A retort to Scott Galloway’s digital ad takedown

After Scott Galloway’s brutal analysis of digital advertising – calling it Carcinogenic and predicting its collapse – we had a retort from Business Insiders’s Mike Shields in which he explains why Galloway is wrong.  Whilst Shields agrees with Galloway on the issues within the market – such as ad fraud & bot traffic – those issues don’t stop digital advertising being the incredibly effective medium, and certainly won’t stop ad spend going to digital.

Shields argues that what Galloway is describing is more open web challenges, whilst most spending actually goes towards major platforms (walled gardens) such as Google, Facebook, Amazon etc.  With many publishers looking to replicate the walled garden and direct approaches by developing direct relationships with buyers, the digital ad space could bloom & innovate further still.

There’s some key takeaways to Shields’ piece including:

  • The opportunity for publishers driven by the failed boycotts of Facebook & YouTube, where publishers could provide the alternative.
  • Focus on performance to make publisher alternatives work i.e. advertisers invest in Facebook et al because they see the results in selling their products/services.
  • Big tech have put themselves in a win-win situation – even/especially when third party cookies deprecate – because they sit atop a wealth of data & targeting tools, publishers are catching up.

There’s some great commentary from Derek Slager into the cookieless future of the digital ad space too, covering some of the potential impacts of digital advertising changes including ads, big tech, and the user experience:

targeted advertisements often provide the funding necessary for some of the most popular journalism and content available for free on the internet. Would consumers be willing to sacrifice the free stuff for an ad-free experience? Is the future a fully paywalled internet?

Derek Slager, Co-founder & CTO, Amperity

Identity: UID2 beta in Canada as email IDs under scrutiny; Acxiom teams with Adobe

Email-based identity solution UID2 is now beta testing in Canada having been in beta in the US since March, though email-based identifiers are coming under fire from Google, incoming CCPA enforcement lead Ashkan Soltani, and others.  Digiday reports a number of publisher execs have expressed concerns over email-based IDs – specifically their reliability and privacy credentials.  For instance, many people have multiple email addresses, whilst multiple people could be associated with a single email address (e.g. household subscription to CTV), which could impact effectiveness.

Email is also being used to enhance first party data.  According to LiveIntent / Advertiser Perceptions 63% of marketers intend on growing email lists via newsletters to enhance their first party data.  However, Litmus data alludes to how dominant Apple’s email services are with more than half of marketing emails threatened by iOS15 which could impact the use of email to enhance first party data.

Away from email; the IPG-owned data unit Acxiom is integrating its ID solution with Adobe Experience Platform to improve digital personalization, ad delivery, identify resolution and management. According to Acxiom, those that have used the tech have seen as much as 5x the amount of incremental recognition of authenticated website visitors identified in exposure to paid media campaigns.

🎧Internet’s paid layer & retail media in 2022

Emarketer’s ‘by the numbers’ podcast is always a great source of insights, and this week had some particularly relevant discussions for publishers.  On Monday, there was some insights into the growing number of podcast listeners (505m globally by 2024) and their receptiveness to ads (e.g. 6 out of 10 willing to listen to ads), as well as a discussion around the “internet’s paid layer” with newspapers making more money from subscriptions than ads last year, according to Pew.  You can find the article they reference here some of the research stats here: The age of the a la carte internet.

In Wednesday’s episode emarketer discussed predictions that retail media will be the next big trend due to the growth in ecommerce, with the need to reach customers at the point of purchase.  They estimate that channel advertising will grow 28% to reach more than $24bn this year driven largely by Amazon, whilst the data from retail media could have an impact on many other areas such as CTV.  On the subject of retail media, US grocery store chain Kroger debuted a private programmatic ad marketplace to allow brands to take advantage of their first party capabilities.

Other interesting reads

Publishers future proofing their data sets

For anyone that missed it there’s a Publishing Summit recap of the key themes from Digiday; including how publishers are taking a lead on identity & programmatic, growing revenue opportunities, the need for operational flexibility, workplace culture challenges and more.

News brands offer strong returns

According to research from Newsworks/Benchmarketing brands have boosted their profits by £268m since 2017 by optimising their adspend on news brands, but many are actually missing out on additional ROI by under investing in news brands.

Facebook set for a rebrand?

Reports this week suggest that Facebook will rebrand to take its focus beyond social media and into areas such as the metaverse, AR and VR with Facebook set to lose its social crown to TikTok in 2022.  It comes at a time when Facebook is under increasing scrutiny, added to this week as researchers demonstrated the possibility of using Facebook to target ads exclusively to an individual.

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