News Update: Week of May 25, 2020

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

The theme of this third edition: summer 2020 — a vacation from the ordinary.

As many publishers navigate the postponement of Summer Olympics ad revenue, the shifting landscape of U.S. presidential election ads, and new realities of summer travel promotion, others see bright opportunities to promote summer supplies and virtual experiences. We explore what’s new under the sun — including new ‘summer games’ — plus a few more topics we’re discussing.

What we’re reading

  • Alternative Summer Travel Plans
    With U.S. programmatic travel ad spending down 79% in April, Digiday reports on how travel publishers are pivoting to more inspirational content, including cooking classes, virtual tours — and, of course, vacation-themed Zoom backgrounds. As stay-at-home orders gradually ease, Street Fight sees opportunities for local travel and regional targeting, leveraging first-party data across OTT, podcasts, social media channels, and more.
  • A New Definition of Summer Madness
    The International Olympic Committee postponed the Tokyo Summer Games until next July — after NBCUniversal had sold 90% of its inventory for this year’s event. This, plus the suspension of NBA, MLB, and NHL games, and the NCAA’s cancelation of its March Madness tournament, have led sports publishers to team up to salvage lost revenue — and Beeswax CEO Ari Paparo to create an #adtechmadness tournament on Twitter, complete with brackets, eliminations, and trash talking. Ari shared his inspiration this week via email:

    “This was borne out of quarantine-related boredom. Ad tech is a funny business because it is incredibly complex, but no one takes it too seriously. It is like Wall Street without money. Or politics without elections. Or March Madness without basketball.”

  • Cruel Summer for Tech Giants
    While many are planning summer staycations, Google, Facebook, and other tech giants are planning for what Axios calls a “long hot summer of antitrust.” Various federal and state authorities, including the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission, are set to investigate Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon for competitive practices.
  • Presidential Politics Heat Up
    With the absence of political rallies, and this summer’s party conventions in limbo, U.S. presidential politics — and political ads — are heating up online. AdExchanger’s James Hercher examines which campaign might benefit and CNBC reports on two new Democratic proposals that may limit how both campaigns target potential voters using microtargeting tactics.
  • New Ways to Stock Up on Summer Essentials
    As more people cook at home and buy groceries online, more publishers are launching new ways to promote summer grilling supplies and more. This week, MediaPost reported on Instagram’s new self-serve ad platform, which features sponsored products in search results, and Adweek examined Pinterest’s efforts to pin more retail revenue with shoppable ads. Criteo also made headlines with the launch of its new self-serve platform, which AdExchanger says “lets data-poor CPGs target audiences against retailer transaction data and first-party cookies.” (Related: Our take on eCommerce)

What we’re writing

  • The new ad products mentioned above are just a few of the releases we’ve seen this spring. We’re working on an article that will share key highlights and takeaways for publishers.
  • Monday marked the second anniversary of GDPR enforcement, so we’re asking industry experts for their thoughts on the landmark privacy law’s impact. Watch for our upcoming roundup — and see below if you’d like to contribute!
  • What we’re discussing

    • Privacy Screen: Share Your DL on the GDPR

      Question: Two years into the GDPR, has the law changed how you think about data privacy — or was the expense and race to compliance more hype than help for publishers and users?

      Email me by next Friday, June 5 with 1-3 short paragraphs (plus your bio and headshot).

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Jane O'Hara

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