Debate Needed On First-Price Issue; Data Industry Protests GDPR

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Lost In Translation

Publishers have been “quietly observing shifts in upstream partner behaviour as vendors go about their ‘testing’” of first-price auction dynamics, writes The Guardian’s programmatic director, Daniel Spears, in a LinkedIn post. Advertisers and publishers are the two pillars of the digital media supply chain (intermediaries are, well, just in the middle), but the transition to second-price auctions is yet another reminder of the disconnect between the two sides of the industry. These changes will cut straight to the bottom line for buyers and sellers, but still “it feels as though there’s been little by way of dialogue, or indeed consultation around the matter.” Related: Check out AdExchanger’s deep dive on the shift to first-price auctions.

Devil’s Advocate

The Center for Information Policy Leadership, a think tank and lobbying group that represents the world’s data-hungriest businesses (Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Acxiom and American Express give a good sense of the membership without moving very far down the alphabet), issued comments about GDPR privacy implementation in the EU. The group is pushing back on what it sees as onerous standards of consumer consent and data restrictions that could undermine quality of service. Analytics based on anonymized and aggregated data could be severely limited, as well as machine-learning-based services, like AI personal assistants that improve in quality through personalization or indexing emails so users can search their mailbox by keyword. “The very essence of new online services is that they are data-driven and data-dependent.” More.

An Unsettled ‘Score

Seven of 12 comScore board members resigned after the media measurement company missed another financial disclosure deadline, and the company now expects its internal review to be completed sometime after March. In May, ComScore was delisted from the Nasdaq stock exchange over its failure to present transparent finances. After completing a merger with Rentrak early last year, comScore expected to step into a role the market seemed to be calling out for as an audience measurement alternative to Nielsen. Is that opportunity evaporating with the self-inflicted damage? More at The Wall Street Journal.

Story Time

Facebook is looking to Instagram Stories as its next vehicle for ad growth. One new tool will make it easier for brands to turn organic Instagram posts into ads. Facebook is also extending its Canvas ad format [AdExchanger coverage] to Instagram Stories and Facebook Audience Network to allow glossier ads across the web. Read the blog post. Facebook wants Instagram Stories to be a part of every media campaign by scaling creative assets beyond the platform. “The lower the barrier to creating relevant and feed-optimized Instagram content, the more advertisers will be attracted to using their advertising tools,” Sherwin Su, director of social activation at Essence, told Business Insider. Meanwhile publishers are wary of Instant Articles because it’s difficult to monetize, cedes distribution control and is a black box for attribution. More at TechCrunch.

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