Facebook And Google Criticized For Scam Ads; Roku And YouTube Quarrel

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The pervasiveness of fake ad schemes on Facebook and Google have left their users “worryingly exposed to scams,” especially because the two giants have failed to crack down on fraudulent activity, even after it has been reported. Or so says the British consumer group Which? (not a typo, that’s how it’s stylized), which wants the UK government to enact  legislation to root out the problem. Per Business Insider, Which? found that more than a third (34%) of people that reported a scam ad to Google said that it was not taken down while just over a quarter (26%) said the same had happened with Facebook. Basically, scammers post fake ads for discounts at established UK   retailers like Clarks or Russell and Bromley, using their logos and branding. However, these ads lead to look-a-like websites that steal consumers’ financial details. The study surveyed 2,000 adults in the United Kingdom and found that while Google was worse at reacting to reported scams, victims were more likely to encounter a fraudulent ad on Facebook. Around 27% said they had come up against a scam ad on Facebook compared to 19% on Google. Which? called for the scams to be addressed in the British government’s proposed Online Safety Bill, in which tech companies that allow users to post their own material or talk to others online could be fined up to $25 million, or 10% of their annual revenue, whichever is higher, for failing to remove “harmful” content.

Roku vs. YouTube TV

Roku and Google are beefing over Google’s YouTube TV – and Roku isn’t pulling any punches. According to Deadline, Roku told YouTube TV customers via email that the internet pay-TV service may go dark on the Roku platform soon. The two companies are involved in contract negotiations to extend a distribution agreement. Roku alleges that Google’s terms are anticompetitive and argues that YouTube and Google seek to manipulate the user experience to siphon data and tilt search results in YouTube’s favor. It also maintains that Google could require Roku to spend money upgrading microchips or other equipment to accommodate YouTube TV. A Roku spokesperson criticized Google’s actions in detail, saying that the tech giant is “attempting to use its YouTube monopoly position to force Roku into accepting predatory, anti-competitive and discriminatory terms that will directly harm Roku and our users.” YouTube TV, however, is urging Roku to chill, saying that it is negotiating “in good faith” to reach a new deal. 

Pop Goes The Up

Next up in post-cookie opt-in pop-up news (say that five times fast), identity resolution provider Intent IQ introduced a proposal on Monday for a consent dialogue box that would focus on getting permission to share first-party cookie IDs, the IP address and user agent. Read the release. The idea is to create a complement to Unified ID 2.0 for consumers who don’t want to share their email address but still want the option to see targeted ads in return for free access to content. According to Roy Shkedi, Intent IQ’s chairman, the company is able to identify about  80% of cookieless ad inventory. By contrast, third-party cookies offer roughly 56% coverage and it’s likely that log-in solutions will only cover around 20% of internet users (and that’s being optimistic). “Our goal is for this solution to be adopted by the industry,” said Shkedi, who claims to have invented AdChoices back in 2004. “I am basically repeating the playbook I used with AdChoices,” he said. But there’s still a big question as to whether publishers will hop on board. Shkedi, pointing to opt-in markets such as Europe, predicts that publishers in the US and other primarily opt-out geos will embrace the pop-up. “Is this going to work?” he said. “It does in Europe where such consent pop-ups get over 90% opt-in.” Even so, “is this going to work?” remains an open question. It’s unclear whether people always truly realize what it means when they click “accept.”

But Wait, There’s More!

Zenith forecasts that CPG food and drink brands will increase their ad expenditure on digital channels by 7% a year through 2023. [blog post]

Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook have been sparring for years. Their differences are set to escalate this week. [NYT]

The Ad Council has appointed 27 new members to its board, including Petco CMO Tariq Hassan and Jeremi Gorman, Snap’s chief business officer. [release]

Publishers, including The Guardian, have become conscientious FLoC objectors, although The New York Times and others are open to testing the controversial tech. [Digiday]

Ninety-three percent of Snapchatters say they’re looking forward to the 2021 NFL season. [blog post]

Summer is coming. Americans are being vaccinated in droves. But as they leave their homes, will they leave all of their favorite streaming services behind, too? The answer is “nope.” [The Drum]

Facebook and Spotify are rolling out a new “miniplayer” experience that will allow Facebook users to stream from Spotify through the Facebook app on iOS or Android. [TechCrunch]

You’re Hired!

Comcast Advertising has appointed Rick Mandler as VP of growth strategy. [release]

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