Native Ad Clutter; Cross-Platform Guarantees

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Native Ad Clutter

Riffing on a piece by NY Times writer Nick Bilton about declining engagement rates among his Facebook subscribers, TechCrunch’s Josh Constine wonders at the “skittish gift horse” that is the newsfeed. “The volume of advertising in the feed has increased dramatically this year …It’s a balancing act, and Facebook may be tipping too far towards advertisers’ interests right now. Facebook risks alienating users if the feed’s meritocracy is poisoned with paid marketing and users feel like they’re not seeing what they want.” Will the pendulum swinging back to adjacent, non-native placements? Read it.

Viewability Slog?

AdWeek gives viewable impressions the rough treatment in a piece on challenges to the IAB’s Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS) initiative. “Instead of rallying around a new ad currency, questions continue to arise over the most practical of issues, such as how to measure, implement and enforce viewable impressions—and whether the whole conversation is even worthwhile.” AdExchanger’s take: Setting standards is often cumbersome and thankless, but buy-side momentum for viewability will push the process forward. More.

Adobe and Razorfish

Razorfish and Adobe have partnered on an expansion of the agency’s marketing technology platform, Fluent. The deal, which also includes Publicis sibling agency DigitasLBi, enhances access to the Adobe Marketing Cloud. AdAge says, “Although Adobe works with many digital agencies, this is the first time it has entered a partnership in which the digital shop will develop its own marketing solution built on top of Adobe’s Marketing Cloud.” More. Or read the press release.

YouTube’s Ad Revenue Issues

AllThingsD’s Peter Kafka asks whether YouTube can generate enough ad dollars to support its premium programming and compete with traditional television. “According to people in and outside of YouTube, last year the site ended up with a glut of inventory, which put even more pressure on ad rates.” Given YouTube’s resources, it will deliver better ad vehicles sooner or later, but this could leave an opportunity for other video-hosting platforms to swoop in. More.

Lead Gen, Made ‘Hotter’

The business of lead generation is generally still frowned upon as a residue from the analog days of direct marketing lists. Or worse, a regulatory tripwire for bribing consumers to “click here now.” But McKinsey’s Mike Lamb and Shawn Lankton, writing in the Harvard Business Review, offer a path to smarter, hotter — and less crass — lead gen.“You don’t have to choose between advertising and generating leads; you can pursue both at once,” the duo advise. “Nor do you have to alienate your existing advertisers. Instead, renegotiate and show them they will get better value by paying you to deliver hot leads as well as show ads.” Read the rest.

Lonely Planet Packs Its Bags?

After six years as parent of the Lonely Planet publisher of print and digital travel guides, the BBC is close to selling the property to Kentucky tycoon and conservationist Brad Kelley for roughly $100 million, reports Skift’s Rafat Ali. Like a lot of traditional publishers, Lonely Planet has struggled to balance its print and digital businesses the last few years. “With LP, Kelley’s team is likely thinking of the long-term value of the brand and investing in digital — especially video,” Ali writes, citing unidentified sources. Nevertheless, BBC says all this is premature and that LP isn’t traveling anywhere yet. Read more.

Yodle Buys

Small biz marketing platform Yodle has snapped up LightHouse Practice Management Group, a marketing automation and CRM system used by dentists. “Adding online relationship marketing to our product offerings is the natural next step,” said Yodle CEO Court Cunningham in a statement. Press release.

Cross-Platform Guarantees

Whoa.  Look at you, ABC/Disney.  According to the NY Times’ Media Decoder blog, ABC/Disney will offer guarantees across online and TV to advertisers courtesy of Nielsen’s Online Campaign Ratings system. Take that comScore.  NYT’s Bill Carter explains, “The Nielsen service will provide detailed information on online viewing in two ways, [says] Steve Hasker, the president of Global Products for Nielsen. One is information that will go to the advertisers about the reach of specific ad campaigns. ‘If an auto maker places ads on all different platforms, on television and online, we’ll be able to measure all the people that see that particular campaign,’ Mr. Hasker said. That will be possible because the commercials will carry a specific tag to identify them.” Read it.

Infographic Tuesday offers a data visualization which says search retargeting CPCs through display advertising are cheaper than search ad CPCs.  See it now.

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