Now AT&T Halts YouTube Ad Buys Over Brand Safety Concerns

AT&T has halted its advertising with Google for anything but keyword search, becoming the latest major marketer to pull back after an uproar over ads running beside offensive videos on YouTube. "We are deeply concerned that our ads may have appeared alongside YouTube content promoting terrorism and hate," a spokeswoman for AT&T said in a statement. "Until Google can ensure this won't happen again, we are removing our ads from Google's non-search platforms." The controversy erupted last week after the London-based Times newspaper reported that some ads were running with videos that promoted terrorism or anti-Semitism. The U.K. government and the Guardian newspaper pulled ads from the video site and Havas, the world's sixth-largest advertising and marketing company, pulled its U.K. clients' ads from Google and YouTube. Continue reading at

In a Blizzard of Cellphone Promos, McDonald’s Tribute to a Teacher Stands Out on Viral Video Chart

The Viral Video Chart for the week through Monday is dominated, as it is on many weeks, by campaigns for technology products, especially cellphone stuff. There are two distinct campaigns for LG's new G6 phone, a Samsung campaign teasing a new phone and a Verizon effort for its data plan, not to mention the various Google, Intel and Microsoft campaigns racking up views. (The chart, by Visible Measures, tracks both organic views and paid ad views.) But there was also the notable standout of a McDonald's campaign honoring a teacher in the Philippines named Luzminda Santiago, new on the chart at No. 3 and nearly 18 million views. Continue reading at

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