Home Ad Exchange News Yahoo’s Moolah For Taboola; The New Social Butterfly

Yahoo’s Moolah For Taboola; The New Social Butterfly

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Yahoo?

Yahoo has taken a 25% stake in Taboola as part of a 30-year exclusive ad deal (uhh … pardon?) that makes Taboola the primary native inventory seller for Yahoo’s media properties, The New York Times reports.

The announcement leaves questions hanging. A 30-year exclusivity arrangement? Yahoo didn’t even exist 30 years ago. And Yahoo makes Facebook look young.

Also, why the equity stake?

Taboola was down 80% since IPOing last year, so it does make sense for Yahoo to buy a piece now, as in, the price was no doubt relatively low.

But there’s also a trend of companies making investments or allowing new investors to come in less as a bet on an eventual financial payoff and more as a way to secure shared first-party data rights.

Last month, for instance, OpenAP, a TV ad data company co-owned by NBCU, Fox, Paramount and Warner Bros. Discovery, added data warehouse and clean room service Snowflake as a minority investor. And Verizon, which sold off its Yahoo business in 2021, retains a 10% equity share that enables an exclusive data-sharing arrangement. 

“We’ve definitely been very aggressive in looking at areas where we might innovate, where we might partner or acquire,” Yahoo CEO Jim Lanzone tells the Times. 

The Social Cost

Lush believes it made the right decision to ditch social media marketing last year, The Drum reports.

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The cosmetics brand was a heavy Facebook, Instagram and TikTok advertiser, and its accounts reached 12 million followers. But Lush noticed that, after Apple’s ATT rollout, its social spending didn’t drive as much engagement as it used to.

ATT wasn’t the only reason Lush took a step back from social media, though. There were also the misinformation brush fires, and Frances Haugen’s testimony that Meta executives knew and were concerned that its platforms were detrimental to children’s mental health.

Quitting social media did ding Lush’s brand awareness in Western markets, according to brand and marketing director Annabelle Baker. To offset that impact, Lush launched its own self-care app and invested more in PR. And since its customers previously used its social channels for customer service, Lush created a live chat tool for its website and is planning to launch an SMS service as well.

Today, Baker says Lush feels vindicated in light of advertisers suffering on Meta’s bug-addled platforms, abandoning Twitter en masse and reconsidering TikTok based on its ties to China.

And Lush hasn’t fled all forms of social. The company does still advertise on Pinterest and YouTube, Baker says, because those platforms take content moderation seriously.

CTV CPGs

The grocery store staple brands that pumped up TV advertising for decades will be among the most aggressive fast followers into CTV.

Already, major advertising data deals have popped up between Roku and Kroger, and between Disney and The Trade Desk, not to mention Walmart Connect integrating Snap, Roku, TalkShopLive, TikTok and Firework, all for video ad deals.

CPGs are all-in on CTV now because it’s the only way to achieve unduplicated reach numbers, Marci Raible, VP of global media and marketing services for Campbell Soup Co, tells Ad Age. Fact is, there just aren’t enough youngs watching cable.

But CPGs will have to contend with all the familiar problems on CTV, including frequency capping and over-targeting specific users. The retailers themselves and CTV media owners like Roku, Amazon and NBCUniversal are all inclined toward a walled garden mentality. It will be very difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile the customers that CPGs reach through these partnership-based channels on top of their general TV and CTV plans.

“My hope is that as the retailers’ media offerings become more mature that they will be willing to share across other retailers,” Raible says.

But Wait, There’s More!

Google and iHeartMedia settle deceptive ad charges with FTC over radio and podcast sponsors endorsing the new Pixel phone without ever using it. [Reuters

Musk threatens war with Apple over App Store fees. [Axios]

Jamie Zawinski’s PSA: Do not use services that hate the internet. [blog]

How big-box retailers are revamping their store formats. [Modern Retail]

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