Google And FTC Near Settlement; DirecTV Trying To Address

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Google, FTC Search For Settlement

Google and the Federal Trade Commission are said to be hammering out an acceptable fine so they can end their dispute over whether the search giant misrepresented its privacy practices to consumers, the WSJ's Julia Angwin reports. "The amount will likely be around $22 million -- one of the largest fines the FTC has handed down, but a cost that Google will hardly feel." The FTC is focused on a 2009 help center page, "We have now changed that page and taken steps to remove the ad cookies," Google said of the FTC charges. But more than the fine, this action indicates that regulators may be taking a more aggressive stance on the use of tracking cookies for behavioral targeting. Read more (subscription).

DirecTV's Sluggish Signal

The satellite TV provider's addressable ad plans are still taking a little more time than expected to come into focus. Multichannel News' Todd Spangler says that DirecTV now says the national ad targeting features won't fully be rolled out until Q4, making it a year behind schedule. Everything appears to be in place: it's working with Starcom MediaVest Group on buys, Invidi on technology and with major marketers like Purina, Microsoft and Mercedes-Benz on the creative spots. It's not clear what the hold up is, but with all the challenges addressability faces, getting all the bugs out of the system will be necessary until marketers and agencies fully commit.

Oracle Still Buying

On TechCrunch, John Constine covers the pending acquisition of social marketing tech company Involver and writes, "Involver will give Oracle a powerful toolset for helping brands create custom applications." Read more. No word on the price yet. This follows acquisition of Vitrue by Oracle and Buddy Media by Salesforce.com as data-driven enterprise solution providers grasp for social signal. The limited press release states, "nvolver's SML (social markup language) technology is expected to extend Oracle's social platform to help customers..." and read a bit more.

Marketing The DSP

On YouTube, Kellogg's Bob Arnold's keynote address called "Why Ad Exchanges and Demand-Side Platforms Aren't Just for Direct Marketer" has been published on YouTube from MediaPost's recent Brand Marketers summit. Along the way, he provides a "programmatic branding recipe." See it now.

Prospecting or Retargeting

A member of the Akamai Decision Solutions team (remember Acerno?), Avi Spivack, makes an appearance on the Akamai blog. He says, "Remarketing is a hot area of online ad technology, but if you're only using remarketing, you need to expand by including prospecting as part of your overall strategy. You cannot afford to rely on one solution; you need to keep customers and gain new ones." Akamai seems to be looking to fulfill the "prospecting" line item rather than bottom-of-the-funnel retargeting. Read it.

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