AdTech Weekly Roundup

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

‘A Battle for the Top of the Funnel’: Pinterest’s Long Road to Becoming a Commerce Platform
Digiday takes a look at Pinterest’s imminent IPO and discusses new questions about the platform’s role in the future of social commerce.

In the article, Pinterest describes itself “not as a social media company but as the productivity tool for planning your dreams.” What does that mean? Well, Pinterest gives retailers a direct line of sight into what type of items their customers have just bought or are on the hunt for. It also positions itself as an discovery tool, but in order to get people to go from pinning to purchasing, Pinterest will need better commerce tools — and to convince more advertisers that it’s worthy of their time and budget.

The problem in the past for Pinterest has been connecting the dots of what people were pinning to what they could be buying. “Initially helping people buy what they saw on Pinterest meant rolling out a buy button, and allowing advertisers to simply promote a Pin that their product was featured in higher up in a user’s feed. But to become a critical search, discovery and shopping tool for brands and retailers, Pinterest has evolved its monetization strategy far beyond the buy button, adding new ad units over the past couple of years and building new technologies like Pincodes and visual search tools.”

IAB Europe Raises CMP Fee and Readies Consent Framework for an Update
According to AdExchanger, IAB Europe is telling vendors about changes to its consent management platform (CMP) program, which registers companies that collect and manage consent data for publishers. The article the changes are narrowing the gap between its GDPR framework and Google’s GDPR consent standards but they will also be quite expensive.

According to an email shown to AdExchanger, IAB Europe notified CMP vendors that the yearly fee to register as a CMP will increase from about $400 this first year to $1,350. The organization also tightened standards for its Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF) so consent could only be collected by “clear affirmative action of the user.” That means some common tactics like scrolling or clicking elsewhere on a page don’t count as consent.

IAB Europe has confirmed the higher price and the “minor clarification” of its consent policy. They say the price is increasing because the trade group underestimated the costs of the CMP program.

Google Chrome to Tell Users When Sites Try To Collect Data from Phones
MediaPost is reporting a new feature will tell Google Chrome smartphone users when a website is trying to access and collect data transmitted from the sensors inside the phone.

The article says a pop-up will alert the user each time a site tries to access one of the device settings, providing an option to turn it off or block it. However, it’s not clear whether it also detects when an app is trying to obtain data.

MediaPost says the tool has been spotted in a test bed that Google calls Canary, where the company tests potential new features or checks for bugs and code issues. The article claims the process could put a glitch in ad targeting, and even search, “The sensors in the phone provide a wealth of information ranging from location to browsing and buying habits. Google Maps also offers up an itinerary as it tracks places visited until the user goes into their privacy settings to delete it.”

For now the feature, which works in a similar way to an on-and-off switch, blocks all motion and light sensor data. But the plethora of data provides a ton of information to brands that want to serve messages and advertisements.

FTC Orders Broadband Providers to Explain Data Collection Policies
The Wall Street Journal says US federal regulators have widened their inquiry into consumer privacy matters, ordering seven major broadband providers to detail their data collection policies.

Broadband providers were ordered by the Federal Trade Commission (including Comcast, Verizon Communications, and AT&T) to explain why and how they collect consumer data, and whether they give customers a chance to block use of their personal information. The orders are as a first step in a broader investigation. The WSJ says the inquiry could help the agency shape federal rules and enforcement and could also help Congress, as it develops privacy legislation.

Speaking at a telecommunications conference in Washington, FTC Chairman Joseph Simons termed the move to order privacy studies “the first shot out of the box.” The FTC orders require the companies to file detailed special reports on their data-handling and privacy practices within 45 days.

MRC Proposes 100% Viewable Cross-Media Ad Standard, Defers Duration Weighting Until 2021
The Media Rating Council (MRC) has released a draft of its cross-media audience measurement standards, a move MediaPost says is expected to make it easier for advertisers, agencies and their suppliers to measure, account for and compare video ads distributed across platforms from TV to smartphones.

The draft punts on an important and somewhat controversial aspect of the new standards — duration weighting — until 2021 to allow the industry time to adjust to the transition. The draft also sets a new bar for so-called “viewability,” requiring that 100% of the the pixels need to be in view for a video ad to be credited, regardless of the platform it is distributed on.

Another significant development in the proposed standards, according to MediaPost, is that they make 30 seconds the “denominator” for calculating the duration weighted viewable impressions when they become the standard in 2021. The draft will be open for public comments for 60 days before becoming finalized.

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