Ad Tech Weekly Roundup

A look at how last week’s news affects mobile publishers…

Facebook Is Reinstating Reach Estimates in Custom Audiences after Fixing a Security Flaw
Facebook is bringing back reach estimates for lists that get uploaded to its Custom Audiences program.

Academic researchers had discovered a vulnerability and the metric was suspended last March. In short, researchers could determine the rounding threshold (the point at which Facebook’s system would round up to create an estimate). Someone could ascertain gender or country or any one of more than 1,000 targeting attributes. They could do this by adding an email to the list, selecting an attribute and checking if the reach estimate went up or stayed the same. Anyone diligent enough could use this information to build fairly detailed customer profiles.

Facebook has responded to the problem by making the rounding logic more complex for how estimates are displayed; improving the backend detection process for potential misuse, and limiting the number of audiences and API calls that a single account can have. Facebook will re-introduce this new version of reach estimates on a randomized basis through the end of the year. The company says it had many advertisers were clamoring to be able to use the metric again and claims that nobody took advantage of the vulnerability.

ID5 Integrates With Prebid as Ad Tech’s Identity Wars Persist
Programmatic players outside of Amazon, Facebook and Google have been offered a way to pool their targeted media offerings around fewer identifiers in an effort to rival the scale that walled gardens provides.

By making its matching technology available through integration with Prebid.js, a company known as ID5 claims it can rival the scale of the “big three” with its independent identifier which will also reduce the sector’s reliance on third-party cookies.

ID5 claims that publishers using Prebid.js can “retrieve its ID, store it on a first-party cookie and then pass it along to their demand partners via a simple on-page configuration.” This would then make it easier for media buyers and sellers to match audiences to relevant brands which would help both publishers and advertisers financially.

The Four Phases of In-Housing and how it will Change the Future of Ad Tech
How advertisers execute media and work with their agencies is changing as brands are taking ownership of media buying in some form or another. In-housing will continue to grow. According to a recent IAB Europe report, 86% of programmatic active brands have an in-house capability, with 39% of them having completely in-housed.

Many experts feel these changes are all for the good and will create a more exciting and dynamic industry. Media strategy, measurement and budget assignment will be led by clients in the future. The changes in agency mix will put lot of pressure on the large holding groups. But it’s expecting the best parts of those businesses to continue to thrive, but we will see a shift to smaller agencies and a new breed of suppliers.

It is not a new phenomenon but it is accelerating. It is changing a world where buying power ruled the day and skills were largely only within traditional advertising agencies.

Consumers Dislike Targeted Ads, Resent Privacy Intrusion
Despite the say-so of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, a new survey reveals that, at least in the U.S., a majority of folks are not thrilled with targeted ads and are becoming more sensitive to perceived privacy intrusions.

Ogury , a London-based mobile tech startup, surveyed 140,000 U.S. mobile users and found that 79% consider targeted ads to be “annoying.” For a long time, marketers, publishers and platforms have argued that consumers want more relevant ads and have used that position to justify aggressive data-tracking.

But instead, 55% of the U.S. respondents felt that intrusive and irrelevant ads reflect poorly on the apps or mobile websites carrying them. Yet, the survey also found 82% of users preferred to receive marketing messages through mobile ads or emails when given a choice.

The Public Wants to See Tougher Punishment for Firms that Breach Data Privacy
In another survey of UK adults, 71 percent want to see authorities come down harder on tech firms that abuse their data, calling for tougher penalties on those that misuse third-party data. The survey was conducted by YouGov, and also found that 89 per cent support the British government’s recent calls for a code of ethics to oversee social media companies.

Other findings: 34 percent of people have made changes to the privacy settings on one or more of their social media accounts since Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal; 19 percent said they would make more privacy changes in the future; and 44 per cent of consumers have become more concerned about how their data is used by third parties in general.

However, despite the concerns surrounding their data privacy, just 12 per cent of respondents have cancelled one or more of their social media accounts since the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

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