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What’s new in ad tech this November

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Once again we started a new month with native news, but it was a sad tale to hear this time. This is, of course, the news that native ad tech vendor Sharethrough closed all its European operations, making 11 employees redundant. Despite hitting record levels of consented supply, as reported by Digiday who broke the story, it’s suggested GDPR is to blame for the company’s European closure.

Meanwhile, and still going native, Outbrain (which as reported in the October roundup is to be merged with Taboola) is calling for the IAB to redefine viewability to better brand experiences and eliminate wasted ad spend. Outbrain showed 1,000 consumers two ads with 50% of pixels on screen for 2 seconds – the current IAB standard – and then tested their recall. Unsurprisingly, 75% of respondents couldn’t remember the brand they were shown. As part of the same study into viewability, 190 UK digital advertising execs were also quizzed on their thoughts and concerns. While 70% considered viewability as important for their brand awareness campaigns, only 11% thought the current IAB definition was ideal.

Yet the IAB has been busy elsewhere it seems, as the IAB Tech Lab released the first version of its technical specifications for publishers and ad tech companies to comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). With the CCPA due to come into effect at the start of January, the IAB Tech Lab will issue the full framework in the coming weeks. AdExchanger reported on the tech specs in full – important reading for publishers and ad tech providers who may be concerned with the new legislation and want to know more.

It appears that user privacy and consumer data is a contentious topic that keeps on evolving. This month Google announced plans to limit advertisers’ access to user data in a bid to address privacy concerns. From February 2020, the tech giant will stop advertisers from viewing information which breaks down the content of an app or webpage when bidding for display ads. The move would effectively stop advertisers from tying things such as religion and political views to individuals. However, both advertisers and publishers are worried this will only increase Google’s control and dominance in the industry.

Speaking with the Financial Times, Jason Kint, Chief Executive of Digital Content Next said: “This decision will at least enhance the value of first-party data and Google Search is the most dominant place for first-party data, so it will hurt everyone except Google. No company tracks the public across the web and our digital lives more than Google.”

As we enter the festive season, the adtech ecosystem is churning out predictions of where we will be this time next year. Kicking off the predictions for 2020, OOH programmatic trading marketplace, VIOOH, foresees next year as being the year out-of-home programmatic advertising will go mainstream. In its bi-annual State of the Nation report, media agencies claimed they are beginning to change their team structures as they adapt to new ways of building and planning digital campaigns as a result of expected growth in programmatically traded DOOH (Digital Out of Home).   

Also making sure its digital media is kept sweet just in time for Christmas, Nestle announced this month it was setting up an internal programmatic division responsible for setting standards and establishing processes to boost accountability and effectiveness of its digital media. Named the Global Digital Media Center of Competencies (DCoC), the division will include digital experts from four major holding companies; WPP, Publicis, Dentsu, and IPG who will all sit alongside Nestle executives in hubs in the UK and US.

And to round off November, the month comes to a close with yet another acquisition. Ad verification firm Integral Ad Science (IAS) bought ADmantX, the leading provider of NLP semantic-based solutions for contextual advertising. The move brings together ADmantX’s contextual intelligence solutions with IAS’s suite of ad verification products so publishers and advertisers can better match ads with relevant online content. Given that data privacy is about to get even tighter, bolstering tech for contextual advertising isn’t such a bad idea.