Facebook Open To Chatbots; Another Agency Exec Goes To Ad Tech

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The Bots Are Here

At its F8 Conference on Tuesday, Facebook said it would let developers create chatbots for Messenger. The resurgence of bots, according to Mike Isaac of The New York Times, comes from consumer wariness downloading individual apps from different companies. But, as the Times points out, there’s no guarantee chatbots will take off in popularity this time around. And when companies do release them into the wild – as Microsoft discovered with Tay – the result doesn’t always go as expected. Still, excitement is growing. The popular chat app Kik introduced a Bot Shop on its platform [AdExchanger coverage] and Facebook is testing ads via its new chatbots, hoping it can monetize the service. More.

Walk A Mile

Another agency exec moves to the ad tech space as Yieldbot names Chris Copeland, formerly the chief digital officer at GroupM Next, a division of the WPP-owned media group focusing on emerging platforms, as president. Copeland had been at GroupM since 2000. “95% of our business is done with agencies,” says Yieldbot CEO Jonathan Mendez to Mike Shields of The Wall Street Journal about the hire. “He understands all the challenges.” More.

Own The Skies

The cloud content management company Box is partnering with IBM and Amazon Web Services to offer file-storage services in Ireland, Germany, Japan and Singapore. The service is targeted at a few (lucrative) industries with unique customer data and regulatory restrictions: health care, life sciences and finance. “We knew we’d never be able to change the laws, so three years ago, we imagined what it would be like if we were operating in 20 or 30 countries,” says Box founder and CEO Aaron Levie to Re/code. Legal experts in advertising regulation and data security have previously told AdExchanger that regional disparities benefit the few companies with global footprints strong enough to handle the big legal, real estate and data center investments.

Rolling Doubles

Walmart-owned supermarket chain Asda, the largest in the UK, will move its $145 million media account from Dentsu Aegis-owned Carat to Publicis’ Blue 449, a division of ZenithOptimedia. Asda’s creative account will also move from VCCP to Publicis-owned Saatchi & Saatchi. Publicis has a long history with Asda, and will be integral in its Project Renewal initiative, which includes revamping stores, changing product ranges and investing $765 million in price-cutting measures. Publicis has taken some big hits in the Great Media Account Realignment of 2015-2016, but this is a big coup executed in only a few weeks. Ad Age has more.

Bidding On Headers

In a Q&A with Mediapost, Condé Nast programmatic head Evan Adlman says the legacy pub partners with numerous header bidding vendors, and each offers very different products. “No two header bidders are alike,” he said. “The implementations and management are very different among all the vendors.” Check out AdExchanger’s chat with Adlman. Publishers often struggle to choose the right header bidding technology, as each differ in terms of the code they display on the page and the time they take for each bidder to respond, affecting publisher yield, user experience and page load. “Our focus is trying to figure out where the unique demand sets lie,” he said. More.

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