Cannes Has A Contingency Plan; WaPo And Vox Expand Ad Tech Businesses

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Cannes Contingency  

As global events continue to get canceled due to fears of spreading the coronavirus known as COVID-19, the advertising industry is waiting with bated breath for news about Cannes. For now, the ad conference on the Riviera is on for its usual time in late June. But organizers have a contingency plan if the outbreak gets worse, AdAge reports. According to two people close to the business, Cannes will reschedule for sometime in October if it is forced to cancel the event this summer. Organizers will make a decision on whether to postpone or continue as planned in the coming weeks. French authorities recently put a ban on gatherings of over 1,000 people to stop the spread of the disease. “Our priority at this time is the safety of our delegates and teams – we continue to closely monitor the development of the COVID-19/Coronavirus and any potential impact on our event,” Cannes Lions said in a statement. More.

Pubs Who Code 

The Washington Post is tripling its investment in Zeus, its in-house publisher revenue optimization software group, Axios media reporter Sara Fischer reports. Zeus will go from 10 to 30 employees. Zeus was created in 2016 to improve site load times and ad viewability. Since then it has added cookieless contextual targeting based on the Post’s first-party data and launched Zeus Prime, a self-serve buying interface. Another publisher, Vox, is also stepping up its “publisher revenue” (ad tech) unit, called Concert, with an investment of over $1 million from the Google News Initiative. The idea is to create a new local news ad network leveraging Vox’s media footprint, with help from local publishers that use Google Ad Manager, Google’s supply-side tech stack. Omnicom’s family of agencies will be the first demand partner for Vox’s local network.

Crite-oh No

In other (non-virus) news from France, the CNIL, the country’s data protection authority, has opened an investigation into ad tech firm Criteo. The investigation was sparked by a complaint by the data privacy advocacy group Privacy International, which has campaigned for more than a year to get European data protection agencies to investigate ad tech players, TechCrunch reports. The group is specifically concerned about Criteo’s Shopper Graph, which uses cross-device tracking to predict consumer interest and intent, as well as its core cookie-based retargeting product. Criteo claims it has legitimate interest to process the data and is compliant with GDPR. Privacy International’s stance is that real-time bidding is inherently at odds with the GDPR since data is placed in bid requests even before consent is obtained. The United Kingdom’s data protection authority filed a complaint about real-time bidding but has yet to take any enforcement action. More.

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