Google Refutes Claims That Users Can’t Recognize Paid Search Results

Search Engine Journal | January 02, 2019

A Google engineer has refuted claims that most people cannot tell the difference between paid and organic search results. A recent article on Medium references a study on how many people can recognize search ads. The article from Medium was shared on Twitter by a New York Times journalist. A Google engineer, named Paul Haahr, responded to the tweet saying what was reported is not true. In addition, he also defended Google’s advertising practices by saying that most searches contain no ads, and when ads are shown they’re clearly labeled.

Spotlight

As technology and search engines change, so do the strategies marketers use to engage their customers online. If you aren't staying on top of the newest trends in content marketing, your brand will be left behind, plain and simple. But the average business owner or marketer can get overwhelmed trying to stay on top of all the newest, shiniest strategies. That is why I did the research for you, so you can quickly get up to date on the latest content marketing trends for 2018 and find out what tools you should be using to get the most for your efforts.

Spotlight

As technology and search engines change, so do the strategies marketers use to engage their customers online. If you aren't staying on top of the newest trends in content marketing, your brand will be left behind, plain and simple. But the average business owner or marketer can get overwhelmed trying to stay on top of all the newest, shiniest strategies. That is why I did the research for you, so you can quickly get up to date on the latest content marketing trends for 2018 and find out what tools you should be using to get the most for your efforts.

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T-Mobile Appeals National Advertising Division Recommendation to Discontinue "America's . . . Most Reliable 5G Network" and Other Claims

National Advertising Division | November 26, 2021

The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs recommended that T-Mobile US, Inc. discontinue certain advertising claims for T-Mobile's 5G network. T-Mobile will appeal NAD's decision. The claims, which appeared in television, radio, and internet advertising, were challenged by Verizon Communications, Inc. NAD recommended that T-Mobile discontinue the following claims: "America's . . . most reliable network"; "Verizon's latest strategy is to steal bandwidth from their 4G"; and The implied claims that low-band 5G employing DSS technology is inferior to low-band 5G employing standalone spectrum and that T-Mobile's low-band 5G network provides a substantively different and better experience than Verizon's low band 5G. In support of its "America's . . . most reliable network" claim, T-Mobile relied on the results of an audit report conducted by umlaut. The umlaut report uses crowdsourced data (about 250 Key Performance Indicators and billions of data points daily from devices in the United States) collected from actual mobile customers via various apps that can be installed on an end user's phone. NAD noted that umlaut's scoring for 5G network reliability tested the following three metrics: (1) ability to find 5G coverage; (2) ability to connect to the 5G network and complete the transactions of the 5G network; and (3) ability to provide sufficient DL speeds to support popular services for 5G users. However, NAD found that umlaut's methodology for testing the reliability of 5G networks was not a good fit for the messages reasonably conveyed by a reliability claim (i.e., more than just speed and coverage). NAD noted that umlaut testing measures two coverage metrics and one speed metric. While NAD agreed that speed and coverage are important to consider when talking about 5G network reliability, speed and coverage alone cannot support a reliability claim. NAD noted that there is no data to show that T-Mobile's network is superior to competing networks in allowing consumers to access the network and stay connected to complete a session or accomplish a specific task. Therefore, NAD determined that the underlying "most reliable" 5G network claim is not supported and recommended that T-Mobile discontinue its "America's . . . most reliable 5G network" claim. NAD noted that nothing in its decision prevents T-Mobile from accurately touting umlaut's award based on coverage and speed, if accurate. NAD also considered whether the "most reliable" 5G network claim conveys the implied message that T-Mobile has been judged America's "most reliable" 5G network by an independent test not commissioned by T-Mobile. NAD noted that umlaut independently developed metrics to test the performance of 5G networks, applied those metrics to data it collected independently, and T-Mobile then paid umlaut for the right to feature the results of the audit in its advertising. Therefore, NAD concluded that there was no material connection between T-Mobile and umlaut that required disclosure. Further, regarding the claim "Verizon's strategy is to steal bandwidth from their 4G," NAD determined that the net impression from the challenged advertising is that T-Mobile provides a superior 5G experience because they give consumers 5G on a standalone network and in general that 5G provided via Digital Satellite System (DSS) is an inferior service. Because the evidence did not support the message that Verizon's use of DSS to provide consumers with 5G rather than using a standalone network equates to "stealing," NAD recommended that the express claim be discontinued. NAD also concluded that the evidence provided by T-Mobile could not be used to support the implied superiority claim that T-Mobile's low band 5G is better than Verizon's low band 5G network. Accordingly, NAD recommended that T-Mobile discontinue the implied claim that low band 5G employing DSS technology is inferior to low band 5G employing standalone spectrum and that T-Mobile's low band 5G network provides a substantively different and better experience than Verizon's low band 5G. In its advertiser statement, T-Mobile stated that it "will appeal NAD's decision." Further, the advertiser referenced umlaut's determination that "T-Mobile's 5G network is the most reliable 5G network in the United States" and stated that "like other similarly situated advertisers, T-Mobile should be able to advertise this independent award. Because T-Mobile strongly disagrees with NAD's recommendation that it not do so, it will appeal NAD's decision." Such appeals of NAD decisions are made to the BBB National Programs' National Advertising Review Board (NARB), the appellate-level truth-in-advertising body of BBB National Programs. 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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Elon Musk becomes the largest stakeholder in Twitter following a hint at a shake-up

Twitter | April 05, 2022

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has become Twitter's largest shareholder by acquiring 9.2% stakes worth a value of 2.9 bn. On Monday, March 4, 2022, Musk's move was revealed through a filing disclosed by US Securities and Exchange Commission. After this announcement, Twitter's stocks rose 27%. Musk's Twitter account currently has over 80 Million followers. Musk has made numerous announcements about his business by using Twitter as a platform. However, recently Musk has been critical of Twitter's policies. In March, Musk, in one Twitter poll, asked if Twitter adheres to the principle of free speech. The poll received more than 2mn responses, 70% of which were not in Twitter's favor. On Monday, Musk ran another poll asking if Twitter users want an 'edit' button, a much-awaited feature yet seen on the platform. This tweet was followed by the current CEO, Parag Agrawal, who requested the platform users to vote carefully as he hinted that the consequences of this poll are significant. Thomas Hayes, the managing member at Great Hill Capital LLC, suspected that the passive stake might soon have an active part. He said, "It does send a message to Twitter ... having a meaningful stake in the company will keep them on their toes, because that passive stake could very quickly become an active stake." Thomas Hayes, the managing member at Great Hill Capital LLC, suspected that the passive stake might soon have an active part. He said, "It does send a message to Twitter ... having a meaningful stake in the company will keep them on their toes, because that passive stake could very quickly become an active stake." Whereas Cathy Wood, the founder, CEO and CIO of Ark Invest, suspected that Musk was sending strong signals to the current Twitter CEO. Wood's flagship fund has 10 % of its assets in Tesla, Inc. Recently Ark Invest sold $205 Million in Tesla stock. Wood pointed toward a major upcoming shake-up for Twitter and said, "This could be setting up for another leadership change," in her recent interview with Bloomberg.

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ADVERTISER PLATFORMS

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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