Seedtag Raises $40 Million; ANA Pushes Back Against ‘Sweeping’ Privacy Regulations

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Contextual Seed

The contextual ad tech startup Seedtag raised $40 million, Business Insider reports. The Spanish company plans to add 30 employees and expand its US footprint. Before this round, Seedtag had raised $6 million to date. But contextual targeting is a buzzy category, since it optimizes based on media, not identity data; and identity data has diminished due to consumer data regulations, Apple’s privacy policies and Google’s plans to phase out third-party cookies. A study by Integral Ad Science and Neuro-Insight found contextual targeting more effective for brand recall than other ad-targeting methods, Campaign reports. “We’re going into a privacy-first world that is driven by consumers,” said IAS CMO Tony Marlow. “With audience targeting you can reach the right person, but maybe in the wrong moment. But contextual gives [marketers] a better opportunity to make a more meaningful connection with that person.”

“Misguided” Regulations

Speaking of ad targeting … the Association of National Advertisers pushed back against “sweeping” privacy restrictions in some states that go beyond the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). CCPA allows for some demographic and third-party data to target users if users consent to the brand or publisher. But newer legislation seeks to ban targeted ads altogether. “This may block or severely impede the ability to get key information to vulnerable or other groups with critical health and other information. These overly sweeping restrictions would be severely harmful and misguided,” writes Dan Jaffe, the ANA’s executive vice president of government relations, in a blog post. For instance, targeted ads have been useful tools for nonprofits, government agencies and companies to reach unvaccinated people, rather than spraying ads to everyone. Most targeted advertising has nothing to do with pandemic crisis management. But the field “has been inaccurately maligned,” Jaffe said. MediaPost has more. 

AMP Is Dead; Long Live SXG

In 2015, Facebook Instant Articles and Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) seemed poised to usurp the infrastructure of the open internet – with digital media publishing directly to the platform, while users wouldn’t even know they were on a walled garden turf, not browsing the open web as they knew it. That was a scary vision for Cloudflare, the web security company, writes CEO Matthew Prince in a blog post. “If everyone moved their infrastructure to Facebook and Google, there wasn’t much left for us to do.” Cloudflare approached Facebook, but the company’s focus on its own app and not web browsing “didn’t leave much room for partners.” But Google has partnered with web infrastructure companies on a new technology called Signed Exchanges (SXGs), which cache pages for faster site loading, but don’t divert web traffic to Google’s AMP site infrastructure. Another Cloudflare blog post has more detail on Google Signed Exchanges. 

But Wait, There’s More!   

Most of Apple’s App Store revenue is generated by mobile gaming apps. [Mobile Dev Memo]

CreatorIQ raised $40 million to build its influencer marketing platform. [Variety]

Nielsen is making its audience data available through PubMatic. [release]

Google was slapped with a $177 million fine by South Korea’s antitrust regulator. [CNBC

Third-party cookie depreciation is connecting publishers on direct deals. [Digiday]

FuboTV taps Magnite as its SSP. [release]

You’re Hired

Piano taps Nick Worth as chief client officer. [release]

OpenWeb hires Andrew Sullivan as chief product officer and Boris Korenfeld as chief technology officer. [release

Apple hires Miguel Tamayo to head Apple TV Plus sports documentaries. [The Information

Former WarnerMedia exec Chris Spadaccini joins CAMP as CMO. [release]

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