Google Revises Its Privacy Sandbox Timeline; Salesforce Nixes Audience Studio DMP

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Deadlines, Give Or Take

Google Chrome has updated the timeline for its Privacy Sandbox proposals, its developer test kit for identity and measurement products meant to replace the purposes served by third-party cookies. The deadlines are quarterly benchmarks, not set dates à la GDPR. For example, the FLoC proposal, which governs cohort-based advertising IDs and campaign measurement, and the FLEDGE proposal, a potential way for sites to retarget users without third-party intermediaries, have concluded trial runs and are in discussion now. FLoC and FLEDGE should be in testing from Q4 this year until Q3 2022, when they shift to adoption mode. Core Attribution, a proposal for attributing ad views and clicks without cross-site IDs, is in initial tests, as is a first-party data proposal for publishers that own many domains and want to consolidate their identity data across URLs. Mostly, the timeline is a reminder of how much remains to be accomplished – or even tested. By Q4 next year, the entire Privacy Sandbox should be ready for a “Transition Period.” That lasts until Q3 2023, when a final three-month stint will see Chrome forever phase out third-party cookies. Maybe.

The Krux Of The Matter

Salesforce officially pulled the plug on Audience Studio DMP, the artist formerly known as Krux. The early DMP standouts, Krux and Lotame, were hit hard a few years ago, as publishers in particular shifted away from third-party data aggregation to first-party data management. But Salesforce sunsetting Audience Studio doesn’t reflect on other companies with DMP footprints: namely, Adobe and Oracle, as well as smaller players like Lotame. For one thing, Salesforce has always been a step further removed from ad tech than those companies. Or perhaps it had already made its next bet with the acquisition of the CDP Datorama in 2018. Salesforce, Adobe, Oracle and Lotame have all since practically rebranded as CDPs. Regardless of the reason, Salesforce allowed the former Krux audience builder business to languish. “I don't think this is the start of an extinction event," Constellation Research analyst Liz Miller told TechTarget. "More like a slow-rolling evolution.”

Worked It Out

The agency holding company MDC Partners and private equity firm Stagwell Media have (finally) agreed to merge, The Wall Street Journal reports. Indaba Capital Management LP, MDC’s largest shareholder, threatened to vote against the merger because they said it undervalued MDC. Indaba argued that MDC shareholders should receive between 37.5% and 40% of the combined company. The deal originally had MDC owning 26%. The deal we have now, which the companies expect to close early next month, will give MDC shareholders 31% of the combined company, with Stagwell taking 69%. The combined company will be renamed Stagwell Inc., so they won that point. Stagwell will create a central marketing unit that can pull from across the agency groups depending on the needs for client pitches (a tactic that the other ad agency hold co’s have employed), and will be more acquisitive, according to Mark Penn, who holds the CEO post for both companies. (You’d think the merger would have been simpler.) “We’ll restart the acquisition engine to complete the global network and continue to invest.”

But Wait, There’s More!  

China’s markets regulator bars Tencent from exclusive music rights deals. [Reuters]

2021 US, worldwide ad revenue forecasts jump on Zenith revisions. [MediaPost]

Agencies experienced strong growth in Q2 and full-year forecasts are positive. [Ad Age]

The opening weekend for the Tokyo Olympics brought in $135 million in national advertising spend. [MediaPost]

B2B ad spend is expected to reach $30 billion in the US by 2023, nearly half going online. [The Drum]

You’re Hired

Ogilvy NA hires Anibal Casso as chief strategy officer. [Adweek]

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