Why the Industry Needs a Gut-Check on Location Data Use

Last year, ads for Goodwill were served to people whose mobile phones had been spotted at thrift shops or second-hand stores in the past. The goal was to convince people who were cleaning out their closets and drawers to consider donating some of their rarely-used stuff to the charity group, and to raise awareness about its education and work training programs. Seems harmless, right? It was one of a growing number of examples of what some mobile ad tech firms are calling Location Data 2.0. Location data isn't just about being somewhere right this instant anymore. Today, mobile ad firms and location data players have expanded their offerings to include targeting and campaign measurement services that employ location data gathered over time, showing the patterns of people's actual whereabouts. Did a mobile device show up in several fast food joints in the past month? Do people often stop at Continue reading "Why the Industry Needs a Gut-Check on Location Data Use"

Desktop and Mobile Ad Revenue Surpasses TV for the First Time

Step aside, TV and desktop: Digital advertising revenue surged nearly 22% to $72.5 billion for the 2016 calendar year, up from the $59.6 billion reported in 2015, the Interactive Advertising Bureau said Thursday in a report prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Although it marks eight consecutive record breaking years, the IAB's report represents the first time mobile has overtaken desktop spending, and the first time digital as a whole has passed TV ad spend. Here are five takeaways from this year's report. Continue reading at AdAge.com

Can Mark Wahlberg’s New AT&T Campaign Stem Customer Losses?

Mark Wahlberg says "the entertainment-loving people of America" should be able to watch their favorite TV when and how they want in a new campaign for AT&T that pulls together the telco giant's various offerings. The campaign, called "Terms & Conditions," pitches AT&T's DirecTV, internet service and wireless service by describing how customers can stream shows and live TV across their devices using AT&T with unlimited data. "We don't want just some of our television on [the phone], we want all of it -- all our favorite shows and live channels. Even C-SPAN," Wahlberg says in one spot as he and actor and comedian Rob Corddry tuck a dozing politician in with a pillow and blanket. Then, he whispers: "A valuable and underappreciated public service." Continue reading at AdAge.com

Fans of China’s Teen Stars Are Crowdsourcing Big Ad Buys To Prove Their Devotion

When Chinese boy band singer Karry Wang turned 17 a few months ago, fans congratulated him by buying ads. Lots of ads. They booked time on 11 giant screens in Times Square in New York. In China, they put his face on a helicopter and on a light rail train. They bought outdoor ads in Paris, Seoul, Beijing, Taipei and Reykjavik. Altogether, fans probably spent over $15 million on Wang, the lead singer in Chinese boy band TFBoys, said Ruey Ku, a Publicis Media exec in Shanghai. And that was not an isolated case. For Chinese fans, buying out-of-home ads has become a common way of showing devotion for their favorite stars -- a media-savvy, big-budget twist on the teenage tradition of taping posters over your bed. Chinese fans finance ad campaigns on crowdsourcing platforms, by selling T-shirts or making coffee-table books of photos shot by fans. Often, there's a Continue reading "Fans of China’s Teen Stars Are Crowdsourcing Big Ad Buys To Prove Their Devotion"

IAB Chief ‘Can’t Deal With This Shit,’ Demands Members Join TAG

The digital ad business has made another move to regain the high ground, when the Interactive Advertising Bureau ordered all of its members to register with the anti-fraud Trustworthy Accountability Group. TAG was conceived in 2015 by the American Association of Advertising Agencies, the Association of National Advertisers and the Interactive Advertising Bureau to act as a stamp of approval for ad sellers. While about 100 of the 450 publishers, ad tech firms and ad exchanges in the IAB have already registered with TAG, industry fears about ad fraud continue to plague the business. Continue reading at AdAge.com

Ad Industry Powers Consider Adopting Ad Blocking on a Wide Scale

The biggest players in advertising and tech are mapping out a strategy to kill off the digital ads that have been deemed as the absolute worst by consumers. The most likely approach is the adoption of a "technology" -- the term "ad blocker" has baggage among many of the participants in talks on the subject -- that would prevent browsers such as Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge from displaying autoplaying video ads with sound, pop-up ads and ads that quickly flash or change colors. The discussions are taking place among members of the industry's Coalition for Better Ads, including Google, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, WPP's ad-buying giant GroupM, Facebook, Thomson Reuters, The Washington Post, the Interactive Advertising Bureau and the Association of National Advertisers, according to Chuck Curran, counsel to the coalition and attorney at Venable LLP. Continue reading at AdAge.com

Financial Times Says Paid Posts Up 400% Following Acquisition of Alpha Grid

For the first time in its 129-year history, the Financial Times said digital advertising revenue has surpassed print. The company credits a chunk of its success to content marketing studio Alpha Grid, which it acquired a controlling stake in last June. The Alpha Grid acquisition was part of a larger trend among premium publishers last year, as many looked to bolster their bottom line by acquiring digital agencies who specialize in areas like branded content, targeting or creative. Gannett, for example, purchased ReachLocal for $158 million and the New York Times paid $21 million for HelloSociety and another $11 million for Fake Love, according to global marketing consultancy R3. Time Inc. and Vice also made similar acquisitions totaling $50 million. Continue reading at AdAge.com