New iPhones Raise Funds to Fight AIDS; in China, Apple Doesn’t Mention That

Apple is selling red iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models to raise money for the Global Fund to fight HIV and AIDS. In mainland China, oddly, the company's website makes no mention of the cause. The new products are just presented as special edition red iPhones. Tay Xiaohan of IDC noticed the discrepancy and tweeted about it. She remarked that AIDS is a sensitive topic in China, and asked whether "Apple may be worried that this message will not resonate well with consumers?" Ms. Tay, senior market analyst with IDC's Asia/Pacific client devices group, posted a photo of Apple's mainland China product site next to a shot from its website in Taiwan. Unlike the mainland's web page, Taiwan's site bears the branding of Product Red, which contributes to the Global Fund. A spokeswoman for Apple Inc. did not respond to an email seeking comment. It wasn't clear whether there Continue reading "New iPhones Raise Funds to Fight AIDS; in China, Apple Doesn’t Mention That"

Quarterly Ad Revenues Jump 45% at Chinese Internet Giant Tencent

Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings said fourth-quarter ad revenues jumped 45% from the same period a year earlier. The company now gets nearly a fifth of its revenues from advertising, a growing opportunity at a company long powered by its popular online and mobile games. Tencent was just named the most valuable brand in China in a BrandZ ranking by WPP and Kantar Millward Brown. Its star product is all-purpose app WeChat (called Weixin in Chinese), which is a mobile toolkit for everything from payments to chat to services. The company said WeChat has amassed 889 million monthly active users; the majority of those are presumed to be in mainland China, since the app hasn't caught on overseas like the company once hoped. Tencent's overall quarterly sales, including everything from ads to its top-grossing Honor of Kings game, hit $6.37 billion, up 44% year-on-year. Quarterly net profit jumped 46% Continue reading "Quarterly Ad Revenues Jump 45% at Chinese Internet Giant Tencent"

Facebook Just Changed the Mobile Web Landscape With Header Bidding

Facebook just executed what might best be described as a digital advertising coup against rival Google and its DoubleClick empire. The social media power said Wednesday that it's bringing advertiser demand from its Audience Network to mobile web publishers that use header bidding. Mobile publishers have been able to tap demand from Facebook Audience Network until now so long as they didn't use header bidding technology, a system that allows them to take bids from multiple buyer pools all at once. But if they wanted to capitalize on header bidding, they had to forgo any demand in FAN. Continue reading at

Coalition for Better Ads Might Not Be the Solution Marketers Were Hoping For

The Coalition for Better Ads released research today that will likely surprise no one: Consumers do not like autoplay video ads with sound, pop-up ads and ads that quickly flash, change colors. Those are the core findings of the CBA's research. They're also part of a broader push to define the Better Ads Standard, which is an effort geared toward informing marketers and publishers which ads are most likely to drive consumer adoption of ad-blocking software. The Coalition paid some 25,000 participants in the U.S. and Europe to rate 104 different ad experiences on desktop and mobile to reach its conclusion. Future work, the CBA said, will focus on performing similar studies in different parts of the world until at least 2018; if consumers in Europe find pop-up ads annoying, will consumers in Africa find them equally annoying too? Continue reading at

Swapping Ski Audiences: K2 Gives Retailers Access to Its Visitors

Ski and snowboard maker K2 Sports is giving its retail partners a new ability to reach people who are interested in its products such as Super Charger skis or Bottle Rocket snowboards. In December, the company, which also makes snowshoes as well as ice and inline skates, paired with OwnerIQ to open its data marketplace, a co-op program allowing retailers selling K2 branded gear to aim co-branded ads to winter sports shoppers who have visited K2's 10 websites. Today, five retailers have signed on to the opportunity to deliver ads for their stores to people visiting K2's in-house-managed websites, which generate 1.5 million page views each month. With a total of 50 retailers pre-approved for the co-op, K2 anticipates more interest from those other stores, particularly when it makes a planned push behind the co-op and co-branded ad collateral this summer, when its 2017 product lines are introduced. Continue Continue reading "Swapping Ski Audiences: K2 Gives Retailers Access to Its Visitors"

Google Admits Brand Safety Is a Global Problem

Matt Brittin, Google's president of business and operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, apologized today for the brand safety issues affecting advertisers and acknowledged that the problem which has until now been focused on the U.K. is a global issue. Speaking at the opening day of Advertising Week Europe, he said, "This is a good opportunity for me to say sorry, this should not have happened, and we need to do better." Today, retailer Marks & Spencer was the latest U.K. marketer to pull its ads from Google because of extremist content fears. Over the weekend, three of Britain's biggest banks HSBC, Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland did the same. Continue reading at

Here Are the Podcasts That Influencers Turn to for Inspiration

With a wealth of insight on every topic imaginable, podcasts are becoming almost as popular as music as a source for inspiration. We asked some adland decision-makers to share their top podcast picks for helping to foster creativity. Britt Dougherty, VP-Consumer Insights and Engagement, MillerCoors NPR's "How I Built This." I'm always looking for things that help me build up my energy reserves. When the earphones come off, I always feel inspired and ready to take on the world. Continue reading at