Google, Facebook, Stare Down Private Lawsuits; Vevo Introduces Ad Targeting Based On Moods

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Mo’ Problems

Google and Facebook are expected to become ensnared in a host of private antitrust lawsuits stemming from the government cases against the tech giants. The New York Times reports that more than 10 suits echoing the federal and state cases have already been filed against one or both of the Silicon Valley giants in recent months. Many of them lean on evidence unearthed by the government investigations. Last month, for example, a media company in West Virginia sued Google and Facebook arguing that the tech companies had worked together to monopolize the digital ad market. Its lawyers extensively cited evidence from the government cases. If the federal and state suits against Google or Facebook eventually succeed at trial it will likely bolster the cases being made in private lawsuits. And more could be coming. Google and Facebook work with millions of advertisers and publishers every year, and Google hosts apps from scores of developers, meaning there are many potential litigants. Add it all up and the potential damages could be significant.

Issa Mood

Video-hosting platform Vevo has launched Moods, an AI-powered product that identifies and groups Vevo music videos by mood for more effective ad targeting. According to B&T, the new product allows advertisers to easily place their campaigns in an emotionally congruent environment, such as a heartfelt music video playlist ahead of Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day. The thinking is that aligning ad creative with relevant content creates a positive and memorable ad experience for consumers, in turn boosting their ad recall and brand favorability. Vevo worked with music data company Musixmatch to score and label videos based on the energy and tone of each song. A proprietary model built by Musixmatch assigns a mood to each Vevo video’s metadata tag for contextual targeting. “With Moods, we can not only curate Vevo programming to better match a person’s mood, but we can also directly assure  advertisers that their campaigns are more meaningful and impactful in the same way that we guarantee a high-quality, brand-safe environment,” said Kevin McGurn, president of sales and distribution at Vevo. “It’s the logical step that we have synergy between the ad creative and the mood it evokes with the music video it surrounds.”

A Formal Deal

Publicis Groupe UK has formalized its acquisition of Octopus Group, an integrated agency working with B2B and technology brands, with the intent to absorb the agency into its existing cohort of B2B specialists, The Drum reports. The takeover comes at a point of transition for the wider B2B market, which has been dealing with a shakeout across communications, commerce, supply chains and distribution – all arising from the pandemic. As a consequence, traditional brands are turning to alternative ways of protecting revenue and reaching new audiences amid the tumult. “Key B2B industries are being transformed and disrupted by technology at warp speed and this signposts an exciting time for B2B brands and their marketing teams,” said Jon Lonsdale, chief executive of Octopus Group. “They are relying on agency partners to combine deep commercial insight and creativity to help drive performance.”

But Wait, There’s More!

Digital media company Ad Practioners has acquired Knoq, a startup that encourages people to talk to their neighbors. [TechCrunch]

After being cut off by Amazon and other tech giants, conservative social media platform Parler is back online. [NYT]

Financial services companies are joining social platforms in the fight to moderate content online. [Adweek]

Google has signed a multimillion-dollar deal with Seven West, a major Australian publisher, as it tries to signal its cooperation on news payments. [Business Insider]

Omnicom Media Group has reportedly fallen prey to a cyber attack, but says it’s confident no data is at risk. [Ad Age]

Forbes is hitting the market with its first-party data offering after working on it for 18 months. [Digiday]

Gannett and McClatchy announced a new offering to give national brands the ability to more easily connect with local audiences. [release]

You’re Hired!

Consumer insights platform DISQO has appointed Oracle Data Cloud vet Kevin Whitcher as VP of product for enterprise applications. [release]

Zeta has hired Neej Gore as its new chief data officer. [release]

Social intelligence provider Synthesio has named Jim Delaney as CEO. [release]

Oscar Wang has joined digital experience consultancy Bounteous as SVP of strategy and insights. [release]

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