Facebook Just Lost a Big Battle to Google for Publishers

Facebook hasn't lost the war against Google for publishers' content, but it looks like it's losing one fight. The company said Thursday that it's created a software extension that lets publishers easily transfer content formatted for its Instant Articles to the No. 1 competition for mobile readers in a hurry, Google AMP. AMP pages load near instantaneously, get prime real estate in Google search results, and have seen widespread adoption from both publishers and ecommerce players such as eBay and 1800Flowers. (Pages that load faster often lead to an uptick in sales.) Continue reading at AdAge.com

What China’s Live Streaming Crackdown Mean for Marketers

Chinese authorities are cracking down on live streaming platforms and video producers this week in a hunt for content deemed too sexy, violent harmful to youth or even superstutious. The Culture Ministry there has said that it shut down 10 hosting platforms entirely. Authorities banned 547 live streamers and ordered 30,235 livestreaming accounts to shut down. There's big money involved in live streaming in China, with Credit Suisse putting the market at over $3.6 billion last year. Brands have been tapping into it too. Business intelligence firm L2 said that about 80% of beauty brands it tracked had used it last year. Continue reading at AdAge.com

ZTE Taps Energy BBDO for Creative Following $900 Million U.S. Sanctions Fine

Two months after ZTE agreed to plead guilty and pay nearly $900 million for violating U.S. sanctions, the Chinese telecom equipment manufacturer has hired Energy BBDO as its creative agency in the U.S., according to people with knowledge of the matter. The shop won the business after a competitive review, which was led by SRI, Ad Age learned. Representatives from Energy BBDO and SRI declined to comment. ZTE, the fourth-largest mobile device supplier in the U.S., declined to comment on the new relationship with Energy BBDO or its U.S. marketing push, but a representative said via email that the company has "some great work and activities coming down the line." Continue reading at AdAge.com

What the Industry’s New Plan to Fight Ad Fraud Gets Wrong — and Right

The Interactive Advertising Bureau's Tech Lab recently released a blueprint of sorts that, in theory, would prevent another Methbot from happening. Methbot, of course, is the ad fraud attack from late last year that has been crowned by some as the biggest in history. (Others disagree.) The IAB's effort, blandly dubbed "ads.txt," has been applauded by both publishers and ad tech vendors as a step in the right direction in the fight against ad fraud. Continue reading at AdAge.com

Bad Locations: WaWa, Walgreens and Others Try to Clean Bad Map Data

About a year ago Amanda Hudson missed her Walgreen's health clinic appointment because Google Maps steered her to the wrong side of Grand Parkway in Katy, Texas. She complained in a Google review and gave the store itself a terrible review for good measure. Far from an anomaly, her experience is an everyday challenge for marketers with numerous locations. It turns out that there's a lot of shoddy information floating around online maps, mobile apps and social pages. "Incorrect data is always a problem," said Kyle Eggleston, a senior analyst on the Walgreens search engine optimization team. "It's a constant struggle." Continue reading at AdAge.com

How Google Plans to Kill ‘Last Click Attribution’

Google says it wants to rid marketers of their obsession with the last click before consumers buy things. Instead it aims to provide insights about how earlier ad dollars perform in areas like TV, digital video, store visits and search. The tech titan separately said it's capable of showing local store hours, directions and inventory levels immediately after commericals on YouTube. A test last year, Google claimed, motivated nearly a million people to visit Wendy's and place an order for a square-shaped hamburger. (Or some nuggs.) The announcements were among a flurry made Tuesday in San Francisco at Google Marketing Next, an annual event to promote the company's plans for ad products, analytics and its DoubleClick ad platform. Continue reading at AdAge.com

How Advertisers Could Be Hurt if Net Neutrality Dies

Net neutrality often remains relegated to conversations among policy wonks and lawyers. However, advertising and media execs have a stake in its fate. A rollback in net neutrality -- essentially the rules preventing internet providers from slowing digital content or charging for preferential treatment -- could be costly. And yet last week, the Federal Communications Commission voted to do just that: The agency has officially begun to unravel Obama-era regulations on internet service providers in a move toward repealing net neutrality regulations. If put into effect, the array of targetable consumer audiences scattered across smaller websites could diminish. Brands with any type of content, from ecommerce sites to brand microsites, could be asked to cough up payments to telcos to enable the quick access to their content they take for granted today. Digital ads could take longer to load. Continue reading at AdAge.com