Coronavirus Takes Toll On Ad Industry; Gattinella Resigns As Double Verify CEO

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2020 Is Canceled

The coronavirus news hits keep on coming. Google canceled the “physical” aspects of its annual I/O developers conference, scheduled for May 12-14, 9to5Google reports. Facebook and Twitter pulled out of SXSW, as did large media and brand partners Mashable and Intel. Twitter became the first major tech company to tell employees globally to work from home, where possible. Publishers and tech companies were banking on a nice bump this year because of the Summer Olympics and the presidential election, but now are bracing for what looks certain to be a very tough advertising environment. “Digital advertising might be more vulnerable because digital ad spending can be canceled more easily than other media,” writes The Wall Street Journal. “Outdoor media companies also might be hurt, because of a decline in foot traffic in many places.”

Going Dutch

The Dutch data protection authority issued a $587,000 (525,000 euro) fine against the country’s professional tennis organization for selling data on more than 300,000 members to two league sponsors. One sponsor received 50,000 audience profiles, the other had 300,000, according to the release (read here – in Dutch). The sponsors followed up with those members by mail and telephone, asserts the AP (the “Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens,” as the agency is known). The tennis organization claims it has legitimate interest rights in selling the data. Legitimate interest is an interesting topic in digital media, since it’s how publishers differentiate between vendors that need to pass data to operate effectively (such as for site tracking and fraud prevention) from vendors that require explicit consent from users (such as for ad targeting and data profiling). The KNLTB, the Netherlands’ tennis organization, might claim legitimate interest on the grounds that sponsors creating more fans and players of the sport is a necessary part of the national tennis program. The group is appealing the decision.

Gattinella Steps Down

Wayne Gattinella resigned as CEO of DoubleVerify following a salacious story about his personal life reported by the New York Post on Feb. 22. The piece, which Gattinella called “false and defamatory,” chronicles the death of a former colleague with whom he allegedly maintained a long-term extramarital affair. Until a new permanent CEO can be found, DoubleVerify will be led by board member Laura Desmond, Adweek reports. “I’m deeply grateful for the enormous talent and commitment of all DV employees and leave with the confidence that the company is in strong hands,” Gattinella said in a statement.

But Wait, There’s More

You’re Hired

 

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