News Update: Week of August 31, 2020 | Adzerk

News Update: Week of August 31, 2020

Jane O'Hara
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As our industry evolves and adapts to offer more user-first ad experiences, we’ve seen a rush to create new privacy protocols and brand safety tools.

Many of this week’s headlines reinforce the need to walk before we run — and reinforce this week’s theme: putting safety and security into context.

We’ll explore what’s next (and when) for Apple’s IDFA, how AI failed IAS, the next wave of ad targeting tactics, and more.

What We’re Reading

  • NSF on IDFA
    Not so fast, after all. AdExchanger has covered multiple angles of Apple’s looming IDFA changes this week, including how Google and MoPub are preparing — and how the new opt-in requirement could inadvertently lead to increased ad fraud in Apple’s SKAdNetwork by giving bad actors the perfect cover of Limit Ad Tracking traffic — only to share even bigger news yesterday: the delay of IDFA changes in iOS 14.

    App developers can now opt-out of the IDFA opt-in feature until ‘early next year’ — allowing us a few more months to cover new revelations and speculations from across the industry. (Related: Our expert roundup on how in-app ads will change)
  • Context is Everything
    What’s New in Publishing reports that “contextual is the future,” citing multiple publishers who are leveraging first-party data to improve their contextual targeting tactics — and enjoying higher click-through rates and revenue as a result. Digiday also cites a surge in contextual growth for programmatic publishers such as The New York Times, which now prices most of its contextual tools as it does audience-based tools, and DoubleVerify has announced the beta launch of a new 'custom contextual targeting solution' to ensure more accurate and relevant ad placements. (Related: Our take on why publishers should de-prioritize retargeting features)

    In other targeting news, Facebook has finally (and quietly) pulled its “multicultural affinity” targeting, which many considered racial profiling.
  • No Safety Net
    Those seeking and advocating for brand safety have questioned the context of several ad tech platforms and tools.

    Integral Ad Science (IAS) has pulled its ‘Context Control’ product demo, which BRANDED and Check My Ads (and others) called out for it's not-so-subjective designations of news content. (Related: Our Check My Ads interview below)

    A new study shows a lack of brand safety on TikTok’s ‘Following’ and ‘For You’ pages, citing multiple ad scams, fake endorsements, and more — while Facebook’s in-stream video ads have advertisers feeling skittish despite recent traffic surges.
  • Google Guidelines Come Into Question
    Search Engine Land reports that Google will limit its search term reports to protect user privacy — but advertisers wonder whether their low-volume queries pose real risks.

    Even top-level engineers question Google’s privacy settings. The Verge cites engineers’ confusion about location data privacy, according to newly released documents from a lawsuit against Google’s ad personalization tactics — which still use general location — and offer users no ability to opt-out of ads served via DoubleClick. (Related: Our guide to DoubleClick alternatives)
  • Blocks and Tackles
    As another highly contentious presidential election approaches, Facebook has announced ‘new steps to protect the US elections,’ including blocks on new political ads during the last week of campaigning, labels on posts that make false claims about the election, a voting hub in its News Feed, and more. The New York Times reports that whereas Twitter announced its ban on political ads last year, Facebook has been developing its election plan in recent months. We’ll see if these last-minute attempts to tackle misinformation offer the protection Facebook suggests.

What We’re Writing

What We’re Discussing

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Jane O'Hara

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