AdTheorent Goes The SPAC Route; Facebook Stops Targeting Those Under 18

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SPAC Theory

Ad tech is on fire. AdTheorent is the latest company to join the SPAC craze, following a string of public offerings, such as Innovid and Taboola, in the past two months alone. The SPAC merger in this case will value AdTheorent at $1 billion – that’s the plan, at least. Read the release. AdTheorent will trade on the Nasdaq, and the public listing is expected to net the company $121.5 million in funding to help fuel its expansion, including potential M&A. The New York-based company said it’s on track to take in $150 million in revenue this year, according to The Wall Street Journal. “The demand for digital content is increasing at a crazy rate. We’re benefiting from that,” AdTheorent CEO Jim Lawson said.

No Kidding 

Facebook will no longer allow advertisers to target people under 18 years old based on their interests and activity on other sites. The company is trying to placate youth advocates, who argue that kids may not be equipped to make decisions about targeting, Reuters reports. Instagram also announced it is working on an “experience for tweens” with more transparency to parents and privacy and messaging controls. Facebook’s announcement should be taken with a grain of salt. Or perhaps a boulder. Advertisers will still be able to target under-18s based on location, gender or age. Facebook is already losing much of its capability to target based on cross-app or cross-site activity. Facebook consolidated its own attribution products because it no longer has the scale to attribute conversions across apps and the web and tie the results to targeted Facebook audiences. All the other popular ways to target are still allowed. 

Cookieless Jar

Google may have postponed its plans for phasing out third-party cookies until 2023, but marketers haven’t hit the pause button when it comes to finding alternatives. Coincidentally, rival media ratings and measurement companies Comscore and Nielsen both announced cookieless audience solutions for targeting and measurement. Comscore is teaming with Experian, InfoSum and LiveRamp to bring first-party data to its Predictive Audiences targeting tool, which launched in January and relies on contextual signals rather than cookies. Adding first-party data to cookie-free identifiers is an attempt to reconcile targeting expectations with a privacy-safe identity solution. Nielsen is also emphasizing client first-party data and cookieless identifiers, such as hashed email addresses and Unified ID 2.0, to authenticate traffic. For unauthenticated traffic, Nielsen will use machine learning and contextual data to model anonymous audiences. 

But Wait, There’s More!  

NBCUniversal is working on makegoods after primetime ratings for the Tokyo Olympics fell flat. [Adweek]

Rocketium raised $3.2 million to scale its automated marketing campaign platform and launch in the US. [TechCrunch]

Search Nurture integrated its retail ad management platform with Instacart Ads. [release]

Pinterest is helping creators with paid partnerships and product tagging capabilities. [The Drum]

Vice Media and Vox are taking a page from BuzzFeed’s playbook and eyeing plans to go public in an effort to stay competitive. [NYT]

Speaking of BuzzFeed, Vice and Vox, the companies are cashing in on the streaming boom. [The Information]

You’re Hired

WPP hired Brendan Moorcroft as CEO of Choreograph. [Campaign]

Michael Lyons tapped as chief investment officer and managing director of Juice Media. [release]

Screen Engine/ASI hired Melanie Jones to lead Audience Engine. [release]

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