News Update: Week of May 11, 2020

Jane O'Hara

We've started a new weekly newsletter that we'll share hightlights of on our blog.

The theme of this first edition: what’s next.

The huge changes in our daily lives and spending priorities have led to strategic shifts in our industry. We’ll explore where publishers may want to focus their efforts (or proceed with caution), what shape Google’s Privacy Sandbox might take, and other topics we’ve been discussing and debating the past few days.

What we’re reading

  • Sponsor Those Listings: eCommerce is Booming
    Stay-at-home orders have led to a huge influx of online orders for everything from groceries to electronics, according to The New York Times. As publishers look for new ways to boost ad revenue, an eCommerce approach may be a good bet, via BOPIS orders that Adweek covered this week or leveraging first-party data to secure good ad rates from DTC advertisers. (Related: Our recent take on eCommerce)
  • Lack of Transparency: Is Programmatic This Problematic?
    The latest study by the ISBA and Association of Online Publishers reports that only about 12% of programmatic impressions can be traced — and there’s a 15% “unknown delta” on spend that couldn’t be traced to fees (about one-third of the supply chain). The study was covered by multiple sources this week, including The Drum, ExchangeWire, and Digiday — whose Lara O’Reilly sums it up well: “The latest big transparency report again shows ad tech is a mess.”
  • Google Invites Others to Play in the Privacy Sandbox
    Google’s August 2019 challenge to replace third-party cookies has now begun, Digiday reported Wednesday. What has everyone talking (and tweeting about) is Criteo’s SPARROW proposal, which the W3C had its first call to discuss on Monday. As AdExchanger explains, the SPARROW proposal is a response to Google’s TURTLEDOVE privacy framework, which it hopes to add to the Google Privacy Sandbox to create less-intrusive user targeting for a more private and user-friendly Web.

What we’re writing

  • As web users grow tired of intrusive banner ads, many are turning to ad blockers for relief. What impact could these blockers have on your ad delivery — including your native ads? We recently explored desktop ad blocking. Our latest article offers mobile insights: How Do Mobile Ad Blockers Work?
  • New community member Tim Sleath is the head of product management at and the author of a short book on the subject: Software Product Management in the Real World (or, if you’re in London like Tim: here).
  • Current and prospective college students are facing tough decisions. For those looking to pursue tech careers, they may be wondering if a degree is even necessary. We asked four industry pros for their thoughts: College Degree Required? 4 Tech Perspectives on Higher Ed
  • What we’re discussing

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Jane O'Hara

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