits on Big Tech thus far have been on privacy grounds thanks to GDPR, the law has been largely wielded for antitrust purposes – in other words, helping give homegrown European tech some space to breathe.

Regulators have succeeded on that front.

Let’s Be Real

Speaking of the European tech scene, French social media app BeReal took off in a big way last year. But its user count and downloads are down, and it hasn’t matured from a VC-backed startup to a real business.


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BeReal won’t do straight-up advertising and is opting instead for other revenue streams, including a new Spotify integration that lets users include what they’re listening to in their posts. Not much of a lifeline.

And there’s evidence that BeReal is flailing. Last October, the app began sending spammy push notifications (not just the once-a-day prompts all users see). Alex Kantrowitz, who writes the Big Technology Substack newsletter, flagged it at the time.

“Folks, it’s a universal truth,” Kantrowitz tweeted. “When an app starts sending push notification spam, that is the end.”

Media companies sometimes avoid or disparage ads, but that’s not the greatest strategy if marketing budgets are destined to be your meal ticket.

Chasing Green

Programmatic web and mobile app advertising produces 215,000 metric tons of carbon emissions monthly across the US, UK, France, Germany and Australia, according to a new report from Scope3.

The highest-emission domains – the top 10%, so the cum laude of carbon – generate 33.5 metric tons each month. These are primarily bad actors, like made-for-advertising websites or other spammy sites that cram in as many pixels, ad units and Javascript pings as humanly possible.

Scope3 classifies high-carbon domains as falling into the “climate risk” category. Not that legit marketers ever knowingly spend on these domains.

The average programmatic company yields 514.6 metric tons of carbon per thousand impressions or “gCO2pm,” and climate risk inventory averages well over double that. [Editor’s note: Ad tech metrics that look like chemical compounds must stop.]

Three-fifths of programmatic emissions stem from the ad selection process since so much data is crunched in a fraction of a second and one SSP can take bids from multiple ad networks and DSPs.

But Wait, There’s More!

“The open programmatic market may be down, but it’s definitely not out. [Digiday]

CafeMedia rebrands and unifies its three brands – AdThrive, CafeMedia and CafeMedia Ad Management – into one company with a new name: Raptive. [MediaPost]

MediaLink CEO Michael Kassan: How brands can lift the tide of minority-owned media. [Adweek]

Preeti Nadgar, EssenceMediacom’s new US chief strategy officer, on reaching ad avoiders. [Ad Age]

Voice actors are shocked and appalled to discover their voices reproduced by generative AI for other commercial purposes. [Bloomberg]

You’re Hired!

Twitter alum Courtney Brown Warren joins Kickstarter as VP of brand marketing. [PR Week]

The agency MERGE names Libby Morgan as chief digital business officer. [release]

Must Read

Advertible Makes Its Case To SSPs For Running Native Channel Extensions

Companies like TripleLift that created the programmatic native category are now in their awkward tween years. Cue Advertible, a “native-as-a-service” programmatic vendor, as put by co-founder and CEO Tom Anderson.

Mozilla acquires Anonym

Mozilla Acquires Anonym, A Privacy Tech Startup Founded By Two Top Former Meta Execs

Two years after leaving Meta to launch their own privacy-focused ad measurement startup in 2022, Graham Mudd and Brad Smallwood have sold their company to Mozilla.

Nope, We Haven’t Hit Peak Retail Media Yet

The move from in-store to digital shopper marketing continues, as United Airlines, Costco, PayPal, Chase and Expedia make new retail media plays. Plus: what the DSP Madhive saw in advertising sales software company Frequence.

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Experian Enters The Third-Party Data Onboarding Business

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Albertsons Takes Its First Steps Into Non-Endemic Advertising, Retail Media’s Next Frontier

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