Is Facebook Security App Onavo A Trojan Horse For Mobile Data?; IPG CEO Roth Optimistic On CPG Spend

Here’s today’s AdExchanger.com news round-up… Want it by email? Sign up here.

Protect And Serve

Facebook quietly embedded an app-install link from its iOS app menu to Onavo, a VPN app for malware security Facebook acquired in 2013. Users who click “Protect” in the Facebook navigation bar are sent to the app page. But data security is only one aspect of Onavo’s mobile network. It also allows the parent company “to monitor user activity across apps, giving Facebook a big advantage in terms of spotting new trends across the larger mobile ecosystem,” writes Sarah Perez at TechCrunch. Onavo was reportedly an important part of Facebook’s quiet reconnaissance of Snapchat Stories usage. And it has helped the company identify fast-growing apps before they reach widespread awareness – like the compliment-sharing app tbh, which Facebook acquired last fall, absorbed into its main platform and then let wither on the vine. More.

Cautiously Optimistic

IPG reported solid Q4 earnings Wednesday with organic growth for the quarter up 3.3% to $2.34 billion. For the full year, organic growth was up 1.8% to $7.8 billion. Mediabrands led growth for the quarter with “outstanding performance,” CEO Michael Roth told investors, but the company didn’t break out numbers for the unit. IPG’s CPG client roster, which spent last year slashing marketing budgets, has bounced back a bit. “What we saw in 2017 was not a secular change in our industry,” Roth said. “It was cyclical, it was very client-specific, particularly with certain CPG clients. We’re not raising the flag in terms of taking caution off the perspective, but there’s certainly a better feel out there.” Read the release.  

Thank You Query Much

In 2015, the DSP Getintent did about 300,000 ad queries per second, co-founder and CEO George Levin tells eMarketer’s Ross Benes. Now that number is closer to 2 million queries per second. Computer processing investments were rising already, but header bidding stomped the pedal on that trend because multiple SSPs now bid simultaneously on the same inventory. That has forced many DSPs to trim infrastructure costs even as marketers demand slimmer margins. It’s also led DSPs to take steps to manage query count, such as by reducing duplicate bids or predictively avoiding bids the brand won’t win. More.

FTC Noms Talk Tech

Do giants like Google and Facebook merit tougher regulatory scrutiny? If they breach antitrust laws, the answer is yes, said Joseph Simons, an antitrust lawyer and President Trump’s pick for the new chair of the Federal Trade Commission. During his confirmation hearing on Wednesday, Simon, joined by three other commissioner nominees, told senators that regulating tech companies is about balance: allowing them to provide valued services without suppressing competition. But unlike most sectors of the economy, large tech firms compete across categories, like health care, retail and telecom. “It implores us at the commission to make sure we have the adequate talent and analytical capabilities,” to meet the regulatory challenge, said Rohit Chopra, a former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau official and the lone Democratic nominee. If Trump’s nominees are confirmed by the Senate Commerce Committee, they’ll be subject to a full Senate vote before taking over at the FTC. Want more analysis? Read AdExchanger’s coverage of what this new slate of FTC commissioners means for advertisers.

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