Programmatic Price Tag; Pinterest Has Search Aspirations

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The Price Of Programmatic

Ad Age’s Alexandra Bruell takes a look at the dark side of automation, namely the sticker shock. “Programmatic ad tech involves not just the ad inventory at the end, but a trail of fees and costs along the way to pay for expensive engineers and traders, data-management platforms, research and development and more,” Bruell writes. “It adds up to make programmatic buying more expensive than ordering print ad pages or TV commercials through insertion orders and other routine methods.” But the trade-off is efficiency and effectiveness, as automation ultimately delivers more valuable audiences. Digital advertising is a rapidly evolving arena, and marketers and agencies all have to pay to play. More.

Catch 22

The Journal’s Suzanne Vranica takes a look at Pinterest’s search advertising aspirations. The challenge for Pinterest is proving it’s more than a digital scrapbooking site, and that its users rely on search. But that throws Pinterest into the ring with Google. “Pinterest will have to show the same kind of conversion rate that Google search does,” said 360i chief Sarah Hofstetter. “The mindset is there but the dream has to be realized.” As is, Google controls 72.4% of all US search ad spend, per eMarketer. Yet Pinterest’s lifeline could be its diversity of ad revenue, which also relies heavily on display. Read on.

Privacy, Easy As F-T-C

Re/code’s Mark Bergen interviews Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez on data security, consumer privacy and the FTC’s role in the changing digital privacy landscape. “We’re trying to ensure that companies are making truthful representations about their data practices and their privacy practices,” explains Ramirez. And, she adds, making sure companies take “reasonable actions” to address security on the ground floor of product development. When asked to share examples of companies getting privacy right, Ramirez deflected. Read it.

Video Alchemy

Interest in shoppable video, once considered a boon for what digital and mobile would do for commerce, is beginning to wane. Key players (including Google, Facebook and Adobe) are investing resources in the format, but the hype hasn’t paid off, according to TechCrunch. Writing for CMO, Todd Wasserman dives into the ROI for shoppable video campaigns, and asks whether the format will join location-based check-ins “in the dustbin of once-promising technologies that never took off.” Read on.


Stripe, the buy-button partner to Twitter and Facebook, launched an API method dubbed Relay that lets developers offer in-app buying opportunities rather than redirecting users to mobile sites – where a sale is often lost. Relay shows up with some smart integrations, including InMobi (allowing buy buttons to permeate the mobile ad network space) and SAP, commerce platform to brands like Levi’s and Oakley. So what are the use cases? Remains to be seen, but Twitter is using Relay to let anyone easily sell within tweets. More.

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