Facebook: Charged With Discriminatory Advertising Practices

Inquirer.net | April 02, 2019

Facebook has undergone a lawsuit with the ACLU regarding discriminatory advertising policies on the internationally popular social media platform. Facebook is said to be overhauling its current functions and procedures as a result of this lawsuit. It is interesting to note that this is a groundbreaking legal case; digital tech companies are slowly beginning to be understood by government policy and officials, and regulation is tightening around these tech giants and competitors.

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CMG Announces Strategic Initiative with Amazon Advertising

Cox Media Group, Amazon | July 22, 2021

CMG Local Solutions today announced a strategic partnership with Amazon Advertising, which will allow CMG Local Solutions advertisers to access local audiences via Amazon Advertising's digital services. CMG Local Solutions advertisers throughout the country may now programmatically acquire display and OTT ads via Amazon DSP and evaluate their campaign performance using Amazon Advertising's suite of full-funnel measurement solutions. These new offerings, when combined with CMG's premium, a brand-safe local media website, and app advertising, may help local advertisers extend their reach and increase sales. CMG Local Solutions provides cutting-edge digital solutions and advanced performance metrics to help local brands engage with the right audiences in real-time, as well as refine and improve campaigns. CMG Local Solutions can offer advertising partners a single view of their return on investment for all digital and television advertising, including Amazon Advertising products, in addition to having a single source of solutions for CMG Local Solutions clients.

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Smart AdServer Ranks First in the "Most Secure Ad Platforms" Category for 2020

Confiant, Smart | April 06, 2021

Smart AdServer was found to have the lowest security violation rate for sell-side platforms in 2020, according to advertising security leader Confiant. Confiant determined that Smart AdServer ranked first among the best performers in the entire data set for the year, based on its 2020 Demand Quality Report data, which covers more than 100 channels and 650 million impressions tracked. Smart, a leading independent end-to-end ad tech platform, revealed today that it has a 99.9% success rate in identifying and removing fraudulent advertising before it hit the publisher's website. Smart's mission is to link media buyers and sellers in the most transparent way possible, ensuring consistency and accountability. The collaboration with Confiant is part of a larger initiative to improve ad traffic and efficiency, which is at the core of Smart's operations. Confiant's CEO and Co-Founder Louis David Mangin said, "Security is our bread and butter." "We're happy to be a part of Smart's success story, but we're also happier to know that our products helped our client achieve 99% effectiveness in countering malicious advertising while still securing their sales." According to Smart, the process of eradicating malvertising on their website has been aided by Confiant's platform, as well as strengthened internal processes and practices across Smart's departments and new efforts that included a hardline approach on quality to promote behavioral improvement with partners and customers. Smart has seen a decrease in customer complaints and a rise in returns as a result of this. "We often hear that fraud is a "cost of doing business," but we strongly disagree and think it is something that needs to be addressed and systematically and collectively eradicated," said Jean-Christophe Peube, Vice President, Analytics & Quality. About Confiant, Inc. Confiant's goal is to make the internet a secure place for all. They defend publishers and ad platforms by assisting them in gaining back control of the ad experience and maintaining the safety of their customers. By offering real-time authentication of digital ads, their approach preserves credibility, revenue, and resources. Confiant's technology effectively detects and eliminates malicious activity as well as low-quality advertisements. Confiant empowers premium ad platforms and publishers with actionable data to ensure the digital ad environment is clean and stable for all by offering industry-leading protection against malvertising, disruptive advertising, and privacy threats. For their customers, which include CBSinteractive, Magnite, Gannett, and Politico, they track and secure billions of ad impressions each month. About Smart Smart is a leading independent ad tech platform that caters to both buyer's and publishers' needs. With Smart's fully transparent platform and shared-interest marketing strategy, advertisers and premium publishers can get their fair share of ad value at any time, on their terms. Publishers can act with confidence and have the flexibility they need to provide the right blend of transaction models, channels, formats, and audience data to provide true value path optimization to brands by providing the right blend of transaction models, channels, formats, and audience data. Smart works closely with hundreds of buyers and over 1,000 publishers around the world to deliver display, video, native, and rich-media advertising to over 50,000 sites and apps, including Groupe Marie Claire, TracFone, Le Figaro, Leboncoin, Altice Media Publicité, and IMGUR. Smart is a member of the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA and the FT 1000: Europe's Fastest-Growing Companies lists. The company has 12 offices around the world and is at the forefront of creating a transparent, high-quality ecosystem.

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National Advertising Division Refers Advertising for PLx Pharma's Vazalore to FTC After Compliance Review

National Advertising Division | December 23, 2021

The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs has referred advertising claims made by PLx Pharma, Inc. to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for review and possible enforcement action after the company declined to accept NAD's recommendations to modify certain claims for its Vazalore immediate-release aspirin product. In Case #6912, NAD recommended, among other things, that PLx Pharma: Modify the claim "Vazalore has up to 5X greater absorption than enteric coated aspirin" to avoid conveying the message that the claimed difference in absorption related to superior clinical efficacy and disclose that the reported results were limited to diabetic, obese subjects. Discontinue the claim "The Miracles of Aspirin Fully Realized." Discontinue the claim "Better gastrointestinal safety" (or modify it to convey the limited message that Vazalore causes fewer erosions and ulcers in the first week of treatment than traditional immediate release aspirin). In PLx Pharma's advertiser's statement it agreed to comply with NAD's recommendations and incorporate them in updates to its company website and development of Vazalore's marketing campaign. Thereafter, the challenger, Bayer Healthcare LLC, asked NAD to open a compliance inquiry based on concerns about advertising on PLx Pharma's website directed to healthcare professionals (HCP) and a television commercial. In a compliance matter, NAD must determine whether the advertiser has made a bona fide, good-faith effort to comply with NAD's recommendations. Although NAD determined that some new advertising claims were not appropriate for review in a compliance matter because they were not previously reviewed by NAD or were monadic performance claims, a few others were substantially similar to claims challenged in the underlying proceeding. Therefore, NAD considered whether these new claims fully comply with NAD's recommendations. Television Commercial Regarding PLx Pharma's television commercial, NAD determined that, in context, the claim "Aspirin Made Amazing" was substantially similar to the claim NAD recommended be discontinued in the underlying challenge, "The Miracles of Aspirin Fully Realized." NAD noted that both phrases reasonably convey the unsupported message that Vazalore provides superior cardiovascular benefits or gastrointestinal safety. Therefore, NAD recommended that Vazalore modify its commercial to avoid conveying this message. Consistent with the underlying decision, NAD noted that nothing precludes PLx Pharma from: Making a properly limited claim based on the clinical study results that the Vazalore 325 mg aspirin causes fewer erosions and ulcers in the first week of treatment than traditional immediate release aspirin or from touting that it provides a new delivery system; or Using the "Aspirin Made Amazing" tagline to highlight truthful attributes that make Vazalore different from other products provided, however, the context does not overstate its performance benefits. Advertising Directed to Healthcare Professionals NAD noted that it appreciates PLx Pharma's efforts to create a gated site for HCPs separate from its consumer-facing website. In the underlying decision, NAD recommended that the advertiser modify the claim "Vazalore has up to 5x greater absorption than enteric coated aspirin" to avoid conveying the message that the claimed difference in absorption related to superior clinical efficacy and disclose that the reported results were from a limited study population, diabetic, obese subjects. In the compliance inquiry, NAD considered whether the advertiser's disclosure of the limitations of its clinical study, as referenced on its HCP-facing website, namely the title of the study, its characteristics including the study's population, and finally the results, complied with this recommendation. NAD determined that it did not and, therefore, recommended that the disclosure concerning the 5x absorption claim clearly and conspicuously reference the limited population of the clinical study. Further, NAD determined that claims on PLx Pharma's "Features and Benefits" page convey a comparative safety message as to competing traditional release aspirin. Consequently, NAD recommended that the advertiser modify this advertising to make clear the limitations of its study (i.e., that Vazalore causes fewer erosions and ulcers in the first week of treatment than traditional immediate release aspirin). While the advertiser made modifications following the original challenge, they have declined to make additional modifications as NAD requested. As a result, NAD is referring this matter to the appropriate government agencies for review and possible law enforcement action. All BBB National Programs case decision summaries can be found in the case decision library. For the full text of NAD, NARB, and CARU decisions, subscribe to the online archive. About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs is where businesses turn to enhance consumer trust and consumers are heard. The non-profit organization creates a fairer playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers through the development and delivery of effective third-party accountability and dispute resolution programs. Embracing its role as an independent organization since the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June 2019, BBB National Programs today oversees more than a dozen leading national industry self-regulation programs, and continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-directed marketing, and privacy. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org. About the National Advertising Division: The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs provides independent self-regulation and dispute resolution services, guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the U.S. NAD reviews national advertising in all media and its decisions set consistent standards for advertising truth and accuracy, delivering meaningful protection to consumers and leveling the playing field for business.

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