Recent quotes:

Angst Among Digital Media CEOs as Ads Fall: Is It Time to Sell? - Bloomberg

“You need to have a unique audience, a unique advertising proposition and unbelievable creative,” said Doug Rozen, chief digital and innovation officer at OMD, part of the advertising company Omnicom Group Inc. “If you can deliver those three things, you are going to find yourself on the better end of the spectrum, or at least the survival end.”

I Helped Create Facebook's Ad Machine. Here's How I'd Fix It | WIRED

But modern digital advertisers constantly tweak and experiment with ads. When big brands requested the ability to post lots of different creative, it posed a real problem. Brands wanted to show a dozen different ad variations every day, but they didn’t want to pollute their page (where all posts necessarily appear). ‘Dark posts’ were a way to shoehorn that advertiser requirement into the Pages system, allowing brands to create as many special, unseen posts as they’d like, which would only be seen by targeted audiences in their Feeds, and not to random passers-by on their page. The unfortunate term ‘dark post’ assumed a sinister air this past election, as it was assumed that these shady foreign elements, or just certain presidential candidates, were showing very different messages to different people, engaging in a cynical and hypocritical politicking. Zuckerberg’s proposes, shockingly, a solution that involves total transparency. Per his video, Facebook pages will now show each and every post, including dark ones (!), that they’ve published in whatever form, either organic or paid. It’s not entirely clear if Zuckerberg intends this for any type of ad or just those from political campaigns, but it’s mindboggling either way. Given how Facebook currently works, it would mean that a visitor to a candidate’s page—the Trump campaign, for instance, once ran 175,000 variations on its ads in a single day—would see an almost endless series of similar content.

I Helped Create Facebook's Ad Machine. Here's How I'd Fix It | WIRED

To prevent rogue advertisers, Facebook will monitor all ad creative for political content. That sounds harder than it is. Take alcohol advertising, for example, which nearly every country in the world regulated heavily. Right now, Facebook screens every piece of ad creative for anything alcohol-related. Once flagged, that content goes into a separate screening workflow with all the varied international rules that govern alcohol ads (e.g. nothing in Saudi Arabia, nothing targeted to minors in the US, etc.). Political content would fall into a similar dragnet and be triaged accordingly. As it does now, Facebook would block violating ad accounts, and could use account meta-data like IP address or payment details to prevent that advertiser from merely creating another account. It would be a perpetual arms race, but one Facebook is well-equipped to win, or at least keep as a stalemate. Zuckerberg’s video shows commitment to waging that war.

I Helped Create Facebook's Ad Machine. Here's How I'd Fix It | WIRED

Code-named KITTEN, it ingested all manner of user data—Likes, posts, Newsfeed shares—and disgorged that meal as a large set of targetable "keywords" that advertisers would choose from, and which presumably marked some user affinity for that thing (e.g. "golf," "BMW," and definitely nothing about burning humans).

Mommy Blogging jumped the shark

I hosted dozens of giveaways sponsored by brands wanting me to promote their products. I gained hundreds and then thousands of email subscribers, and social media followers, by requiring a follow in exchange for a giveaway entry. I used social media management services to connect with similar bloggers on twitter and instagram, and then unfollow those who didn’t return the follow. I paid a virtual assistant to post my links in round ups all over the internet, for back links and extra traffic. I joined blog directory sites, where asking readers for clicks sends you to the top of the list, and some PR intern googling “mom blogs” then finds you when they want someone to review their product. I sent out my media kit with embellished stats and highlights about my ‘targeted audience of mothers who make purchasing decisions for their household’ and negotiated my rates for free products and paid reviews. I made thousands of dollars during months I was focusing and working hard to dig through box after box of shitty as-seen-on-tv like products and share “my 100% honest opinion” about them, that weren’t at all influenced by the page after page of “key messages” the brand requested that I include in my review. You won’t find most of those posts on this blog today. They aren’t gone forever, and I do plan to revive some of them. But for the most part, they are dead and I want them to stay buried forever. Because, like 90% of the fake nonsense I used to share on the internet as a mommy blogger writing about my fake life and oh-so-happy marriage, they are pure bullshit.

NoTrove Malware is Killing Ad Network - PACEDm.com - Performance Marketing Insider

They are then displayed on unsuspecting websites through a variety of methods. This might include poor website management or using hacked credentials to take over a website. More effective is the breaking into established advertising networks and using them to place ads on thousands of small business websites and blogs. In February RiskIQ reported that advertising networks from Google, AOL and Rubicon were among those hacked into. This allows malvertising from the like of NoTrove to be placed on large numbers of websites including those of very large companies.

Ad targetting at Facebook

occasionally, if used very cleverly, with lots of machine-learning iteration and systematic trial-and-error, the canny marketer can find just the right admixture of age, geography, time of day, and music or film tastes that demarcate a demographic winner of an audience.

'Buying Traffic Is The Way Of The Future,' Says CEO Who Made $400,000 From A Single Slideshow Last Year | AdExchanger

But getting that $400,000 required buying about $200,000 of native ads to drive traffic to the content. Topix gets readers to consume slideshows by buying native ads on Facebook, Yahoo, Outbrain and Taboola. Think of Topix as a content arbitrage company. It has developed technology that allows it to buy clicks for cheap, knowing that its slideshow format will let it make more than what it paid for that initial click. Topix profits from the spread between what it pays in advertising and what it earns in advertising. CEO Chris Tolles defends his model, arguing that similar pubs create clickbait while he creates quality content. For example, that $400,000 slideshow? “23 Hilarious Hipster Wedding Trends That Need To Stop.”

Over 80% of online ad effect is on offline sales -- ScienceDaily

For two weeks, Yahoo! users in the experiment's treatment group saw branded apparel ads from the retailer whereas users in the control group saw ads for Yahoo! Search. Relative to the baseline established by the control group, the experiment showed that the retailer's campaign increased sales by 3.6 percent or roughly three times the retailer's spending on ads. Reiley said, "This apparel retailer approached us with an interesting problem: 'How do I know if my online ads work when 90 percent of my sales are offline?'"

First of Three Signs of the Adpocalypse | LinkedIn

Ad fraud is larger than anyone thought. The first of three signs of the impending adpocalypse has already been revealed - video ad fraud. It was far larger than anyone thought. There will be two more signs revealed in the coming year -- mobile ad fraud is larger than anyone thought; and ad fraud in China, India and other younger programmatic countries will be so pervasive it almost cannot be believed.

Why a Membership Model? - Political Wire : Political Wire

as publishing moved to the Internet and digital ads evolved, the incentives grew out of whack. Publishers no longer have a direct relationship with most advertisers. Instead they increasingly use ad networks. These ad networks pool an audience across thousands of different publications and websites. Advertisers tell the networks what audience they want to target and their ads are shown wherever those readers happen to be visiting. What does this mean? Publishers no longer have direct relationships with advertisers so they try to make themselves as attractive to ad networks as they can. This often means sharing personal data about their readers and resorting to other reader unfriendly tactics to show as many ads as they can. Advertisers no longer care about individual publications since their audience may come from thousands of different sites. To make matters worse, the Internet has a virtually unlimited inventory of ad space which drives prices down to ridiculously low prices. This often leads to ads that are in very poor taste. The membership model is much more direct and honest. Publishers are directly accountable to their readers. That’s it.

Two years after buying Elite Daily, the Daily Mail says the Facebook publisher is worthless - Recode

The owner of the Daily Mail, the publisher that bought Elite Daily in January 2015, says the New York-based startup has been a bust, and has written down all of its investment in the money-losing company, citing “poor performance.” It is taking a $31 million loss in the process. […] “audience retention and revenue growth have been disappointing and losses have exceeded expectations,” leading to the write-off.

Confessions of an Instagram Influencer - Bloomberg

That night, I signed up for a service recommended to me by Socialyte called Instagress. It’s one of several bots that, for a fee, will take the hard work out of attracting followers on Instagram. For $10 every 30 days, Instagress would zip around the service on my behalf, liking and commenting on any post that contained hashtags I specified. (I also provided the bot a list of hashtags to avoid, to minimize the chances I would like pornography or spam.) I also wrote several dozen canned comments—including “Wow!” “Pretty awesome,” “This is everything,” and, naturally, “[Clapping Hands emoji]”—which the bot deployed more or less at random. In a typical day, I (or “I”) would leave 900 likes and 240 comments. By the end of the month, I liked 28,503 posts and commented 7,171 times.

Google and Facebook are booming. Is the rest of the digital ad business sinking? - Recode

Kint estimates that Google, which saw its ad revenue grow 22 percent in the first half of the year, accounted for 60 percent of the ad market’s year-over-year growth, while Facebook, which grew 67 percent, accounted for 43 percent of the growth. That’s a total growth of 103 percent, if you’re keeping score. Which means that the rest of the industry collectively shrank.

Mo Pageviews, Mo Problems

In 2006, the New York Times boasted that its website drew an average of 12 million unique visitors a month. Today, it has 78 million. Salon, which had a mere 3 million unique visitors back then, now has 17 million. During the same time, the Guardian’s readership skyrocketed from 15.7 million to 120 million. Fat lot of good it did them.

Bernie's record online ads

The Sanders campaign spent more on digital advertising than all federal races combined in 2008. […]

Good luck suckers

Independent media is just becoming an impossible business. If you’re trying to run a content business and you’re not named Apple, Google, Facebook or Amazon, good luck to you. You’re going to need it.

Confessions of a social media exec on influencer marketing: 'We threw too much money at them' - Digiday

Social team is a bunch of millennials, so we’ll often find someone we like and we’ll throw it into a database with keywords. But usually it’s a CEO or CMO or whoever saying, “Oh, my kid likes this guy.” At this major car brand I worked for, we paid $300,000 for a few photographs because the CEO’s kid liked someone.

Google AMP Is Also A Mobile Ads Revolution

“There are basically two ways to address the questions of AMP applied to ads”, said Craig DiNatali, who is director of news and magazines partnerships at Google in New York. “You can have creative units based on AMP which render ad formats in the same way AMP contents pages are rendered. In such case, we have an AMP format within an AMP Frame”. This options comes with several problems such as the reporting of elements that goes beyond a simple count of pages views. This is because advertisers and media buying agencies rely on complicated metrics to measure the impact of ad formats that are mostly sold on performance. This leads to another, much easier to implement solution: providing tools to build advertising landing pages with images and information, all AMP-compliant. Also, in order to invest time and money in AMPed ad formats, creative agencies need to be convinced that the visual potential of the accelerated format will remain the same, or even that AMP will offer more attractive alternatives.

Programmatic pays off for P&G

P&G is seeing "three to five times greater ROI through programmatic buying than we are through traditional environments."

An old-school reply to an advertiser’s retro threat

And most troubling of all, as head of marketing, you are likely to have an interest in ensuring that the company’s advertising message reaches the right audience. Assuming the decision to advertise in the FT was right in the first place, it would seem crazy — and not in shareholders’ best interests — to change course based on pique.

Ads that build brand boost stock prices

They found that companies that set out to differentiate themselves through brand equity and thus create intangible firm value benefit more from advertising than firms that simply set out to become cost leaders. "They're both very valid strategies. Different companies choose different approaches. They both can be very successful for companies," said Niket Jindal, an assistant professor of marketing at Kelley. "Advertising can increase awareness; it can increase sales regardless," he added. "But it's only for those companies that have a differentiation strategy where advertising's going to build up brand equity ... and shareholder value.

Yahoo: old media redux

At a time when much of the advertising industry is focusing on technology and data to reach ever more specific groups of consumers across the web, Yahoo has instead invested huge sums of money in content and talent geared to the mass market. “It becomes vanilla in a land of not 32, but 5,032 flavors,” said Rob Norman, the chief digital officer of WPP’s GroupM, the world’s biggest buyer of online advertising. “What Yahoo tried to do both with magazines and video was to be old media in the Internet age, and I suspect that that wasn’t the answer.” The result, advertisers say, is that Yahoo has gone out of fashion. And the money is moving away. Yahoo is predicted to take in about $3.4 billion in digital ad revenue this year, or only about 2 percent of the global digital ad market, down from 2.4 percent in 2014, according to eMarketer.

Gawker ad deets

The Automated Advertising group—which includes commerce, promotions and partnerships with native advertising networks and external platforms—has nearly doubled in revenue in 2015. Commerce is set to generate $150m this year for merchant partners.

Lexus geeks out over viral content

Ever wonder why certain videos, memes, or photos suddenly seem to be everywhere, while most others get, like, nine views? As it turns out, social psychology is the driving force behind what dominates your newsfeed. This first entry in the Accelerated Ideas video series, sponsored by Lexus, provides an under-a-minute master class in why — and how quickly — things go viral, including one controversial white and gold garment. This post is a sponsored collaboration between Lexus and Studio@Gawker.

Adblocking ahead

Another, recent report from Adobe and PageFair, a service that attempts to monetize users who block ads, estimated that sixteen percent of people in the US block ads. In some pockets of the internet, the rate of adblocking has always been high—according to Adobe and PageFair, 26.5 percent of people who visit gaming websites block ads, and at a tech website I used to work at, even five years ago, the rate hovered around thirty percent—but according to the Adobe report, usage of adblocking software has grown forty-eight percent in the US over the last year.