Good news, fake news: The media’s fight for encryption – and against misinformation

According to reports, senior figures in the Trump administration held a meeting last month to consider whether to pursue legislation outlawing end-to-end encryption on US-made messaging apps.

While the ultimate outcome of the meeting is yet to be seen, it brings to light a serious question that we all - governments, consumers and businesses - need to ask ourselves: what do we lose when private messaging is truly private?

On the one hand, end-to-end encryption means that...

By Dan Levy, 15 August 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Attribution, Best Practice, Publishing.

Users ‘readily recognise’ importance of advertising – but don’t disable adblockers by default

Consumer expectations remain higher than ever when it comes to advertising – or rather, the lack of it. As a result, publishers have had to resort to stronger tactics.

We notice you’re using an ad blocker, the website says, with varying degrees of politeness. We also know everyone hates ads, it continues, but unfortunately our employees do need to feed and clothe their children so we were wondering if you’d be so...

By James Bourne, 16 April 2019, 1 comment. Categories: Advertising, Advertising Technology, Publishing.

Five things to consider when planning an app: Usage, UX, and more

The app designing process will be a bumpy road if you don’t take a methodical approach. Your business doesn’t just need an app: it needs a user-friendly app that provides substantial value. If you know you want an app, then break out the whiteboard and start drafting out your plan.

There are some vital considerations you’ll have to make during the formative stages of mobile app development to assure that...

To Google, or not to Google: Why collaboration is vital for the future digital ecosystem

Opinion In a double clampdown, Google has capped the campaign data available to advertisers and the inventory they can buy — thereby severely restricting their flexibility to deliver successful campaigns to consumers.

Its decision to block use of the DoubleClick ID when transferring data between services has left advertisers in the dark — unable to connect the dots between campaign insights held...

A guide to digital communications for cockroaches and unicorns alike

As a long-time fan, I was delighted to see that bakery firm Greggs had recently hit £1bn in revenue. As a brand with ballsy comms, solid stunts and tasty baked goods, the recognition is well-earned. Now, over the course of our years in PR, we’ve come across many a high-growth firm and even represented our first travel service unicorn, Klook, last year.

At the same time, many of our firms are born and bred in the...

By Christian Sharp, 29 March 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Branding, Content Marketing, Publishing, Social Media Marketing.

A look ahead for marcomms in 2019: The technological advances that will hold the key to success

What a year 2018 was. From the early-year challenges of declining trust in all aspects of life, exacerbated by fake news, to the introduction of GDPR all alongside the ever-shifting marcomms sand, it’s been a wild ride.

The thing which really struck me about 2018 is the demonstration of the martech industry’s value through this year’s big acquisitions and mergers.

By Abe Smith, 07 January 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Branding, Publishing.

Bid Caching – An innovation in programmatic or reopening the trust wound?

Last month, there was another brouhaha in the programmatic ad world. It was revealed that was a new ad-buying practice was happening and apparently very few people knew that it is going on.

Devised by the ad marketplace Index Exchange and hailed as the latest innovation in programmatic bidding we discovered a practice called ‘bid caching’. New technology that was designed to reduce latency, thereby creating faster ad serving. It...

By Oliver Gold, 12 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Best Practice, Programmatic, Publishing.

Google now allows ad buyers to exclude publishers without ads.txt

Google announced yesterday that customers of its Display & Video 360 services (formerly DoubleClick Bid Manager) can now select to only run campaigns on publishers with ads.txt authorised inventory, excluding those that aren’t compliant.

Ads.txt is a standard introduced by the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Tech Lab (IAB) to combat ad fraud through domain spoofing. By adding an ads.txt file to their sites, publishers are able to list the exchanges and networks that are authorised to sell...

By Mark Jones, 27 July 2018, 1 comment. Categories: Advertising, Best Practice, Publishing.

What’s next for attribution when two-thirds of cookies are rejected?

In the early days of digital advertising, hopes were high that the industry was entering a new era of accountability. And, for a while, it did. When everyone used one browser and one device, tracking tools such as the cookie functioned as a viable approximation of individuals that powered accurate measurement and attribution.

However, times have changed.  

Not only do consumers make their activity harder to trace by using multiple connected devices — at least three per...

By Peter Falcone, 25 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Attribution, Personalised Marketing, Publishing.

How to let influencer marketing ease the death of display ads

What do shag carpets, landlines, and display advertising all have in common? The heyday for each has long since passed. And in the case of display ads, a shiny and new alternative — one that blends word-of-mouth buzz with high frequency — has emerged: influencer marketing.

It’s easy to understand why influencers have more reach than website banners or YouTube adverts. Our company did a joint study with Nielsen on consumer conduct, and we found that

Why design-driven companies cut through to customers

Twenty years ago Joseph Pine and James Gilmore welcomed us all to the “Experience Economy” in the Harvard Business Review (HBR). They claimed that ‘services’ alone were not enough to satisfy experience-hungry consumers, and that “staging experiences” would generate more value. Although the examples they used were more physical experiences (aka Niketown) than digital experiences, they had rightly identified a pivotal moment in history.

One month after the HBR article was...

By Adrian Gans, 26 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Branding, Customer Experience, Publishing.

The HTTPS deadline and what it means for your website

2018, the year of deadlines. Or, more specifically, the year of internet security deadlines. It turns out that the EU isn’t the only entity setting deadlines for us to up our online security game. Now, Google is throwing its weight around too. 

Google has slowly been encouraging stronger security practices over the past few years. Earlier this year, Google announced a deadline for websites to upgrade from HTTP to HTTPS. That deadline is almost upon us: July 2018.

But what’s the difference...

By Howard Williams, 26 June 2018, 1 comment. Categories: Publishing, Search Marketing.

Mobile advertising to win third of global budgets by 2020

Mobile advertising is on track to account for 30.5% of global spend by 2020 to total $187bn (£142bn), according to Zenith’s Advertising Expenditure Forecasts, published yesterday (June 19).

That figure is more than double the $88bn spend predicted on desktop advertising and just $5bn shy of television. By 2021, however, mobile advertising is expected to “comfortably” overtake TV.

This cosmic rise is a direct result of consumers switching out the desktop for the anywhere-anytime...

By Mark Jones, 19 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Mobile Marketing, Publishing.

Podcasts reeled in $314m in ad spend last year, finds IAB

Popularised by titles such as Serial, Stuff You Should Know and Ted Radio Hour, the humble podcast raked in $314m (£235m) in ad spend throughout 2017 in the US, according to new research by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PwC US.

That’s an 86% hike on 2016, while the study forecasts revenues on the channel to hit $659 million by 2020.

Of the self-reported data provided by top podcast companies in the study - including Audioboom, How Stuff Works and ESPN Radio - revenue for 2017 sat at...

By Mark Jones, 13 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Branding, Content Marketing, Publishing, Video & Audio Marketing.

Instagram could be targeting YouTube’s influencer bucks with 60-minute videos

Instagram is rumoured to be rolling out long-form video in what could be a play by Facebook to poach a growing portion of ad spend from YouTube, owned by arch-rival in ad tech Google.

While Instagram currently supports hour-long live streams, videos are capped at just 60 seconds, but unnamed sources speaking to WSJ say this could be extended to 60 minutes, which could make the photo-sharing platform a whole lot more attractive to influencers.

The news comes despite Instagram already becoming the dominant force of...

Buzzfeed sheds further 20 staff in continued move towards programmatic

Buzzfeed is reportedly laying off a further 20 of its staff in part of a reorganisation of its business, as it looks to recover from a loss-making 2017.

The announcement follows the publisher severing 100 employees last year - or 6% of its workforce - when it reported a £3.3m loss, owed in large part to its move away from native advertising.

The company will in turn be hiring a further 45 employees to its business team equipped...

By Mark Jones, 08 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Programmatic, Publishing.

Google scraps 12-vendor cap on GDPR consent tool for publishers

With the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) now in full swing, Google has made a surprising u-turn on its consent management platform (CMP) policy.

The Alphabet-owned search giant has scrapped what was a 12-vendor limit for publishers that used its Funding Choices CMP, used to gain the consent of users to access their data to improve ad personalisation in line with new European data regulations.

The former policy was applied based on tests by Google which found users are more likely to opt-in when...

By Mark Jones, 08 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Data-driven marketing, Publishing.

Native ad leader Outbrain acquires AdNgin for automated ad content optimisation

New York-based native ad firm Outbrain has acquired AdNgin, a UI (user interface) optimisation specialist built to enhance the reader experience.

The buyout - made for an undisclosed fee - marks the sixth for Outbrain since its founding in 2006, including the more recent purchases of content discovery platforms Zemanta and Revee as part of the company’s aggressive growth efforts and continued leadership in the native advertising sector. 

According to the announcement, Outbrain was attracted to...