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Preview: Advertising Age - Digital

Advertising Age - Digital


Facebook's Carolyn Everson goes on the defensive

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 16:00:03 -0400


Carolyn Everson, VP of global marketing solutions at Facebook, says she actually started her fix-it tour (our words) days before CEO Mark Zuckerberg ventured out to speak on the Cambridge Analytica affair. She called the company's top advertisers on Saturday, the day after the company first acknowledged the harvesting of data from some 50 million Facebook users by Cambridge Analytica. On Monday, she sent an email to a wider circle of advertisersan email some agency exces tell Ad Age was formulaic.

Mozilla and Pep Boys have said they are pulling spending on Facebook ads because of its apparent carelessness with data, and Sonos is suspending Facebook advertising for a week in support of data privacy. And the #deletefacebook movement is starting to swell. On Friday, Silicon Valley darling Elon Musk--who has a history of social media tit for tats with Zuckerbergrequested that the pages for his companies Space X and Tesla be taken down.

Everson spoke with Ad Age by phone late in the day on Thursday. The conversation has been edited.

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Tesla, SpaceX erase Facebook pages as Elon Musk joins #DeleteFacebook crusade

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 13:50:00 -0400


Elon Musk is hopping on the #DeleteFacebook digital bandwagon.

The CEO of Tesla Inc. and Space Exploration Technologies tweeted Friday that he wasn't aware there was a Facebook page for his rocket company. After being asked by a Twitter user to delete it, he responded "will do."

Musk wrote back to another user who shared a photo of Tesla's official page on Facebook and asked if it, too, should be deleted: "Definitely. Looks lame anyway." Tesla's and SpaceX's Facebook pages vanished soon after.

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Facebook's grip on political ads likely to defy stain of data leak

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 12:42:35 -0400


Political consultant Mark Jablonowski predicts that Facebook won't lack for political ads during this year's campaign season despite the rancor caused by Russian election meddling and a massive data leak.

"For the time being, people are still on Facebook, and political advertisers want to advertise where their constituents are," says Jablonowski, partner and chief technology officer at DSPolitical, a digital ad firm that serves Democrats.

Facebook has grown into a colossus in campaign spending, serving up a rich bounty of intimate data that is used to target potential voters from among its online audience of more than 200 million monthly users in the U.S. Campaign spending on Facebook and other digital media will rise to an estimated $600 million this year, compared with about $250 million in 2014, the last congressional election year without a presidential contest. That's roughly one-fifth of the money expected to be spent on campaigns this year and Facebook is poised to get three-fifths of that.

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Exclusive: WPP tapped Cambridge Analytica to go after Army's ad business

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 13:50:00 -0400


The data firm of the hour, Cambridge Analytica, also had interactions with at least one advertising agency, Ad Age has learned.

WPP teamed up with the controversial company in a bid to win the U.S. Army's ad business, according to people familiar with the situation.

The Army is undergoing an agency review for its account, with agency holding-company giants WPP, Omnicom and Interpublic Group in contention. Interpublic's McCann has been handling the account for years, but its contract is up in September.

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The true colors of travel: Filling in the gaps in tourism marketing

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 10:45:14 -0400


Spend any time looking at leading tourism campaigns or watching travel shows and you could be forgiven for thinking that African-Americans don't leave home that much. Travel marketers and publishers predominantly tell the story of one type of jet-setter: Caucasian.

Black and other minority travelers "haven't been represented because they haven't been targeted," says Simon Hudson, director of the Center of Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development at the University of South Carolina. But African-American travel is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the U.S., according to Hudson. "People in the hospitality and tourism industry need to be trained on different cultures and different cultural understanding," he says. "People tend to travel where they feel safe and accepted."

A growing crop of businesses run by people of color are now beginning to close the gap.

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Mark Zuckerberg's 'half-measures' might not protect the data

Wed, 21 Mar 2018 21:40:46 -0400


Mark Zuckerberg promised to root out data delinquent developers, but not everyone is buying his newfound zeal for privacy.

On Wednesday, Zuckerberg finally broke several long days of silence about Cambridge Analytica's reported abuse of Facebook data on 50 million users. The CEO vowed to police the platform more vigorously, and audit any developer that may have gotten access to user data.

In an interview on "Anderson Cooper 360" on CNN, Zuckerberg said Facebook was preparing to review thousands of apps. "We know what the apps were that had access to data. We know how many people were using those services and we can look at the pattern of their data requests," Zuckerberg said. "We'll be able to do audits of anyone who was questionable."

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Too little too late? Facebook to now audit developers for data abuse

Wed, 21 Mar 2018 17:43:26 -0400


Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday finally broke his silence about the abuse of data on the platform by Cambridge Analytica, promising to redouble efforts to safeguard user privacy after the exposure of the massive data breach.

Since Friday, Facebook has been on the defensive over reports that Cambridge Analytica improperly obtained data on 50 million users, information that it tried to use to influence the 2016 U.S. elections and Brexit referendum.

"We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can't then we don't deserve to serve you," Zuckerberg said in a post on the social network he founded. "I've been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn't happen again."

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Google to sweeten publisher deals as tech woos media

Wed, 21 Mar 2018 11:29:02 -0400


Google is offering publishers more generous terms as part of a new subscriber tool, currying favor with the news industry at a time when Facebook is sending mixed signals to newspapers and magazines.

Publishers will keep 85 percent to 95 percent of revenue when readers first buy subscriptions via Google, up from 70 percent previously, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Publishers' feelings toward Silicon Valley are starting to shift as some technology companies are showing they want to compete for content. Last week, Apple offered an olive branch to the media industry by buying Texture, a digital service that lets users subscribe to more than 200 magazines for $9.99 a month. Apple and Google are trying to seize on a moment when Facebook's ties with news outlets have soured.

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YouTube to 'frustrate' some users with ads so they pay for music

Wed, 21 Mar 2018 09:50:00 -0400


YouTube will increase the number of ads that some users see between music videos, part of a strategy to convince more of its billion-plus viewers to pay for a forthcoming subscription music service from the Google-owned video site.

People who treat YouTube like a music service, those passively listening for long periods of time, will encounter more ads, according to Lyor Cohen, the company's global head of music. "You're not going to be happy after you are jamming 'Stairway to Heaven' and you get an ad right after that," Cohen said in an interview at the South by Southwest music festival.

Cohen is trying to prove that YouTube is committed to making people pay for music and silence the "noise" about his company's purported harm to the recording industry. The labels companies have long criticized YouTube for hosting videos that violate copyrights, and not paying artists and record companies enough.

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The Revenants: Super Bowl Ads return in online video

Wed, 21 Mar 2018 09:00:00 -0400


Super Bowl LII is nearly forgotten but the brands that advertised in it are still working their commercials: Persil, Doritos and Mtn Dew are back on the Viral Video Chart this week.

As ever, the view counts below reflect both organic, "viral" views and, more often, paid ad placements.

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The hotel of the future is coming, and it's a little weird

Wed, 21 Mar 2018 02:00:00 -0400


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New viewability standards may give extra credit to ads that play longer

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 18:00:26 -0400


The ad industry's standards body wants help as it considers toughening the requirements to call digital ads "viewable" so they're more comparable with TV and other media.

The Media Rating Council on Tuesday issued a call for research to help gauge what would happen, for example, if it required "viewable" ads to appear on screen in full instead of the current standard of halfway. It also wants to look at "duration weighting," or varying standards above its current 1 second for display ads and 2 seconds for video.

Viewability became a big issue in digital advertising several years ago as marketers realized they were often paying for ads that appeared on screens only fleetingly, partially or not at all. The MRC responded with standards that it described as a "first step."

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Uber victim stepped suddenly in front of self-driving car

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 17:18:44 -0400


Police say a video from the Uber self-driving car that struck and killed a woman on Sunday shows her moving in front of it suddenly, a factor that investigators are likely to focus on as they assess the performance of the technology in the first pedestrian fatality involving an autonomous vehicle.

The Uber had a forward-facing video recorder, which showed the woman was walking a bike at about 10 p.m. and moved into traffic from a dark center median. "It's very clear it would have been difficult to avoid this collision in any kind of mode," Sylvia Moir, the police chief in Tempe, Arizona, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

"The driver said it was like a flash, the person walked out in front of them," Moir said, referring to the backup driver who was behind the wheel but not operating the vehicle. "His first alert to the collision was the sound of the collision."

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Facebook warns Mexicans about fake news in presidential campaign

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 15:28:07 -0400


After coming under fire for its role in the 2016 U.S. election, Facebook is taking steps to prevent what it calls fake news during Mexico's presidential campaign.

The social-networking giant on Tuesday placed full-page ads in prominent Mexican newspapers including El Financiero under the title "Tips to Detect Fake News." The company's logo appears on the top left corner.

After the election of President Donald Trump, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had to respond to critics who said that certain viral stories on the network, such as a false report saying that the pope had endorsed Trump, could have swayed the election.

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Google details plan to fight fake news, from search to YouTube

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 12:00:00 -0400


Google says it is fighting fake news from its search results to YouTube with new programs that will focus on credible media sources and vetting breaking news.

On Tuesday, the search giant announced initiatives including installing a "top news" section on YouTube for only "verified" media. Google made the announcement at an event with The Washington Post and The Financial Times in New York.

"Bad actors often target breaking news on Google platforms, increasing the likelihood that people are exposed to inaccurate content," Google said in a blog post Tuesday attributed to Philipp Schindler, Google's chief business officer. "So we've trained our systems to recognize these events and adjust our signals toward more authoritative content. There are comparable challenges on YouTube, and we're taking a similar approach, highlighting relevant content from verified news sources in a 'Top News' shelf."

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Here's one publisher that likes the controversial Snapchat redesign

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 11:30:00 -0400


Snapchat's January redesign has actually delivered some help to Self, which says the new look led to its best month on the app, with more than 10 million visitors.

"Our experience with redesign may be surprising," says Carolyn Kylstra, Self's editor in chief, acknowledging the popular take that Snapchat's new layout hurt traffic for publishers, brands and web celebrities. That's not the case at Self, a which typically saw about 8 million unique monthly views on its Snapchat channel before the update. February drew 10 million visitors, Kylstra says.

Average daily visitors increased 14 percent over January, Kylstra says, declining to disclose the exact number of visitors.

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FTC probing Facebook for Cambridge Analytica's use of personal data

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 10:51:06 -0400


Facebook is under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission over the use of personal data of 50 million users by a data analytics firm to help elect President Donald Trump.

The FTC is probing whether Facebook violated terms of a 2011 consent decree of its handing of user data that was transferred to Cambridge Analytica without their knowledge, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Under the 2011 deal, part of a settlement of federal charges that it forced consumers to share more personal information than they intended, Facebook agreed to get user consent for certain changes to privacy settings.

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Teen Stream: 7 Gen Z'ers give us the inside dope on how they use smartphones

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 03:00:00 -0400



Location: Newark, New Jersey

Age: 16

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Emotional fuel at SXSW

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 13:00:00 -0400


Brand activations at SXSW, considered by some the Super Bowl of experiential marketing, have shown yet again why experiential, once viewed as an ancillary piece of a client's marketing mix, has become the core. Experiential marketing literally brings a brand's personality, values and attitude to life, and there's no better place to do that than in Austin, Texas, a city that is fiercely proud of being weird.

Experiential marketing creates more brand advocates than any other marketing method. It creates increased engagement and has longer ROI than other advertising mediums. According to Shaz Smilansky, who penned "Experiential Marketing: A Practical Guide to Interactive Brand Experiences," people who undergo a live experience are likely to tell around 17 other people about a positive experience. When you do the math on the 167,800+ attendees, you can take that to the bank.

This year there were the expected big spectaculars but also more personalized, intimate and authentic activations. (Think Off-Broadway plays instead of big Broadway productions.) SXSW is the perfect meta example of a powerful event where there is something for everyone.

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Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg under pressure over data breach

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 07:30:47 -0400


Government officials in the U.S. and Europe are demanding answers from Facebook after reports that Cambridge Analytica, the advertising-data firm that helped Donald Trump win the U.S. presidency, retained information on tens of millions of Facebook users without their consent.

Over the weekend, entreaties for the social-media giant to take responsibility evolved into calls for CEO Mark Zuckerberg to appear in front of lawmakers. Facebook has already testified about how its platform was used by Russian propagandists ahead of the 2016 election, but the company never put Zuckerberg himself in the spotlight with government leaders. The pressure may also foreshadow tougher regulation for the social network.

"It's clear these platforms can't police themselves," Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, said Saturday on Twitter. "They say 'trust us.' Mark Zuckerberg needs to testify before Senate Judiciary." Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey also separately launched an investigation.

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Pinterest expands shopping ads for retailers

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 07:00:00 -0400


Retailers will soon find a wider selection of ads available to them on Pinterest. The visual search company is expanding its "Shopping Ads" feature, which was tested with a handful of retailers last year. The ads, which consumers see in their Pinterest search feeds, will now be available to hundreds of other brands after a successful pilot, Pinterest executives say.

"It goes back to the core mission of helping people find and discover new products that they would love to buy," says Jon Alferness, who joined San Francisco-based Pinterest as senior VP of ads and commerce last year from Google. He says that as an automated advertising product, Pinterest's "shopping ads" take away a lot of the legwork for brands used to managing their own campaigns and advertising based on performance. Retailers can upload their product catalogs and showcase products in contexta couch in a decorated living room, for example, which consumers can click through and purchase on the brand's site.

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Why USA Today snagged a team of ex-video game developers to lure new readers

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 04:00:00 -0400


USA Today Network, a group of more than 100 Gannett-owned publications including USA Today, is set to roll out its first augmented reality app, focused on the 30 rocket launches slated for Cape Canaveral, Florida, this year.

The app, dubbed 321 Launch, will use AR tech to show launches from SpaceX's Falcon 9 and the United Launch Alliance's Atlas V rockets. Users in New York, for example, will see a rocket against their own sky on their phones' screens, complemented by information such as predicted flight patterns. The app can also present live video of launches in a more traditional way.

There are no ads yet in the app, which comes out March 29, but the company intends to offer sponsorships in the future.

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Facebook Suspends Trump Election Data Firm for Policy Breach

Sat, 17 Mar 2018 16:09:48 -0400


Facebook has suspended Cambridge Analytica, a data company that helped President Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential election and which may have collected data from 50 million Facebook profiles without their owners' permission.

The social-networking company said in a blog post Friday that Cambridge Analytica received some user data through an app developer on its social network, violating its policies. In 2015, Facebook said Cambridge Analytica certified that it had destroyed the information.

"Several days ago, we received reports that, contrary to the certifications we were given, not all data was deleted," Facebook said in a statement. Cambridge Analytica and parent Strategic Communication Laboratories have been suspended from the social network, "pending further information," Facebook said.

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How Facebook Is Luring Media Partners to Its Planned Video News Hub

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 13:30:00 -0400


Facebook's latest media ambitions include long-form news programs, too.

Details are starting to emerge about the news section Facebook has said it will build in its fledgling Watch video hub, apparently partly as an effort to encourage reputable information to compete with fake news. Axios reported this week that the news tab in Watch will arrive this summer.

And while it was known that Facebook has solicited proposals from about 10 media outlets to come up with news shows for Watch, the videos were largely expected to be short, in line with the predominant sensibility on platforms such as Snapchat. But some of the news outlets may actually pursue longer programming, making their shows more resemble TV than the drive-by videos that Facebook users have come to expect.

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L'Oreal Buys ModiFace to Get Edge in Beauty Augmented Reality and AI

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 12:05:00 -0400


L'Oreal has purchased leading beauty tech firm ModiFace for an undisclosed sum to bolster its digital-technology effort, giving it an apparent edge over rivals in augmented reality and artificial intelligence for beauty. Terms were not disclosed.

The 11-year-old Toronto-based company has been providing services for L'Oreal at least since 2014, when Garnier used ModiFace technology to deliver customized digital ads featuring the customer as the model. More recently, L'Oreal Professional and ModiFace introduced an app called Style My Hair, which provides augmented-reality hair color tryouts.

Now ModiFace will become part of L'Oreal's newly formed Digital Services Factory, a network that designs and develops new digital services for the company's brands.

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New Election Means New Calls for Facebook, Twitter and Google to Answer Congress

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 16:30:23 -0400


Social media giants that have acknowledged Russians exploited their platforms ahead of the 2016 election face renewed bipartisan demands to explain to Congress what they're doing to counter abuse of their networks ahead of this year's congressional midterms.

Democratic Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee, said that the chief executives from companies like Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet's Google should testify as to how they can tackle ongoing interference by Russia, as well as abuse of their networks by others.

"This is not a problem that's going to be swept under the rug or is going to go away," Warner said in an interview Wednesday. "If anything, it's increasing."

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Ex-Walmart Exec Claims Cheating in Race With Amazon

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 14:59:15 -0400


In its race to catch Amazon in online retailing, Walmart issued misleading e-commerce results and fired an executive who complained the company was breaking the law, according to a lawsuit by the executive.

Tri Huynh, a former director of business development at Walmart, claims he was terminated "under false pretenses" after repeatedly raising concerns about the company's "overly aggressive push to show meteoric growth in its e-commerce business by any means possibleeven, illegitimate ones."

Under CEO Doug McMillon, Walmart has invested billions to catch up with Amazon in e-commerce over the past few years, and last year enjoyed quarterly online sales growth rates surpassing 50 percent, well above peers that include Target and Best Buy.

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After Chris Brown Ad, Rihanna Says Snapchat Is Not Her Fav App

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 13:25:21 -0400


Rihanna says she already was no fan of Snapchat, even before an ad on the app seemed to make a joke about her abuse by Chris Brown.

And she used Instagram to make her feelings known.

The star on Thursday made the statement about the ad, which appeared on Snapchat this week and was quickly criticized for making light of domestic violence. The ad was for a game app called Would You Rather, developed by Fierce Capital, and it asked "would you rather slap Rihanna or punch Chris Brown."

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Ghost People: Consumers Sunk Into Smartphones Are Not Where You Think

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 10:00:00 -0400


The ironic thing about the nearly pinpoint accuracy with which we can locate people as they use their mobile devices is that their physical whereabouts have less and less to do with where they actually are.

We have the technology to figure out, for instance, that a given person is in a specific storein some cases right down to the department he's in. But is he really there there? Is he shopping, with the intent to actually buy something, or is he somewhere elselike on the Amazon app on his phone, checking for a better price?

Likewise, we have the technology to figure out that a given person is in a specific coffee shop. But is she really present? As in, observant and engaged in her surroundings and, you know, having a conversation with her fellow patrons? (The New York Times recently reported about the plague of the modern cafe as a sort of morgue-like free WeWork space in an article headlined "What to Do When Laptops and Silence Take Over Your Cafe?")

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Hearst's Troy Young on Publishing Amid Chaos: 'Facebook Doesn't Owe Me Anything'

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 04:30:00 -0400


Subscribe to us on iTunes, check us out on Spotify and hear us on Stitcher, Google Play and iHeartRadio too. This is our RSS feed. Tell a friend!

It's been five years since Troy Young came to Hearst to build out the magazine company's digital division. Today as the global president of digital for a media empire that includes Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Elle, Good Housekeeping, Town & Countrythe list goes onYoung is redefining what it means to be in a 130-year-old publisher with its roots in print.

In this episode of Ad Lib, Young discusses the pressures digital has placed on print publishing, consolidation in the media space and our current era of distribution instability, especially as Facebook switches up its algorithm and Snapchat pushes through brand defacing redesigns.

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