'Your PC is being hacked': Google cracks down on fraudulent tech support ads

Google has begun restricting ads that offer third-party tech support in a bid to “maintain a healthy advertising ecosystem”.

Those ads refer to the pop-ups that most of us disregard, telling us that our PCs have been hacked or infected and that we must seek immediate support to protect our systems.

Less tech-savvy users can be duped into calling the fake support numbers, often presented as companies such as Microsoft or Apple, where technicians will talk them into paying extortionate repair or...

By Mark Jones, 03 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Advertising Technology, Best Practice.

Keep a step ahead: embrace new social media platforms for influencer marketing

It’s fair to say we’ve evolved significantly from our 18th century ancestors, in every possible area of our lives, but when it comes to influencer marketing…? Well it turns out Wedgewood and the Royals were playing our game long before social media came into the fore. 

Luckily, we’ve amassed a wealth of experience and knowledge about how to make...

By Mark Bassett, 24 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Best Practice, Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing.

UK CEOs facing 'unrealistic expectations' from digital transformation ROI

Chief executives in the UK face “unrealistic expectations” in demonstrating tangible return from digital transformation projects, according to research by professional services firm KPMG.

A survey of 150 CEOs from leading British businesses found that the majority (72%) are frustrated by pressure at board-level to prove return on investment (ROI) from multi-year digital transformation projects, which can include the integration of technologies such as cloud services, artificial intelligence and...

By Mark Jones, 22 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Automation, Best Practice.

CMA probe to ‘name and shame’ celebrities in breach of influencer guidelines

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has begun an investigation into whether celebrities and influencers on social media are making paid promotions sufficiently clear.

Guidelines enforced by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) require influencers, who can have millions of followers, to clearly disclose commissioned or incentivised posts with tags such as ‘#ad’ or ‘#sponsored’. As part of the investigation, the CMA has contacted a large number of influencers -...

By Mark Jones, 17 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Best Practice, Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing.

Young marketers in UK favour high salaries over 'meaningful' startups

As school leavers in the UK receive their A-level results, new research has found that the next generation of marketers prioritise job security over working for ‘cutting-edge’ brands.

A survey by CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing) found that 41% of 17-19 year olds who have left school in the last six months are indeed interested in a career in marketing.

However, nearly two-thirds (64%) favoured working in a...

By Mark Jones, 16 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Best Practice.

Can martech really influence wider business processes?

Despite the mounting pressures being placed on marketers to do – and achieve – more, budgets are still being stretched to their limits. Investment in marketing tech is no exception, which means the business case for comms platforms and apps needs to be strong.

Previous articles have covered topics such as budgeting for marketing automation software and even

Three solutions to the 'nonsensical' ad viewability standard

In 2014, I wrote a piece calling out our industry for its pretty feeble definition of ‘viewable’. Little did I know I’d be saying the same things four years later. 

But the fact is, very little has changed. The Media Rating Council’s standard still stands: a digital advert is classed as ‘viewable’ if half of it is in vision for one second or more. Run that by anyone outside media-land and they’d laugh in your face.

I actually have sympathy for the Media...

By Daniel Shaw, 07 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Best Practice, Campaigns, Programmatic.

YouTube in hot water again as Mars departs over brand safety concerns

Social video sharing site YouTube is once again in hot water over advertising brand safety.

This time, it’s Mars that has suspended marketing on the platform after an advert for Starburst sweets was found to be placed at the start of a rap music video allegedly supporting gang violence in London.

The film by a group called Moscow 17 is part of an emerging genre called ‘drill’ which has been cited as violent “soundtrack” to gang warfare in London, with rival gangs often using the...

By Mark Jones, 06 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Best Practice, Social Media Marketing, Video & Audio Marketing.

80% of marketers don’t trust their martech vendors with GDPR compliance

Approaching three months since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force across Europe, the update remains a lingering pain point for the digital marketing industry, with some pretty hefty fines delivered to companies in breach.

Concerns aren’t exactly dampened when there’s no guarantee your own marketing technology vendor isn’t wrestling with compliance themselves and, as found in a new study by Demandbase, more than a few marketers have their doubts over the data...

By Mark Jones, 02 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Automation, Best Practice, Data-driven marketing.

Customer, interrupted: Second-guessing digital marketing’s most effective tactic

Most sensible marketers — and everyone but the worst of the worst — left pop-up windows behind ages ago. While that move was welcome news to, well, everybody, similarly intrusive tactics still exist in modern marketing playbooks.

While interruptive tactics can be effective, marketers must first weigh short-term benefits with long-term costs. Full-screen overlays, modal windows, and interstitials, for example, could do more harm than good. They might be highly visible, but they can damage the...

By Sean Schroeder, 30 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Best Practice, Customer Experience.

Twitter’s fake user 'health' cull sees stocks drop 20%

Twitter saw stocks plummet by over 20% ahead of the weekend, following an announcement that its monthly active users had fallen by one million throughout Q2 against the previous quarter.

Announcing that users had fallen from 336m to 335m was enough to send share prices down to just under $35 (they’ve continued a decline since). That's despite the company reporting record quarterly profit of $100m (£76m) and a 23 percent year-on-year uplift in ad...

By Mark Jones, 30 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Best Practice, Social Media Marketing.

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.

The power of Scrum for agile marketing

Agility is the cornerstone of successful digital marketing.

The ability to react quickly, fail fast, adjust accordingly, infuse deliverables with company vision and understand the customer better is critical. Tools like A/B testing are extremely beneficial to marketing agility in terms of quick reaction and course correction; however, these tools are a drop in the bucket if your organisational structure itself isn’t agile.

There are a number of work management frameworks that enable organisations to...

By Renata Lerch, 24 July 2018, 1 comment. Categories: Advertising, Best Practice, Campaigns.

Facebook jumps on Crimson Hexagon following data share breach accusations

With another company being accused of breaching Facebook’s data-sharing policy, it’s no surprise that the social network has been quick to act.

Facebook announced the suspension of Boston-based analytics firm Crimson Hexagon - a company that reportedly has ties with government agencies around the world, including Russian nonprofits with alleged ties to the Kremlin - last week, following a report by Wall Street Journal (WSJ) questioning whether it uses data from social media for surveillance...

By Mark Jones, 23 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Best Practice, Data-driven marketing, Social Media Marketing.

Google has been hit with a record €4.34bn fine for Android antitrust violations

Google has been hit with a record fine of €4.34bn (£3.9bn) by the European Commission, accusing the company of using the Android operating system to illegally “cement its dominant position”.

According to the Commission, the ad tech giant has imposed illegal restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators since 2011 in efforts to secure a monopoly on general internet search.

The firm’s parent Alphabet...

By Mark Jones, 18 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Best Practice, Organic Search, Search Marketing.

Consumer data responsibility lies with head of IT, say third of marketers

With consumer data now considered the fundamental bedrock of digital advertising and minds sharpened by the recent introduction of GDPR, you’d think marketers would have a firm grasp on where responsibility for it sits within their organisations. Wouldn’t you?

In fact, while the majority of marketers consider data use a “very important” aspect of business growth, there seems to be an ongoing conflict when it comes to who should be in charge of it.

A study by the global association for...

How to enhance your UX design with micro interactions: A guide

User experience (UX) is the most important part of any app. If a user finds an app difficult to use then it doesn’t matter how well it’s built or how good it looks – they won’t use it.

There are many areas within user experience, but the one we will focus on is micro interactions, which closely link to motion design and to the user interface (UI). Micro interactions are sometimes overlooked or viewed as a ‘nice to have’, however more and more people are seeing the benefits...

By Sarah Preston, 02 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Best Practice, Customer Experience, Mobile Marketing.

Why “romanticising the loss of jobs to technology is like complaining antibiotics put grave diggers out of work”

“Romanticising the loss of jobs to technology is little better than complaining that antibiotics put too many grave diggers out of work. The transfer of labour from humans to our inventions is nothing less than the history of civilization. It is inseparable from centuries of rising living standards and improvements in human rights.

“What a luxury to sit in a climate-controlled room with access to the sum of human knowledge on a device in your pocket and lament how we don’t work with our hands...

By Jeremy Waite, 22 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Automation, Best Practice, Customer Experience, Data-driven marketing.