Traffic Jam; Compression Acquisition

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Traffic Jam

The problem of fraud could be even worse than people realize, according to a new report from Adweek’s Mike Shields. Along with the usual suspects, there are sites like Crackle and CollegeHumor that may employ robotic means in order to drive traffic, in spite of their well-known brands. Furthermore, companies like Facebook, AOL and Yahoo, which pride themselves on being premium publishers, could also be vulnerable to fraudulent traffic. Most exposed companies claim to be working on solutions, but some of the worst offenders just go on to create new sites and start the process over again. Read more.

Compression Acquisition

Facebook has made an acquisition of a mobile startup from Israel called Onavo that focuses on data compression. ‘‘We expect Onavo’s data compression technology to play a central role in our mission to connect more people to the Internet, and their analytic tools will help us provide better, more efficient mobile products,’’ a Facebook spokesman told The New York Times. As noted in the official press release from Onavo, this acquisition also will help Facebook in its Internet.org initiative to make the Internet more accessible to people around the world. TechCrunch points out that this acquisition could help entice developers much like its purchase of Parse did. Read the story here.

What Should Twitter Do

Twitter’s MoPub acquisition may give it the edge it needs to attract more advertiser dollars as its IPO nears and help Twitter build a broader ad exchange, says the Financial Times. Unlike Facebook, Twitter would allow advertisers to use its data on other sites, rather than just its own. “Advertisers are frustrated that they can’t reach audiences more effectively on their mobile device. Any innovation that makes it easier for advertisers to do that accurately with high-quality data, targeting and measurement has a high chance of being successful,” said Xaxis CEO Brian Lesser. Read more.

Agencies Vs. Ad Tech

Agencies and ad tech are increasingly at odds as vendors and marketers realize they don’t necessarily need the agencies, according to Ad Age. "What we thought was valuable and proprietary [in the agency] -- the algorithms and bidder -- is the most commoditized part [of the business]," said Quentin George, co-founder and principal of Unbound. "The application of data and understanding audiences is where real value is." Read more. Marco Bertozzi, executive managing director of VivaKi EMEA, disagrees with this sentiment and believes the cost of figuring out RTB and then maximizing its benefits is too much for a lot of companies. He created a long list of steps it takes to fully implement RTB and writes, “Advertisers may well do this themselves, and some do, but what I have seen so far are advertisers who say they do it themselves but really then lean on third parties, no different to using a trade desk.” Read his blog post here.

Catching Up With Michael Barrett

Peter Kafka of AllThingsD picks former AdMeld CEO Michael Barrett’s brain in a Q&A about the current state of display advertising. Some of the highlights include Barrett’s belief that Facebook’s data won’t necessarily beat third-party data. Furthermore, a cookieless future would have a negative impact on advertising. “If you look at the rates people are monetizing mobile right now. … Most publishers, if they suddenly had rates plummet on the display side, it would be crushing,” he said. Read the interview here.

Cookie Match

Inside Facebook’s Dennis Yu gets to look at a marketer’s match rates for Facebook’s Custom Audience product and finds a big difference between B2B email lists (20%) and B2C (up to 80%).  A “match” is made when an email address for a user of an ecommerce site is matched to a cookie on Facebook using a user’s Facebook login email. Read it.

Solving For The Times

New York Times CEO Mark Thompson tells a reporter from his own paper that driving yield using an array of offerings is inevitable for the company. The Times’ Christine Haughney writes, “The plans vary from news-based products, like video, mobile apps and expanded international coverage, to tangential revenue producers like one-day conferences and cruises featuring Times reporters and columnists as expert speakers.” Read it.

Calling All Local Advertisers

Location-based social network Foursquare is making its ad platform available to any marketer, according to a company blog post on Monday. It reads, “We’re moving past the days when business owners have to figure out if a ‘like’ or a ‘click’ has any meaning in the real world; now they can tell if someone who saw their ad actually walks into their store. We built this to be simple and flexible, learning from our four years of data and relationships with over 1.5 million claimed businesses.” See a screenshot or two.

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